Sugar ants are such a nuisance
The grandkids have been visiting and we’ve been eating tons of fresh fruit, especially watermelon. It is so sweet and refreshing we eat it everyday. But a couple of days ago we were in a hurry to go off to the beach and didn’t get around to thoroughly washing off the counter. Guess who moved in while we were out?
Sugar ants (that’s what we’ve always called them) are those tiny little ants that show up when something sweet and sticky is around. They’re not even as big as a grain of rice but they can travel in large groups. They’re particularly good at hiding, so when you think you’ve swept them all up, two pop out from behind a coffee cup and three others sneak out from under the mail. Grrrrrrr!
So we swabbed down the counter with one of those bleach sheets which pretty much did the job of getting rid of them. But should you find yourself in a situation where you just can’t get rid of the tiny terrors or you’re wrestling with their large cousins and feel the need to resort to using a pesticide, remember the following:
• Read the label first. Follow the directions exactly. Pay special attention to warnings, cautions and restrictions.
• Whenever you can, use non-chemical pesticides. But remember, even natural ingredients can sometimes be poisonous, always read the label.
• Use only the amount recommended. Don’t think that twice the amount will do twice the job!
• Cover all food before using a pesticide indoors.
• Keep children, their toys and pets away from the area where a pesticide is being used. Wait until the area has dried or until the label says it’s safe for them to come back.
• If you use a pest-control service, ask them for information about the risks and safety precautions for their products.
• Put the phone number of the Poison Control Center near your phone: (800) 222-1222. You really should have it there anyway.
• Store pesticides out of children’s reach. Use a locked cabinet or garden shed. Child-proof safety latches are also a good idea. You can buy them at a hardware or home-supply store.
• Never put a pesticide in a container that children might think is food or drink. For instance, a jar or bottle with a liquid pesticide might look like something to drink.
• Never place ant, roach, mice or rat bait where small children can get to them. Kids are great at pulling chairs up to counters and climbing up.
• Teach your children that pesticides are poison and that they shouldn’t touch them.
The Environmental Protection Agency has more information about how to prevent poisonings in your home at this link.