Tracy is a customer of ours who lives in NE Portland. In over 20 years in the same home, she has never had sugar ants as bad as this year. In the past, she has always been able to get rid of them on her own with some over the counter products she buys at the grocery store, but not this year. This year she had to call us to help her with her pest control.
She asked us the same thing many of our customers are asking us, “Why are ants so bad this year?”
Our pest control company has fielded more phone calls from customers in the Portland Oregon and Vancouver Washington area dealing with ant infestations this year than in any year that I can remember. Although I cannot speak for other exterminator companies, I can point to some contributing factors that I feel have aided in the rise of ants in the Portland Metro area.
#1- A Very Mild Winter
If you are a parent of young children like I am, you remember all the wrong forecasts for snow that never came, leaving our little ones disappointed. Not only did it not really snow this winter, but we had some downright pleasant days in January and February. It never got extremely cold in the Portland area and maintained a second consecutive year of mild weather. Without the typical harsh cold, carpenter ants and sugar ants can survive in far greater numbers, so population is probably very high this year compared to previous years.
#2- Changes In Barometric Pressure
Our late winter and early spring weather has been very pleasant with long stretches of sunshine, interrupted briefly with a smattering of rain. These changes in climate create fluctuations in barometric pressure and ant colonies move with changes in barometric pressure. For example, when the weather flips from sunshine to rain (or the other way around) ants start moving. With so much variation of the weather, that means that ants are moving all the time.
#3- Ants Are Always Bad In The Spring
Even know we have had a lot of people asking us why ants are so bad this year, we actually get this question pretty much every year. People tend to forget about their past pest problems and always feel like it is worse when they are actually going through it. The truth is, carpenter ants and sugar ants are just really bad in the spring time.
#4- Colonies Reproduce Quickly
When you do not address an ant problem, it tends to get worse over time because they will reproduce. People who have had a moderate infestation one year and handled it on their own, may not have completely eradicated the nest. Thus, allowing them to survive, reproduce and come back even stronger the next year. The best advice that we can give as a pest control company is to address pest problems before they get bigger and harder to exterminate.
If you are currently dealing with a pest issue, give us a call today! We would be happy to set up a free inspection and assessment.