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Yes, ants such as you describe are bad, and you need to get rid of them. I cannot believe no one has told you this!

They're coming into the house and eating some chunk of food behind the sofa. What makes you think they will continue to be so well-behaved? And don't think that for a moment just because something is in a sealed box or cannister or the refrigerator that they can't get into it. They will at least try. How will you like it if each time you grab a box of cereal out of the pantry it is covered with ants trying to get into it?

Someone said ants are good because they provide a natural enemy to fire ants. True, but I don't think I'd find the consequences of not killing the ants acceptable.

Stop spraying. You're only killing the ones you spray at the moment, and you're just spreading poison around the house. Run down to the hardware store and buy some "Terro" ant poison. This is a sticky liquid that they eat. It will solve the problem in a day or two. Put the Terro out on a very thick piece of paper (I tape a piece of chipboard to the floor) in their little path. Make sure the cats can't get to it--you may have to put it under the sofa, or put it down before you go to bed and lock the cats in the bedroom with you, and take up the poison the first thing in the morning. Terro is also a good glue, so clean the rim of the Terro container carefully before you put the lid back on. And use gloves.

there are giant ant hills there

Sounds like it could be fire ants. You'd better find out. If it is, treat the mounds with Amdro. Stop spraying. Spraying is worthless against ants. Spray wasps, bait ants. Call your county extension agent. You don't need a professional exterminator unless you are just too scared to put the bait out. It has to be sprinkled on their mounds.

- tmeri
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