TORONTO – It’s sounds like it could be the premise of a bad horror movie – a family in Newmarket is fending off colonies of European fire ants that have invaded their back yard from nearby public property.
Paula Langille says she and her husband are afraid to go outside.
“We’re scared of being prisoners in our house,” she said. “It’s almost like living in a little hole. We can’t have guests over. We can’t have people over with kids.”
Their home on Bartholomew Drive backs on to a stormwater management pond where, the family believes, the ants have multiple nests.
Over the last few years Langille says the insects have migrated toward their home and are now making their way through the lawn and up the walls.
“We’ve tried all the different retail products that are available,” Glen Langille said. “Whether it be some in the liquid sprays, we’ve tried the solids where you punch little holes and you place them around the property.”
He’s even tried a mixture of boric acid and honey with the hope of poisoning them.
“The idea is they’ll take that mix back to the nest and hopefully kill the queen,” he said.
Other neighbours on the same street say they’ve experienced similar problems with the ants on their properties.
The Langilles have made efforts to contact officials with the municipality since last summer.
“First, my husband called and he was passed from department to department,” Paula said. “He was told, ‘well it’s in your backyard, we can’t do anything.'”
Bob Shelton, the Chief Administrative Officer for the Town of Newmarket said if it does involves public land, the matter will be investigated.
“My understanding is that our Director of Public Works has made arrangements to have an expert firm come up from the city of Toronto,” he said.
Officials will be looking into previous problems in Richmond Hill and Markham for reference as well.
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