Anti Ant Effort in Effect at Mayfield


Leftover lunch food may attract more ants. Photo courtesy of the Mayfield Crier.

Students returning to Mayfield this fall were greeted by balloons, sweet treats, hugs and more. Some found that the smallest ones present were noticeable in a big way: ants were almost everywhere – from the commons, to the senior lounge and the music room. Although they were not capable of seriously harming anyone, many felt the inconvenience of having to worry about where to put your backpack in case ants were lurking nearby.

They are annoying, but they are also fascinating. According to National Geographic ants are the longest living insects and the strongest creatures of their size, but it may be hard to appreciate that when they are trying to infiltrate your lunch. 

American Pest says ants are common in schools because of students and teachers leaving food and trash behind, and doors that are left open for ventilation. They also explain that old buildings, like Mayfield, are more common to have ant problems because they could have cracks and gaps that are easy for ants to enter. 

The director of facilities, Bill Lewis, who has been working on the ant issue, explained that the ants are coming inside to get food and water during the heatwave. 

We have been using a spray made with natural ingredients, primarily peppermint oil,” to fix the problem, Lewis said. He said they have also had Dewey Pest Control come to Mayfield to spray the outside of the building to keep the ants from coming inside in the first place. 

 “The biggest thing that will help in controlling the ants is for everyone to be careful with the food they are eating and to seal any uneaten food in a ziplock bag or tupperware type container,” Lewis advised. “It is also important to do the same outside so they have to look elsewhere for food.”

Killing ants with spray can sometimes be very helpful, but there is a catch. Peach Tree Pest Control says that when ants die, they release pheromones, or chemicals that animals release, to which ants will be attracted. Sometimes putting out poison for the ants is the only way to really get rid of them, but that depends on if they eat it or decide to store it. Sometimes you may have to wait it out until the weather gets cooler.