A Greensboro family traveling out of Charlotte Douglas International Airport says they returned to find their car infested by a colony of ants while it sat in the long term parking lot.
Caroline Tedder Hacker lodged a complaint about the ants on the Charlotte Douglas Facebook page Sunday afternoon, and the airport responded with a request for more details.
It happened in the airport’s Long Term Parking 2 lot, while the family was attending a relative’s wedding in St. Louis, Hacker told The Charlotte Observer.
“We came home from a 3-day trip today to find our car interior and engine infested with ants,” Hacker posted on Facebook. “Our 11 month old had them crawling on her on our ride back to Greensboro. It’s awful and will take days to hopefully be able to remedy.”
The colony had been in the car long enough to build “a nest” in the corner of the engine, near the windshield, she said.
Hacker said an airport worker at the scene told her ants had been an issue in the lot for at least three months.
Charlotte Douglas staff responded to her Facebook complaint with a request that Hacker contact them directly. She told the Charlotte Observer Tuesday she supplied her contact information, but the airport had yet to contact her.
Charlotte Douglas officials told the Observer the airport has apologized and offered to pay the cost of having the car cleaned and has waived the parking costs. It added that any customer who finds ants in their car should call airport staff to have them removed.
“Ants tend to surface...due to the weather and time of year,” said a statement issued by the airport. “The airport regularly monitors grassy areas and sets ant traps as needed to help alleviate the problem. Parking spaces that contain ant trails also are closed off to the public until the ants are removed.”
Reports of ants invading cars in Charlotte Douglas parking lots date back to at least 2014, reported USA Today.
In 2015, a family traveling for 10 days on vacation reported they returned to a “bizarre and gross” scene of thousands of ants in their vehicle, the newspaper said.