Dealing with Unexpected Uncles and Ants for Thanksgiving?

By Chris Williams on November 27, 2013.

Ant on Dinner Table Thanksgiving


Help!! I’m expecting a boatload of company for Thanksgiving and now all of a sudden, I have a houseful of ants trailing all over my kitchen! I never had ants before. Why do I have them now and how can I get rid of them before company arrives?


You have ants because you’re providing something that the ants need, and the short answer is food. The ants have probably been nearby all along, but now that the weather is cold outside, they can no longer find their normal food outdoors and they are searching inside instead for people food. Their foraging habits and patterns have changed. You’ve probably added a lot of food for Thanksgiving and may be storing it in a way that is drawing the attention of ants. Once ants discover a food source, they leave pheromone trails so the rest of the colony can find the food, too.

The bad news is that if you have ants inside at this time of year, it no doubt means that ants are nesting somewhere in your house or garage. But don’t panic, a pest management professional can solve that problem. Baiting is the best way to control ants. Unfortunately, baits are, by design, slow-acting since worker ants must carry the toxic bait back to the colony to share it with others. I get the impression that you need more immediate results. Best to contact a pest management professional.

A technician can set you up with an ant baiting program, but can also do a targeted insecticide application that should help get rid of the ants, at least for long enough so that you don’t alarm the relatives. The ants may return to your kitchen later for periodic visits unless the colony is located and destroyed, or until the baits eventually kill the colony.

Cakes, and Pies, and Stuffing…Oh My!

One thing that you can do to help in the short term is take steps to cut off the ants’ food supply. Be careful how you store all of Thanksgiving goodies. Keep everything in zip lock baggies or in containers with tight lids like glass jars, metal canisters, or plastic storage containers…or keep food in the refrigerator where ants can’t get to it. Also check on dry pet food stored in your home. That’s a favorite food of ants. And be sure to keep countertops and stovetops free of grease and crumbs.

If you find yourself dealing with seasonal pests of the four or six-legged variety, give Colonial a call. We do pests so you don’t have to.


photo credit: via photopin


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