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A surprising number of folks weighed in on the great ant debate after I published a letter from Glenn Kirby, of Hayward, who thought it cruel and unnecessary to put out bait to kill ant colonies. He spoke in praise of the ants and the environmental assist they give us in getting rid of things we don’t want.

I asked readers what they thought, and I got a lot of response, most of it in favor of letting the ants be. So here are some thoughts on ants and what to do about them.

DEAR JOAN: I’m chiming in regarding keeping ants in their place. I had the exact same reaction as Glenn Kirby to the suggested use of ant bait.

I, too, value the wonderful work these insects perform to help keep our environment in good working order.

I do what I can to protect them outside, and use safe methods to discourage them from coming inside my home. There is no need whatsoever to annihilate an entire colony just because we’re inconvenienced.

Love your column and also subscribe to your online website.

Sandi Lee, Hayward

DEAR SANDI: Thanks for your efforts to protect all creatures in your garden and thanks for subscribing to the Pet Pal Connection.

DEAR JOAN: I have a rather quirky solution to ant invasions at my house. I mop up the invaders, then dump a pound of sugar far away from the house. This draws the ants and keep them busy for a long time.

Judy Cummings, Los Altos Hills

DEAR JUDY: So you’re the one responsible for the increase in diabetes among ants. Just kidding. Distraction tactics can work miracles.

DEAR JOAN: There are many hundreds of species of ants in the world, but the most common species in Bay Area homes is the Argentine ant. This is an invasive species from South America, and forms supercolonies – the one in California extends from San Diego to San Francisco.

The Argentine ant has displaced many species of native ants, which in turn endangers other species who are dependent on those ants. As such, the Argentine ant is a real threat to California’s biodiversity, and any effort to protect them is, at best, misguided.

That said, I agree that using ant stakes is not a good idea. They do not work against Argentine ants, but they do pose a danger to any children and pets who may come across them.

Bob Zuparko, Bay Area

DEAR BOB: …read more

Source:: East Bay – Lifestyle

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Are ants friend or foe? Readers weigh in and offer tips for handling invasions

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