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No reason to feel particularly antsy in the Okanagan this summer

Ants can be a beneficial species in nature, but when large numbers start to invade a homeowners living space, they can become a problem.
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June 22, 2015 - 11:40 AM

OKANAGAN - The early summer weather in the Okanagan Valley this year has meant a spike in ant activity.

According to pest control experts, we aren't experiencing a higher than normal ant population, it's just they are active earlier than usual.

Mark Dawson with Enviropro Pest Control assures us ants aren't taking over.

“Ants are a consistent problem in the Okanagan — it’s one big anthill,” he says, attributing the insect's regular large numbers to things like climate and soil conditions.

Dawson says an attractant such as a new food source might be the reason a particular homeowners might be seeing larger numbers of ants in their yards this year.

“A tree leaking sap, or an infestation of aphids will attract them," Dawson says. “Carpenter ants are always a problem in the valley.”

Dawson recommends keeping shrubbery and vines away from the house and ensure the foundation is kept clean.

Arte Overbey with Bugman Pest Control points out ants are a beneficial species of insect, providing good deeds like soil aeration.

“Carpenter ants don’t digest wood like many people think, and many ants eat other insects,” he says. 

“They become a problem when they get into your living space," he adds.

Overbey says some people will see an influx of ants one year, while someone else will see one the next year.

“There doesn’t seem to be a trend. Ants come and go,” Overbey says.

He says homeowners can try over the counter products first to control an ant problem, but if too there are too many, they’ll need an exterminator.

“You are going to continue to see a certain number of ants, regardless of the treatment you use,” he says.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at sarstad@infonews.ca or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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