Beware of invading ants during spring

WASHINGTON — One sure sign spring is here: ants are starting to move.

Odorous house ants are one of the most common home invaders at this time of the year,” says University of Maryland College Park Professor of Entomology Mike Raupp.

While some people find the idea of ants in their kitchen repulsive, Raupp says they’re more of a nuisance than anything else. They don’t bite, sting or spread diseases.

“Ants are clean. Ants are not important distributors of microbes or disease-causing agents,” Raupp says.

The critters go into homes in search of food and if they find some, more are sure to follow.

“They will set up a trail — they lay down a pheromone, this invites the other workers into your home and the trail becomes very, very active,” Raupp says.

Raupp suggests disrupting the ant trail using a household cleanser on countertops. Then go after ants at their source.

“Put some ant baits where they enter the home both inside and out and that will help disrupt the trail and eliminate the problem.”

Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

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