Fighting the Summer Ant Invasion

Tips for keeping ants out of the house

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    NEWSLETTERS

    We are in the midst of ants season. But have no fear, NBC 7's Consumer Bob has tips on how to fight even the most stubborn ant colonies. (Published Sunday, Aug 17, 2014)

    Roger Platt looks over his schedule and realizes it will be a very busy day.

    “Our business just explodes when the weather gets like this,” said Platt.

    He is in the pest control business, and summer is the busiest time of the year. And the biggest reason for that: ants.

    “They want to come in. Tthey want to get some moisture,” said Platt, owner of Centurion Pest Control. “They want to get some relief, and your house is the place they want to go.”

    Hot weather dries out the ground. Even the humidity can draw water from the soil. That leaves ants traveling to find water, even more than food. Between the months of June and September, pest control companies see the most customers in San Diego.

    The ant invasion is also felt on the store shelves of Lowe’s.

    "The aisles here on the weekend are blowing up with customers,” said Scott Perez, Lowe’s store manager.

    He said people want to know where they keep the ant products, which can range in cost between $4 and $18.

    But do you need to buy special products or hire a professional to keep ants around the house?

    The internet is filled with suggestions for natural remedies to kill ants. Everything from window cleaner to Cream of Wheat is said to either kill or repel ants. Suggestions also include coffee grounds, baking soda, cinnamon, diatomaceous earth and borax.

    Platt said nearly anything can be used to kill ants but, “If you don’t get to the nest, the ants are just going to find another way in."

    Professional pest control companies can use chemicals unavailable to the general public. Service to your home often costs between $35 and $50 a month with a long term contract, or they will spray a house one time for between $100 and $250.

    If you use products from the hardware store, Platt siad he would use a liquid or gel-based bait in the summer months. But he stresses that you should always read the label before using the product.