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Old 05-30-2011, 04:54 PM
 
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I have been noticing these ants, fairly good size/black, in my apartment. What is the story on those ants? Common in this area? Are they dangerous, any warnings we should be careful about? Thanks for all the help, these are making me a little nervous.
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Old 05-30-2011, 05:14 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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They are not dangerous to you however I would capture a few, put them in a jar and notify your building owner. Odds are they are looking to build a new nest. They could be carpenter ants which although not as troublesome as termites should be prevented from setting up residence.
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Old 05-30-2011, 05:53 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
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I had a major invasion a while back. Most people I know have had the problem. Since you live in an apartmetnt building, you should contact the owner to get rid of them. I once tried those little "ant hotels." All they did was attract more ants!
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Old 05-30-2011, 06:49 PM
 
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They're most likely carpenter ants. Not dangerous but pesky to get rid of if they have a nest nearby. I'd let the landlord know.
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Old 05-31-2011, 11:59 AM
 
Location: the Beaver State
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They're sugar ants. If you live in an apartment complex most likely one of your neighbors is a slob and no amount of spraying is going to make a difference. The best you can do is use a natural killer (Natural Ant Killer ) to reduce the number of them, keep your kitchen and floors clean, and move as soon as you can.
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Old 05-31-2011, 12:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hamellr View Post
They're sugar ants. If you live in an apartment complex most likely one of your neighbors is a slob and no amount of spraying is going to make a difference. The best you can do is use a natural killer (Natural Ant Killer ) to reduce the number of them, keep your kitchen and floors clean, and move as soon as you can.
Thanks hamellr, this is helpful. Why do you say to move as quickly as I can? I mean, is it that these ants can be a danger in any way? I prefer to not have them, but in case I am here longer, how bad would it be to have them? I would move, but I am still early on in my lease.
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Old 05-31-2011, 01:25 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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In my experience sugar ants are very small, I still say trap a few and bring them to the attention of your property manager and ask them to identify the species. Sugar ants go for open cereal boxes (many have hidden sugars) and anything sweet so keep food in airtight containers. I don't think people need to be slobs to have them as once they find their way into a building they leave scent trails for future generations to follow.

They are a nuisance and if I had small children who play on the floor I would be more than annoyed. The problem is that poisoning them is not likely to last forever (scent trails) and the chemical itself is more dangerous than the ants. When, if, you move dispose of all open food containers when you leave the place.

Now if they are carpenter ants they have no interest in your things, they are headed for wood.
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Old 05-31-2011, 01:39 PM
 
Location: the Beaver State
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Originally Posted by derniss View Post
Thanks hamellr, this is helpful. Why do you say to move as quickly as I can? I mean, is it that these ants can be a danger in any way? I prefer to not have them, but in case I am here longer, how bad would it be to have them? I would move, but I am still early on in my lease.
I say as soon as possible, because it's been my consistent experience that once a place has them, they never go away. Their nests tend to be inside the walls and in the foundation of the buildings, so insecticides and such don't really work. They can kill a lot of the colony, but rarely get to the Queen.

I've heard of a couple of people purchasing lizards and letting them free roam, but that is highly recommended against in general.
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Old 05-31-2011, 01:47 PM
 
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Sugar ants are very SMALL - maybe 1/4" long at the most. Carpenter ants are much larger - almost 1/2" long. Neither are poisonous or particularly dirty.
Sugar ants are common in California, but not here - most ants I've seen here are carpenter ants.

No need to move - do trap one and let your landlord know, because carpenter ants will damage the structure.
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Old 05-31-2011, 02:30 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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A good exterminator can do a very effective job on carpenter ants. They live in the walls but they forage outside. The walls can be injected (just like they do for termites in CA) and the foundation sprayed. They really like wood mulch and firewood stacked near the building. Personally I wouldn't move because of carpenter ants but I might ask the building owner for a few days in Residence Inn on the day and days following the exterminator's treatment. Be sure to seal up all opened foodstuffs and fresh food prior to treatment (putting them in the frig is effective).

What you are seeing are probably carpenter ants trying to find a home and they probably marched up the foundation and found a way into the house. They may not have made a nest yet. http://owic.oregonstate.edu/pubs/carpenter_ants.pdf (broken link)
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