Kirby offers tips to BDN on how to keep ants out of the home

Clay Kirby, an associate scientist and insect diagnostician with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, spoke with the Bangor Daily News for an article about to how get rid of ants that have invaded your home during the spring. Ants that infiltrate Maine homes can be a variety of species, and all of them have different food and habitat preferences, according to the article. “Identification is the way to go first,” Kirby said. “With identification we can learn a little bit more about specific biology and how to manage it.” Kirby suggests people collect a few ants in a leak-proof container, cover the ants in rubbing alcohol to preserve them, then drop them off at your local county UMaine Extension office for free identification. One way to destroy an ant colony is by using bait traps. “Typically, in a household situation, baits are preferred if the nest is not readily found,” Kirby said. “The theory is that the ants will take the [poisonous] bait back to the nest and feed the immature stages as well as the queen.” Ants in a home can be destructive at worst and a nuisance at best, but outside, they’re an integral part of the ecosystem, the article states. “Just like a plant out of place is referred to as a weed, an insect that is out of place is referred to as a pest,” Kirby said.