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Wet Spring Leads To A Boom In Carpenter Ants

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- This summer, many Minnesota homeowners are dealing with some unwanted guests. Pest control experts are seeing a boom in carpenter ants due to the wet spring.

We've all seen the old cartoons featuring a hard working ants. On TV, ants are entertaining. In real life, it's no laughing matter.

Left unchecked, carpenter ants can cause extensive damage to the home.

"It's a little bit crazy. We've seen a lot coming in, so, way more than normal, for sure," said Mark Settergren, of Settergren's Ace Hardware.

At Settergren Ace Hardware, this season's most popular product is anything that can kill an ant.

"A much longer season than we've had for ant control, but, it's just the moisture out there," Settergren said.

But Sandy Pramann knows there are times when do-it-yourself, just won't do.

"I saw the ants climbing up and down here," she said, as she pointed to the outside of her home. "There's so many of them, when they invade, you see hoards of them."

Unable to rid her home of the destructive insect, she called the professionals.

"It just makes you feel grossed out," she said.

Mike Misk with Rainbow Pest Experts said he's seen a 20 percent spike in carpenter ant calls this year. The rain in June is making for a busy July.

"Once water hits the wood or anything else, it just really attracts them. You have moisture you get carpenter ants," said Justin Kraig, of Rainbow Pest Experts.

Rainbow Pest Experts uses a special chemical to kill the ants. The bugs crawl over the treatment and spread it through the colony, eventually destroying all the ants.

There are also preventative steps that homeowners can take to keep the creepy crawly insects away.

Kraig recommends removing old stumps in your yard and keeping firewood at least 15 feet from the house and off the ground.

Basically, remove the temptation.

"Get rid of any rotted wood you know of would help," Kraig said.

Carpenter ants aren't just found near the home, they can also travel 300 feet away from the colony.

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