British Columbia

Unwelcome guests? Some tips to get rid of pavement ants

Ants can ruin a picnic or ruin your walls! But how can you safely get rid of the unwanted guests? A local expert shares some helpful hints.

Some helpful hints if you decide pavement ants should hit the road

Thousands of ants are swarming across the Lower Mainland. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

Whether you've spotted a small pile of sand or witnessed a dotted black line swiftly marching towards your door, chances are good you've noticed some ants. 

Small, black pavement ants are especially active this time of year as they swarm up and mate, according to Mike Londry, who works with a local pest control company. Unlike carpenter ants that can cause significant structural damage to your home with their wood-chewing ways — pavement ants are more of a nuisance with their habit of excavating sand and uprooting patio stones. 

Thanks to the recent warm weather, Londry says swarms of tens of thousands of ants have been moving across much of the Lower Mainland.

Though Londry says the ants "are quite amazing!  A utopic species...probably the most selfless insect or animal on the planet," if you're bothered by the prevalent pests, what's the best —and safest— way for you to manage them?

Mike Londry works with a local pest control company (Charlie Cho/CBC)

According to Londry, if you decide the pavement ants should hit the road, here are some hints: 

  • At your local hardware store purchase a borax solution or an insecticide with Boran in the ingredient list.
  • Liquid bait is best for killing ants.
  • Don't put down liquid bait and then spray insecticide as well —that just stops the ants from eating the bait! 

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