Hot weather brings out the ants.
Everyone loves summer! It’s the perfect time to invite your friends and family over and have an awesome backyard barbecue by the pool. After a long day of swimming and grilling, you head to bed on a warm San Diego night. You walk outside the next morning, the dew on the grass is still wet and you look over at your patio table, and see that you forgot to clean up one plate leftover from the evening before. And that’s when you see it. Thousands of tiny ants crawling all over the plate, the patio furniture and even trailing straight to the kitchen. You think to yourself, “how could a night so fun, turn sour by the morning?” Ants. More specifically Argentine Ants.
The Argentine Ant seems to have taken over San Diego these past few years, and while their name suggests they originally came from Argentina, they have invaded more places than just San Diego. Scientists have found these pesky pests in Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand as well. These ants have been able to form super-colonies, meaning many of the ants belong to one giant colony spread across hundreds of miles and they are able to live peacefully together. While other ants may fight competing ants from different colonies, the Argentine Ants have joined together. And guess where one of the biggest super colonies passes through? Right here in sunny San Diego. The California Large super-colony, as it has been dubbed, extends 560 miles along the coast of California. One of the biggest colonies is in Europe and it goes for over 3700 miles along the Mediterranean Coast. That’s bigger than the entire continental United States!
You may be wondering, “but why do I notice them more in the summer?” It’s because the warmer the weather, the faster the life cycle gets, causing them to reproduce quickly. The second reason is ants don’t like hot weather, so when it gets hot, just like humans, they are looking for cooler locations and they are seeking water.
The California Large super-colony extends 560 miles along the coast of California.
At Joshua’s Pest Control, summer our busiest season. But it doesn’t matter if it’s fall or spring, if it’s hot out, the ants will be on the prowl. With all the bugs, especially the ants reproducing quicker and making their way into our homes, we don’t like it. Which is one of the reasons we offer free warranty services. Consider yourself lucky if you don’t see an ant this summer, because I’m sure many people will be calling about these ants and how they have taken over their homes.
Our goal is to control the ants, and we do this in a few ways. One, we treat as often as needed to divert the colony from your property. This might require a series of weekly visits to help take care of the problem because there are millions of ants in this super colony. Two, we use bait programs, because the quick-kill insecticides, like Raid, only reach the foraging ants. Because ants share 50% of their food, you want something that they will take back to the colony and feed the queen, nest workers and baby ants. But remember, this isn’t an instant fix, it’s going to take days for the ants to take the bait back to the colony and share it with the other ants. Be careful not to wash away any of the product, and listen to any sanitation instructions your Field Expert gives you. Removing any food or water sources will really help ensure that the ants don’t find anything more appetizing than the delicious bait we just left them.
Remember, if you haven’t seen any decrease in two weeks, we want to hear from you. We need to come back out and do another inspection and treatment. Sometimes, when ants feel threatened, and because they are part of a super colony, they can move their colony to another location and adopt a new queen. It’s called, “budding,” and it’s incredibly frustrating for homeowners.
Insects are incredibly smart and tricky creatures and often require back to back treatment for the best results. We here at Joshua’s are committed to protecting you and your home, so if we need to come back out, give us a call and we’ll send your Field Expert out with a plan of attack. Because no one wants an ant filled cookout!
Hunter-Davis, Terri. “Argentine Ants Come Marching in to California.”Argentine Ants Come Marching in to California. Phys.org, 12 Jan. 2015. Web. 22 June 2016.
Walker, Matt. “Ant Mega-colony Takes over World.” BBC. BBC.co.uk, 1 July 2009. Web. 22 June 2016.
Brennan, Deborah. “Invasive Ants Form Super-colony.” The San Diego Union-Tribune. Sandiegouniontribune.com, 17 May 2013. Web. 22 June 2016.
Hessedal, Kelly. “Blame the Heat for San Diego’s Ant Invasion.” CBS News 8. Cbs8.com, 19 Sept. 2014. Web. 22 June 2016.
“Geography Statistics of United States Of America.” United States of America USA Land Statistics and Landforms Hills Lakes Mountains Plains Rivers. Worldatlas.com, 17 Nov. 2015. Web. 22 June 2016.