Brutal Spokane winter leads to ant infestations - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Brutal Spokane winter leads to ant infestations

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

For many of us, there's nothing creepier than a bug infestation in our homes. These problems start small, and can quickly spiral out of control. Help Me Hayley has received requests from some of you to learn the best ways to protect yourself, and your property, as we head into our long awaited spring.

Hayley contacted local exterminators to see what's causing the most issues this year. She learned fleas, ticks and carpenter ants are creating the biggest headaches right now in our region. We could see the highest numbers in several years because of our especially brutal winter.

Exterminators with Pointe Pest Control said carpenter ants have their phones ringing off the hook. They said the most common form of carpenter ants might not look as intimidating as other bugs, but can cause major problems.

Raymond Vanderlouw with Pointe Pest Control said these pests don't feed on the wood around your home, but rather create nests in it. He referred to them as "structural pests" that will not go away on their own.

"Carpenter ants tend to attack water damaged wood, wherever you see water damaged wood, the potential exists," he said. "They nest in wood, they don't feed on wood."

And that's what he said can lead to damage on your property. He said if you have a problem at your place, odds are you'll see more and more of the bug near your ceiling at all hours.

"In the springtime, they are most active, primarily at night, but even during the daytime we are starting to get some activity," Vanderlouw said.

Exterminators said if you notice ants with wings, that's when an infestation is more serious and has likely been going on for a minimum of three years. They add while bites to you or your family are unlikely, they are possible.

They best things you can do to decrease your likelihood of an issues are:

  • -Eliminate wood to ground contact 
  • -Push vegetation away from home 
  • -Pick up leaves, boards 
  • -Caulk unfinished trim 
  • -Ensure screens are secure
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