Ant Invasion

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Dear NH,
After moving into our new house in Florida in 1996, we were immediately invaded with almost microscopic Pharaoh ants. We are told that they live in the masonry; the house is constructed of concrete blocks with stucco.

The ants are controlled with a boric acid paste. But, we have found nothing to eradicate them. Do you have any information on this problem?

Pharaoh ants are notoriously difficult to exterminate, especially in Florida where they can live inside and outside. Insecticide sprays, while effective in the sort term, can cause Pharaoh ants to exhibit a unique behavior... they will divide their colony up into multiple nests when threatened, making extermination even more difficult!

From what I have read about the various treatments, the only truly effective solution is to use poison bait both inside and outside your home. Poison bait is a combination of a food the ants like and a slow-acting poison that lets the ants live long enough for them to bring the poisoned food to their nest. NO other form of extermination or insecticide should be used when bait is also used or you may kill the ants before they complete their deadly task!

Poison bait is admittedly a less-than-speedy a solution compared with spraying insecticide, but you are more likely to get to all the nests by taking the "friendly" approach. Not friendly to the ants, mind you... friendly to your home's inside environment! Spraying insecticides inside should always be done sparingly and with care, if at all, and only in the most dire of situations.

Apparently this treatment can take up to one year to show complete results, since Pharaoh ants tend to make multiple nests, not just one like carpenter ants, making them difficult to eradicate. However, once the nests inside and outside the vicinity of your home are exterminated you should get at least some relief from their invasion!

copyright 2000 G.G. Alonzy

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