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Ants plague tenants of Armoyan apartment

The Halifax Daily News - Saturday, November 24, 2001
By Cathy Nicoll


Helen Asprey is fed up with tiny ants that have marched from her kitchen cupboards into every nook and cranny of her Dartmouth apartment.

They're in her food, in her clothes, in her bed; in everything. She's stacked cereal boxes in the dining room in a desperate attempt to keep them ant-free.

"I wouldn't want to invite you in for a cup of tea and cookies because you'd be eating ants," Asprey, 70, said yesterday.

Her Lake Manor apartment building, overlooking Maynard Lake, is infested with pharaoh ants that originate in Africa.

"I know I'm tired of looking at them. I've been living here one year this month and they've tried everything and nothing seems to be doing any good," Asprey said.

"I'd rather go out in the backyard and pitch a tent. I told them I'll be moving out, but I want my furniture fumigated, too. I'm not taking them someplace else."

Halifax developer George Armoyan owns her 77-unit building and the one next door.

Property manager Wayne Julian said the ants first appeared in both buildings last year, and PCO Services-Orkin, a metro pest-control company, set bait that appeared to eradicate them.

But some have returned with the cold weather; PCO is trying again to get rid of them.

"Pharoah ants are warm-loving ants. So they go outside in the summer and return in the fall. I think we have it down to some isolated areas. I think we have it in hand," Julian said.

Paul Richardson, of PCO Services-Orkin, said tenants should not spray the ants with pesticides because that will just move them from one spot to another.

"The recommended process is a baiting program. It's either a protein bait or carbohydrates mixed with boric acid,” he said.

Pharaoh ants are tiny, about 1.5 millimetres long. They are light yellow to reddish brown in colour. But because they are so small, they appear almost translucent. Dave Holland, of Braemar Pest Control Services, said pharaoh ants can hide anywhere.

"They can be a real nuisance to get rid of. We've found them in sheets of paper and bindings of books. They'll hide in a telephone," he said.

Pharaoh ants may come into Canada hiding in souvenirs from hot holiday destinations, he said, adding a wooden statue from the Dominican Republic, with a crack in it, contained 1,000 ants.



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