You remember that old song we used to sing on school field trips or at summer camp—“The ants go marching one by one….” The chorus ends: “And they all go marching down—to the ground—to get out—of the rain—boom boom boom.”

As in many fairy tales and childhood songs, there is a kernel of truth in that verse: Rainy weather does send ants scurrying, long columns of them rushing here and there, searching for any crack or crevice that will take them out of the drowning wetness, into someplace warm and dry.

Our Sacramento pest control company recently got a frantic call from a woman who had put off dealing with an enormous ant infestation on a large crepe myrtle tree that hung over her driveway. On a recent rainy morning, she walked out through her garage to pick up the morning paper, only to step, barelegged, into a swarm of ants that were using the concrete seam in the center of her garage floor as a highway under the garage door and into her dry garage.

Once ants are present in large numbers, they can be exceptionally difficult to eliminate. Inspection and identification of the type of ant is critical to effective treatment—and may be an argument for calling on a trained pest control professional rather than depending on a can of spray and a prayer. (For more information about common Sacramento-area ants, visit my blog post at http:// https://www.earthguardpest.com/blog/?p=13.)

For customers who choose a “green” pest control solution, which most often involves placing baits that the ants carry back to their colonies, follow-up monitoring, refilling of bait stations and reinspection are required, and it usually takes longer to be completely ant-free.

If you find yourself, like our customer, with ants crawling up your legs, or you walk into your kitchen to see a trail of ants across the floor and up your cabinet doors, here are some immediate steps to take—instead of grabbing for a can of bug spray:

If ants have been attracted by a food source, locate the source, remove it and clean the area thoroughly.

  • Clean the trail with soapy water or spray cleaner and wipe up or vacuum up ants.
  • Try to determine where the ants have entered your home, and caulk the opening or plug it with petroleum jelly.

With the rainy season upon us, ants from your yard or garden will be looking for ways into your warm, dry home. Take a look around your foundation, doors and windows; check around spas, storage sheds and garbage cans. Take quick action to prevent ants from moving in for the winter!

For more information about ants and other household pests, visit www.earthguardpest.com, or call us at 916-457-7605.