Heavy rain is pushing ants indoors - KPTV - FOX 12

Heavy rain is pushing ants indoors

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

All this record-setting rain in the Portland area is pushing uninvited guests into your house. 

Pest control businesses are getting slammed with calls about ants. One local business said all the moisture is stopping ants from moving outside. Like many of us, they’re keeping themselves nice and dry, inside your home. 

When it rains, ants will head to higher ground. Unfortunately, in one case, that is Nancy Verbicky’s kitchen.

“Oh my gosh this year it’s been unbelievable,” she said. “It’s been so wet and I’ve been finding out we have ants. They’ve been coming in through our patio door.”

Down comes the rain, and the ants come marching in. According to the professionals, the ants you can actually see in your home represent about a tenth of the colony that’s hiding in your walls.

“That’s the tip of the iceberg, really a small percentage of the colony,” said Robert McMaster, who is with Halt Pest Control. 

McMaster said this year in the Portland area, ants are basically unavoidable. 

“We send out a postcard at tax time: it’s called death, bugs and taxes. It’s inevitable. Moisture controls everything. This year, it’s been so wet that we’re seeing a lot of activity inside,” said McMaster.

Experts say many homeowners will use a spray to stop the house ants. McMaster said that will only cause the ants to disperse. The ants then form new colonies and appoint a new queen, leaving an even bigger problem. 

“As a defense mechanism, they’ll split up and move, form new colonies. So instead of less, you have more. So, we have sophisticated baiting technologies that work really well,” said McMaster. 

The professionals will leave bait for the worker ants to walk through. Then the ants bring the chemical back to their colony. 

Experts also said many will try out their own remedies, or life hacks, to get rid of the ants. They said that may work for a short amount of time, but those are short terms solutions that don’t get to the root of the problem.

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