Pest Identification

Learn More About the Pests Invading Your Home

How to Keep Your Home from Looking Like an Ant Farm

In 1956, while attending a 4th of July picnic, “Uncle” Milton Levine was struck by genius. He was sitting by his sister’s pool watching ants scampering over a mound and he saw dollar signs. He founded Uncle Milton Toys and produced the Ant Farm. (Since he had a lot of ants he called the company Uncle Milton—get it?) Milty’s six-by-nine clear plastic box filled with sand and Pogonomyrmex californicus (an ant native to the southwestern United States) put his kids through college and then some. Before his death in 2011 at age 97, Milton sold 20 million Ant Farms, and they’re $15 today.

Now the Ant Farm is a great educational tool which allows kids, and ant-loving adults, to watch worker ants dig around in the dirt. But while ants-in-a-box may be quaint—when they’re crawling across your floor they are not. Unless you want your home looking like Uncle Milty’s ant ranch, you need to be a worker yourself and clean up the grounds.

Ants love kitchens because they contain their favorite substances including juice spills, bacon grease splatters, salami slime, peanut butter blobs, and cookie crumbs. If your kitchen contains opened cracker, cookie, and cereal boxes - and open bags of flour and sugar - you’re asking for trouble. You need to clean your counters and appliances with a kitchen cleaner and place all your accessible food in air-tight containers.

Odds are that some ants are already scoping out your hacienda. Take a hike to the hardware store and get Combat ant bait stations. Ants will eat the tainted bait and take it back to their real ranches, which are huge outdoor underground colonies. Combat kills the ants in the colony as well as the ones in your house. Unless you want your house looking like an Ant Farm, you need to be equipped with Combat.