Swarms of ants surface due to California drought

SAN MATEO, Calif. (KGO) -- They're thirsty, searching for water. And they're hungry, looking for food. We're talking about an invasion of ants. Experts say the insects are another casualty of the California drought.

Marvel's "Ant-Man" may be fiction. But the ant invasion is not.

This time it's not only the native species, but the more aggressive Argentine ants that are bugging the Bay Area.

"They'll fearlessly come into the dishwasher, the refrigerator, they'll come into the sink, the bathroom," said Rudy Melendez with Planet Orange Pest Control Co.

They're all looking for water. Their eggs, which would be destroyed over a wet winter, never were. So the ant population has exploded.

"We were like wondering why are we getting so many ants," said one customer at Hassett Ace Hardware store in San Mateo.

The store just can't keep enough ant sticks, traps, and sprays on the shelves.

"They're invading houses left and right so our sales have skyrocketed pretty much," said store employee Robert Somers.

If the ants are still winning the war, you can call pest control experts. Planet Orange, for instance, attacks the perimeter of your house, spraying plant-based oils to kill them. And there are always home remedies.

"What I've been doing is vacuuming around the window sills," said San Mateo resident Sandy Torres. "Wiping them down with just an antibacterial."

And keep your kitchen counters clean. Spray ant trails with glass cleaners like Windex. Place your pet's food bowl in a container with soapy water like a moat.

To learn how much water your city is required to cut back, click here. For water rebate information from Bay Area water suppliers, click here. And click here for tips on how to conserve water. To learn more about how to report water wasters #WhereYouLive, click here.

For full coverage on the drought, click here.
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