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Bugs and your house

Posted by Rona Fischman May 25, 2012 01:43 PM

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Recently, a married couple that I am working with disagreed about whether a peach tree on the property was a good thing or a bad thing. Why would a peach tree be a bad thing? You may ask; I did. I found out that my client (she) had a phobia about worms. If a peach tree is not tended carefully, it will attract worms. He liked peaches and promised to tend it. Since the tree could be cut down if the problem occurred, the presence of the tree was not a deterrent to them making an offer. Are you grossed out by worms enough to cut down a fruit tree?

Little ants, indoors, are looking for your food or looking for water. It is common to find ants in a bathroom or laundry room as well as in the kitchen. A single ant may be seen scouting for her nest, but ants live in colonies, so if the scout likes your kitchen, her whole family is invited to join her. Some people are phobic about little ants. Infestation from little ants can be solved by using either baits or gels. If you use both, use the gel where they are coming in and the baits near where they are going. Get rid of damp areas they are attracted to, if you can. Seal up where they are coming in, if you can find it.

In my real estate experience, it is the bigger ants that frequently freak people out. Big ants can be carpenter ants. They come inside during the late winter and spring. Outside, you may see sawdust that a human didn’t create; that could be from the carpenter ants digging a nest in the wood of your house or other damp wood. They eat your food, but they nest in your wood. Therefore, take them seriously. You may need the help of an exterminator to treat your house.

There are also big black ants that don’t nest in wood. You find them under rocks, in cracks and other dark places in the woods. They do come in the house, too. I recommend that you call an exterminator for any big ant. You don’t want them there and you want to be certain that they are not carpenter ants.

The instructions for preventing all ants is the same. Pestworld writes:

• Eliminate standing water. Pests, such as ants, mosquitoes and termites, are attracted to moisture.
• Keep tree branches and other plants cut back from the house. Sometimes pests use these branches to get into your home.
• Make sure that there are no cracks or little openings around the bottom of your house. Sometimes pests use these to get into your home.
• Make sure that firewood and building materials are not stored next to your home. Pests like to build nests in stacks of wood.

Happy Memorial Day. I hope there are no ants at your picnic.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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