Living-space invaders: Sugar ants on the prowl for moisture

first_imgIf you’re afraid to put a crust of bread on the counter for fear of swarms of tiny sugar ants, blame the weather.The unusually hot and dry weather has created perfect conditions for the ants, also called odorous house ants, to extend their active season well beyond its usual end in the early summer. Local pest control companies say they’ve seen a marked uptick in calls to exterminate the tiny invaders, but until the rainy season kicks off, the unwelcome house guests are likely to remain.“We’ve had a very mild winter, combined with what could be the hottest summer on record,” said Joseph Hampton, owner of Aspen Pest Control. “I think the weather is a factor, and the ants are going after water because it’s been so dry outside. For this time of year, we’re about 25 percent above average for customers calling about ants.”Sugar ants, which are native to the Pacific Northwest, are usually most active starting in late February and into early spring. Calls to pest control companies usually start to drop off in early summer, but not this year, Hampton said.“This year it really hasn’t stopped at all,” Hampton said. “We’re also seeing more stinging insects than we’ve ever seen at our company. We’re getting more calls on yellow jackets and wasps than ever before.”last_img

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