Small Bug, Big Problem

With the summer heat, Eichler owners cry for help as hordes of ants hit their homes
Fridays on the Homefront
“We’ve been fighting the ants for ten years now,” bemoans one Eichler homeowner. He’s tried ant stakes, ant traps, and spraying diazinon around the house perimeter—all to no avail. Now that the colonies are back, riled by summer’s heat, what are we going to do?
Fridays on the Homefront
Taking over the kitchen.
Fridays on the Homefront
Gathering in front of the house. Photo: Ruin Raider

Behold the ubiquitous ant, proletariat of the insect world. Disregard her at your own peril.

That is the message conveyed by several posts we picked up on the Eichler Network's Chatterbox Lounge forum and on Bay Area Nextdoor posts, where the worry of ant invasions has proven a popular topic.

"We've just moved into an Eichler in Foster City and we've been overrun by ants and spiders," pleaded one homeowner a while back. "It's so bad that I have to put the bowl of cat food in another bowl filled with water, like a moat. Any suggestions?"

If you read up on this diminutive creature, one depressing alternative might come to mind: surrender.

Ants thrive on every continent except Antarctica, and their combined biomass is equal to that of humans, exceeding that of all vertebrates combined. They live in interdependent colonies described as 'superorganisms,' because they operate as unified entities, devoted only to the survival of the colony. There are approximately a million ants for every human on earth.

"We've been fighting the ants for ten years now," bemoaned another contributor to the forum as he ticked off a series of approaches as "ineffective." Posting as Ajm, the homeowner said he tried ant stakes, ant traps, and spraying diazinon around the house perimeter, all to no avail.

As for sealing off all entry points in the hopes of stemming the tide of insects, Ajm wrote, "You can't. Eichlers are essentially transparent to insects. There's so many nooks and crannies they can get through, I finally just gave up on this approach."