SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— If you think you’ve seen more ants in your kitchen than usual this summer, you may not be imagining things. One of the lesser consequences of California’s drought is ants invading our homes.
Argentine ants are common in the Bay Area, and they don’t like weather that is too wet, which is why we often see them in our homes during the rainy season. However, it turns out they don’t like weather that is too dry either.
“During this drought it’s going to become dryer and dryer, which in a sense will help control the Argentine ants, but at the same time they have to go somewhere,” explained Dr. Brian Fisher, curator of entomology at the California Academy of Sciences.
“They’re looking for a proper nesting spot that’s humid and has access to water, so they’ll be coming inside the house,” he said.
Argentine ants, an invasive species, have been competing with native ants in the western United States over the last 50 years and winning.
According to Fisher, they’ve established a super colony between Oregon and Mexico.
But the ants aren’t harmful. “There are no diseases transmitted by ants, so they’re actually safe to have running across the kitchen table, people are just annoyed by them,” he said.
Fisher recommends not spraying or killing ants if they get into your home, but trying to deter them by sealing cracks instead.