On-Air Now
On-Air Now
Listen Live

The Inside Outside Guys: When Pests are Bugging You

From The Detroit News | By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein

DETROIT, May 30, 2024 ~ We keep our place up north conditioned year-round so we can visit it in June or January.

On a recent trip to the lake, we entered the house to find tiny ants all over a portion of the kitchen countertop.

Further investigation uncovered a trail of ants, some coming, some going, that led down the base cabinets, from the kitchen floor, through the great room and out a small gap in the corner baseboard.


June 1, 2024 ~ Chuck “The Inside Guy” Breidenstein and Ken “The Outside Guy” Calverly offer the knowledge and resources you need to make the home of your dreams a reality.


At this point the words of J.B. Hines from Rove Pest Control in Novi echoed in my head: “If you kill the ants you see, you are likely leaving an entire colony to rediscover the home at a later date.”

I didn’t want to kill a few hundred of the critters knowing there might be another thousand, or even million, in a nearby colony to invade the house after we left.

Yes, ant colonies can number to a million inhabitants in what is known as a super colony.

I had failed to take earlier great advice, which was to create exterior perimeter protection by spraying an insecticide on the surrounding grade and up on the exposed foundation.

In homes with basements, the pests can also enter through the crack between the foundation wall and basement floor, so caulking that gap can help keep them away.

The current dilemma was to find a product that would resolve the ongoing invasion and, hopefully, destroy the colony as well.

We bought ant traps and used them as directed, only to find the ants would walk behind, over and around the traps.

I swear a few of them looked up and smiled as they moved.

We purchased sticky traps that are supposed to attract the creatures, then capture them with an adhesive surface. But, once again, the six-legged monsters simply walked behind and around the placement.

It seems these tiny critters, perhaps 3/16ths of an inch long, had found a food and water source in the house and were not to be dissuaded.

They establish a trail to the goodies by laying down pheromones that act as a pathway not only for more ants to come into the home, but for others to return to the nest with food and information regarding the discovery.

We finally obtained a Terro product that looks like sugar water in a clear, rectangular, plastic housing.

You snip off the end of the plastic and place the trap in the pheromone trail. It is a type of bait trap that Hines would like because the ants devour the liquid and take it back to the colony where it is shared with others.

The poison in the product is relatively slow working, giving the creatures time to get back to the nest and redistribute it.

We found the ants were immediately and, almost disgustingly, attracted to the substance.

They quickly lined up like a dairy herd at milking stanchions.

Within 24 hours of placement, these traps had reduced the traffic from thousands of insects to a couple of intoxicated strays wandering the floor.

The manufacturer suggested placements that ensured pets and small children could not access the material, and disposal in a similar and safe fashion.

We were also happy that we didn’t have to use any kind of aerosol inside the home.

Another pest product we have had great luck with is Zevo, a plug-in device that uses blue and UV light to attract gnats and flies to a replaceable sticky cartridge mounted out of sight on the back of the device.

A lot of such gnats actually breed and nest in sink drains above the garbage disposal, so keeping that area clean and rinsed may ward off an infestation as we begin to bring fresh fruits and vegetables into the home.

The weather outside has been perfect for hatching and growing everything from those pesky ants to mosquitos, spiders, ticks and more.

Make certain you and your home are protected and use one of the professionals you can find every day at InsideOutsideGuys.com.


For more advice, listen to “The Inside Outside Guys” every Saturday and Sunday on 760 WJR from 10 a.m. to noon or contact them at InsideOutsideGuys.com.