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Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014

The ants are among us

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Nothing is more disturbing than looking on your kitchen counter or floor and seeing tiny little ants moving around.

Sadly, I have had a number of clients contact the Purdue Extension Office because they are being impacted by ants. The one good thing about these ant sightings is that it means it is truly spring and warm weather is on its way.

If you are having issues with ants or are afraid they may start to enter your home, then look outside for their next. Their nests are often found around the foundation of a house in the soil. Carpenter ants, however, might make their nests in the wood boards in your house. Once you have located the nests of the ants, you should destroy it.

When dealing with ants inside the house, locate the place where they are getting in. Seal the opening off to prevent further invasions. Additionally, apply an insecticide at the entry location before you seal it. Besides the entry location, you should apply insecticide in locations where ants like to hide. Those locations include foundation walls, doorways, windowsills, cabinets, and beneath your refrigerator. If your house is on a concrete slab, you will also want to seal any cracks in the slab and potentially treat any heating ducts and utility openings as those are sources for ants to enter your house.

When selecting an insecticide, look for one labeled for "crawling insects," or "roach and ant" control. Please realize that all insecticides are hazardous. You can find insecticides in many forms, including sprays and baits. Never apply insecticides on or near food or on any surface where food would come in direct contact with. As with any pesticide, you must read and follow all label instructions.

Even though ants are a pesky problem. They are beneficial. Their tunnels help aerate the soil, which is important for a nice, healthy lawn.

If you would like more information about ants, look at Purdue Extension publication E-22-W Ants. You can obtain your own copy by going to http://extension.entm.purdue.edu/publica..., or by contacting your local Purdue Extension Office.

As always, if you have any questions or would like information on any agriculture, horticulture, or natural resource topic, then please contact your local Purdue Extension Office at 448-9041 in Clay County or 812-829-5020 in Owen County, or reach me directly at smith535@purdue.edu. Purdue University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution.

Upcoming opportunities available to you through Purdue Extension include:

* Saturday -- Trees in Bloom/Wildflower Tour, 4-5:30 p.m. Call Owen County SWCD at 812-829-2605 for more information,

* Monday -- Pond Field Day, 12:30-4 p.m., Fillmore. Call 765-653-7454 for more information,

* Tuesday -- Area V P-CARET meeting,

* Wednesday -- Clay County Share-The-Fun,

* Thursday -- Community Farmers' Market of Owen County meeting, 6:30 p.m., Farm Bureau Office in Spencer.