NEW HOPE, Minn. - It's hot and humid outside and that means many seasonal pests will be popping up again.
The Theides, like many Minnesotans, have some unwanted visitors this time of year.
"They're nasty and annoying," says Kendall Theide.
She's talking about ants, six-legged insects that make their home in an underground maze of tunnels.
"There's some right there, too. It's probably like the biggest ant hill anyone has ever seen," she exaggerates.
There are plenty of home remedies for getting rid of ants, like sprinkling cinnamon or instant grits on the nest. Some even pour boiling water on the nest?
"These are methods that are not going to work, people are going to be disappointed in the results," says Jeff Hahn, a University of Minnesota Extension Entomologist.
The "ant"-swer to getting rid of the ants starts with identifying which type of invader you have.
If the ants are making their home in the middle of a yard, they are likely corn field ants or honey ants and a sweet bait is best.
Pavement ants, like the ones that form mounds on your sidewalk and driveway are attracted to grease. Make sure the pesticide targets grease ants.
But it's the big black carpenter ants that are the most common ant in Minnesota.
"Carpenter ants are challenging and it's usually something you have to talk to a pest management or pest control service for. Their diets vary so much, they might take one bait one time and then ignore it the next," explains Hahn.
"I want them gone, gone for good," are the final words from Kendall.
Ants come inside a home looking for food or water, so keeping crumbs cleaned up should discourage them. If you can discover where the ants are getting in, sealing up any cracks will help.
For more information, including specific ingredients to look for if you are fighting ants with pesticides, go to the University of Minnesota Extension website.
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