09
Dec
09

Little Ants Appear In Droves

These crawlers are strange, appearing suddenly and in droves.  They show up only once or twice a year, whether you’re ready for them or not.  Our ants visited last night, crawling all around the inside and outside of the kitchen garbage can – and not wandering far afield.

These creatures should have known better than to emerge in my domicile.

Bring out the carcinogens!  Somehow all those green aspirations go out the window when the icky ants appear – and that equally disgusting, poisonous spray helps me obliterate ’em instantly.

After the first rains this fall, some Montclarions were blessed with an onslaught of termites.  I thought the ants were triggered by rain as well, but maybe there are other factors.  These guys might get cold and seek out cozier spots on wintery days.

Any knowledgeable Montclarions out there?

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3 Responses to “Little Ants Appear In Droves”


  1. 1 Andy K
    December 9, 2009 at 8:39 am

    Same problem here. Once a year. They haven’t visited my house yet.

    I can usually go a week before I start the spray. Tried a number of tricks prior to spray – take the trash out several times a day, continually cleaning, putting down chalk lines – ants supposedly don’t cross chalk. Grants for Ants works fairly well – it’s a liquid that the ants drink, and are supposed to take back to the nest.

    Hate the smell of the sprays.

  2. December 15, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    I’ve been fighting ant invasions this week (in Berkeley). They are most likely Argentine ants, an invasive species that has successfully colonized California, and is almost unstoppable for many reasons, such as the tendency for neighboring colonies to merge instead of fighting each other and the ability for colonies to have multiple queens at one time.

    I keep them at bay without resorting to nasty chemicals through the following approach:

    1) Keep everything really clean. Don’t give them a reason to keep coming in.
    2) Kill any ant you see. The lone ants are probably scouts looking for a source of food, shelter or water. If they make it back to the nest they might recruit others.
    3) Use a swab to make lines of peppermint oil (available in the essential oil section of natural health stores) at points of entry. The ants don’t like the oil because it interferes with their chemical sensors.
    4) If there is a significant invasion, wipe the area with soap and water. This will erase the trails that ants use to follow other ants to sources of food, water and back to the nest.

    On my blog I wrote a bit more about my battles with ants: http://marcsala.blogspot.com/2008/01/me-against-ants-one-green-way-to-keep.html

    Someday we might have a natural ant-icide that is derived from their bodies. Scientists have discovered that there is a chemical that they release that causes ants to attack each other, as described in this Chronicle article from a while ago: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/09/15/BAG75L6BJK1.DTL


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Welcome to Montclair, Oakland

We live in the city yet are invaded by nature - or perhaps it's the other way around. Stop by often, and find out what's interesting to 94611 denizens.


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