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Homes suffer ant invasion.

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Residents across the kingdom are dealing with an invasion of ants targeting their homes in search of food after their favourite date delicacy has ripened and fallen off the trees.As this summer draws to a close, pest control companies in Bahrain have been inundated with calls about ant infestations, the most common variety being the pharaoh ant (also known as the sugar ant). The ants march from their nests in date trees and make for any crack or opening in villas and apartments.Verminex Pest Control Company service manager, Sranky Cardozo, said: "For the last two weeks we have had lots of calls about ants from all over Bahrain and most of them have been sugar ants."The sudden infestation is caused by the recent change in the climate and humidity levels. There are always ant and cockroach problems in the summer and winter is mostly fly season."According to Verminex Pest Control Company the 2mm-long pharaoh ant is yellow or light brown, almost transparent and is notorious for being a major indoor nuisance.As a result of the unwelcome visitors, ant poison, bug bombs and sprays have been flying off the shelves of supermarkets and cold stores across the island, although apparently having little affect."Some people have called and said they had tried to control the infestations themselves but it hasn't worked, that's when we come in with stronger chemicals to tackle the problem," explained Mr Cardozo."These ants are found predominately in areas that have date trees, which is an ideal place for them to build their nests."Community websites have seen several members posting their concerns with some even suggesting home remedies to help others rid their homes of the creepy crawlies.Ana Ngo Santiago said: "Try pure peppermint oil. Dilute it with water and spray. Ants hate the smell of peppermint oil and won't cross any paths with that scent. You may have to do this on a regular basis though to keep those ants at bay."Louise Wrankmore replied with: "A great idea but these tiny little guys are hardcore warrior ants that just won't disappear!"The pharaoh ant, whose origins are unknown, has now been introduced to virtually every area of the world, including Europe, the Americas, Australasia and Southeast Asia. This species is polygynous, meaning each colony contains many queens, leading to unique caste interactions and colony dynamics. The queen can lay hundreds of eggs in her lifetime. Most lay 10 to 12 eggs per batch in the early days of egg production and only four to seven eggs per batch later. At 27 degrees and 80 per cent relative humidity, eggs hatch in five to seven days.

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Publication:Gulf Weekly
Date:Oct 1, 2014
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