Ant infestation arises along with warm weather

By Nolan DeGarlais, Hawkeye Staff

With the season of spring in full swing, ants have become a noticeable problem in many areas of the school. From the cafeteria to some classrooms, ants have proved to be an annoyance for many teachers and students in the past few weeks.

MTHS custodian Darren Sheehan said that the ants are a seasonal problem for some areas of the school.

“We see a similar situation every spring, the ants come up from under the cracks when it gets warmer and are drawn to the food that people drop on the floors,” Sheehan said.

Josh Setala
A group of ants patrolling the floor for food remains.

There have been attempts to get rid of the ants during the past school year, but it is likely that the ants have formed a colony underneath the school, which would explain the continuing ant problem. Removing this colony would be costly and could inconvenience much of the school, as the colony would have to be excavated to be removed.

While it may not be feasible to completely eliminate the ants, it is possible to reduce the severity of the ant problem here at MTHS. Leaving food on the ground, especially near cracks in the floor, as this will cause ants to come up from under the cracks and look for said food. The more food that is left on the ground, the more ants that will come up from under the ground and look for it.

Even though the ant problem at MTHS can seem to be quite large at times, Sheehan believes it is important to look at the problem in context of the other schools in the area, who are also dealing with ant problems.

Josh Setala
Two small clusters of ants on the floor of the Mountlake Terrace High School cafeteria.

“The custodial department here does a good job containing the ants, especially compared to other schools in our area where the ant problem is visibly much more widespread,” Sheehan said.

While the ant problem is mostly contained at the moment, it is always important that people remember to clean up after the messes that they may make. Ants would cease to be a problem at MTHS if they were completely cut off from their main food source, which is food that is left on the ground, mostly by students eating in areas such as the cafeteria. 

Josh Setala
A few of the ants in a crack in the floor.