July 30, 2022

We have become increasingly dissatisfied with the pest service who has been treating our house.  They primarily spray for insects around the outside of the foundation and put granules in the yard to kill the grubs and worms which proliferate and attract the moles.  They last sprayed in May, and I mentioned when Melissa later went to work on the front bed, she was attacked by pavement ants (Tetramorium caespitum) that had gathered underneath one of her agave’s.  Early summer we were still having rain and the ants had also entered inside and were on the kitchen bar.  I had gone out and re-treated the front bed and sidewalk with both granules and spray and we put ant traps in several locations along the bar.  I do not know if this worked or whether the rains stopped, and the ants no longer had incentive to come inside.  Although they were no longer inside, we continued to have trails along the sidewalk and bed.  That was when Melissa had enough and told me to cancel the service. 

When I looked online, I found ant infestations are among the most difficult to eradicate.  There are four common species of ants in our state.  The banded sugar ant (Camponotus consobrinus), also known as the sugar ant, refers to the ant’s liking for sugar and sweet food, as well as the distinctive orange-brown band that wraps around its gaster (posterior).  They are often found in the kitchen looking for something sweet to eat and cause problems when they get into food and contaminate it.  Odorous house ants (Tapinoma sessile) are a species also called the odorous house ant, sugar ant, stink ant, and coconut ant.  This species can be brown or black and are known by the rotten coconut smell they emit.  Fire ants (Pogonomyrmex barbatus) refer to several species of ants in the genus Solenopsis.  These little red ants are aggressive and bite in unison, causing severe pain and anaphylaxis in people allergic to their bites.  Fire ant nests look like little mounds of sand in the grass, and they expand rapidly.  Carpenter ants (Camponotus spp.) are large (0.3 to 1 in or 8 to 25 mm) ants indigenous to many forested parts of the world.  They build nests inside (preferably) dead, damp wood and may be attracted to your property when there are wood piles or wet firewood stacked in the yard.  The site indicated ants are almost impossible to get rid of without turning to a pest control service.

Like most pest services, it is easier to sign up than to cancel.  After Melissa had asked me to cancel, I had gotten busy with other projects and forgot about the service.  Then I received a text this week saying I was scheduled for the next treatment.  I called and canceled and was told a supervisor would call back to see why I was dissatisfied.  Several days later I got a call and explained the reason we used the service was to get rid of the ants and moles that we had in the yard, and the service was doing neither.  I agreed to give them one more chance to try and eliminate the ants (the mole was not their problem).  They would complete a thorough service, check back in seven days, and if it had not been effective, they would respray.  If I was not happy, I could still cancel.  We will see next week.

𝗧HOUGHTS:  Regardless of what happens with the ants I admit the technician was more diligent than they have been in the past.  When I told him of the problem, he took time to spray the yard as well as scatter the granules.  I asked him to spray the interior porch and the entryways, and he placed gel on all the probable traffic areas.  I was guaranteed these were all plant based substances that would not harm our succulents or Zena.  The final deterrent was to place glue traps near entryways.  One failing I noticed throughout out the pandemic was a lack of customer service.  I seemed we were all so stressed out that taking care of the needs of other was not high on the list.  This technician was an exception.  Great service should be the goal for all.  Act for all. Change is coming and it starts with you.

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