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Ants Take Over NYC Apartments

By: Jessica Wang

This summer, cockroaches, who once dominated NYC apartments, have been eclipsed by ants.

Recently, scientists have identified the ant as lasius emarginatus, a type of ant from Europe. Studies suggest that it made its way into NYC by boat. The ant first appeared in New York in 2011, but the ant did not cause an outbreak until recently.

Locals call this ant “the ManhattAnt.”

Before, ants were never a problem in New York homes. Melissa Russel Paige lived in the same apartment in Brooklyn for almost a decade, and she has “never saw an ant once.”

“They just showed up one day,” Melissa told the New York Times.

Ever since that fateful day, ants can be found on as high as floor 25. They were everywhere: on the elevators, on the windowsills, and some even marched across the living room. Ant traps were filled with the corpses of ants, one resident reported.

Whilst most ants look for human food, the ManhattAnt is not attracted to our food crumbs. Instead, their diet mostly consists of other insects and honeydew, a sap-like liquid secreted by aphids and other insects.

On the bright side, the ManhattAnt is not invincible to ant poisons or ant baits, which are reasonable solutions if you want to eliminate these pesky creatures from your homes.

Yet, another pest is on the rise alongside the MahattAnts. Jesse Scavella of Evergreen Pest Controls says that “the rodent population has increased drastically. I’ve seen a big influx in rats.”

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