Argentine Ants: Invasive Exotic Species
Location: Mount Washington, Los Angeles, CA
September 21, 2012 at 3:55 AM
We have stated on more than one occasion that we would love to be able to eradicate the Argentine Ants that have been invading our offices for years, and dating as far back as 1980, the Argentine Ants have invaded the homes of our editorial staff long before What’s That Bug? was even a thought. We also state quite clearly on our website that we do not endorse extermination, but we also understand that there are situations that necessitate some type of action. Alas, no matter how careful we are about food scraps in the home, each summer brings a new invasion of Argentine Ants. They enter the premises through the tiniest of cracks, including the door jams and window sills, and they seek water and food. A single spoon with the tiniest scrap of cat food left in the sink will soon cause hundreds of tiny invaders to swarm the sink. Removing the source of the food causes the Argentine Ants to scatter and they eventually find new ways to enter the structure. Though we are not fond of the Argentine Ants in the garden, we will tolerate them despite them spreading Aphids and Scale Insects from plant to plant. Our office cat is a senior citizen that has become quite the finicky eater, and we cannot expect the poor old feline to clean its dish. Our beloved companion also vomits with some degree of frequency and both of these behavioral traits are very attractive to the Argentine Ant patrols that quickly return to the nest with news of a bounteous feast, and the invasions begin anew. We have finally decided that we need to take some action, and we are about to test a new ant bait product that is used in traps. Our big concern with using more traditional pesticides is that they are not selective and we do not want to harm the spiders, house centipedes and occasional odd visitors that wander in waiting to be humanely removed back to the outdoors. We hope we do not alarm our readership. We still do not endorse extermination, but we have to deal with our own Argentine Ant problem before we are totally overrun. We will keep you posted regarding the results of our product testing.
Advice from Julie: Honey Pot
Location: your place
October 23, 2012 3:53 pm
I don’t know if it will work with the Argentine Ants or not, but when we lived in California, we had a consistent ant problem. We finally solved it at Costco — with a gallon jug of honey. We left it open, on our porch, and ran a short trail from our back steps to the jug. Took them about a week to completely disappear from the house. We had to replace the jug every 5-6 months, but the cost was far less than pesticide, plus it was an interesting science lesson for the kids :-).
Hoping it works for you,
If you lived in Southern California, the problems you had with Ants were most likely Argentine Ants. We also heard that mixing yeast with honey works very effectively because the yeast expands inside the ants, killing them. They also spread the honey/yeast mixture in the colony, effectively killing the colony as well. Leaving an entire honey jar outside might attract raccoons in our area, but thanks for the tip.