Summer weather causing ant invasions in Louisiana homes

BATON ROUGE — The summer months in Louisiana have brought extreme temperatures and a lack of rain.

That combination affects humans but also other living organisms. One in particular is ants. This summer, ants have tried and made their way into many homes.

Jacob Cohn, an Arrow Termite and Pest Control operator, and certified entomologist, said the current temperatures have pushed ants into finding comfort in homes.

He said the calls they’ve received regarding ants are up 15 to 20 percent compared to an average year.

“We haven’t gotten the amount of rainfall we normally get,” he said. “With less rainfall, there’s less water for the ants, and then they’re going to be foraging a little bit more for an environment that they thrive in. They’re going to like the cooler weather, and they’re going to search for areas with food, with more nutrients and that type of thing. We have a lot of houses with a lot of air conditioning with a lot of food and a lot of water and a lot of places to hide in there. That’s one thing the ants like, and bugs like it, too.”

Cohn said they’ve gotten calls about different species of ants that have made their way into homes. Some include fire, carpenter, sugar, and crazy ants. He said Crazy Ants pose a tougher challenge to get rid

“Crazy Ants, they actually are an invasive species similar to fire ants, but their colonies are much, much bigger, and they’re just very hard to kill,” he said. “You have to use certain products to even get good control of Crazy Ants. For Fire Ants and all the other ants, there are regular and better products on the market that you can use. But with Crazy Ants, only one or two products are available on the market that can help out with those.”

Google searches yield potential home remedies to help stave away an ant infestation. Some of the products include cinnamon, black pepper and vinegar. Cohn said some of the home remedies work but it’s more on a case-by-case basis because of the environment and the size of the ant population that needs to be controlled.

“Any mature colony, you’re not going to gain the control that you need, you know, with a very simple home remedy,” he said. “We actually offer eco-friendly type of products.”

Even if the home remedies don’t work, Cohn gave some tips on how to keep ants away. He said to keep outside the homes free of debris and store any dog food or related items securely.

“Sanitation and cleanliness is part of it that makes your home less attractive to ants and pests,” he said. “There are a lot of do-it-yourself products and with those, the way that most of them work is that it only kills the ant or insect that it comes in contact with. That’s what most people buy. They don’t really do their research to learn what kills a whole colony. They have better products out there that will kill and control the whole colony so it doesn’t pop up just a few feet over in the yard.

“Fire ants probably cause the biggest threat because they can sting you,” he added. “At the end of the day, we try to protect people’s health and property, and that’s one benefit of having a good pest control service that we help protect those things from happening.”

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