Ants!

sue36April 29, 2008

I have little, tiny ants and can't get rid of them. I moved the cat's food dish so they are on tile, not wood (and put the bowls in water so they couldn't get in). I sprayed under the slider and a baseboard, two places they seemed to be getting in. Now today they are everywhere again and I can't figure out where they are coming from. I have ant cups down, they don't seem to be doing anything. I keep sucking them up with a dustbuster, but I can't do this forever. I don't want to use the spray everywhere because we have a 7 mo cat who (of course!) walks barefoot and then licks his feet. We don't live in a place where people typically have to spray for bugs (we are in Maine).

Any ideas? Thanks.

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arizonarose

We had those little ants that like sweet stuff last year. I think they were coming from under the concrete slab of the house. We sprayed with home defense all around the cabinets and baseboards a couple times and got rid of them.

We have a small dog but it says you can use it around animals and it never bothered him. Now we spray the inside and outside perimeter of the house every few months and haven't had any bug problems.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2008 at 9:35PM
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taragirl

I had ants in my kitchen once. I got down on my knees and patiently tracked them to their entry site. Then I sealed it with silicone caulk. (That stuff comes in handy for a lot of situations!)

That was years ago, and I haven't had ants since.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2008 at 10:43PM
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jobird

Typically,ant cups use boric acid/sodium tetraborate(borax) and it takes a couple of days for the ants to disappear. However,they eventually will come back if you don't stop their access point.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2008 at 12:13AM
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librarynut

We have had this same problem and have tried everything. I finally found the solution. Use Terro. I found it at our local drug store in a bright orange box. The ants love it and they will feast on it for about 24-48 hours. They take the poison back to their nest and it completly gets rid of the problem. The only difficult thing about using this product is the temptation to squash the ants. You have to let them eat the poison and take it back to their nest.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2008 at 5:51AM
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jobird

The main ingredient in Terro is sodium tetraborate (Borax.) See the product ingredient in the picture below.

You can also buy Boric acid (also Borax)at your local drug store,hardware,etc. Mix some sugar,water and Boric acid (Borax) powder to make an inexpensive, generally safe to use ant control product.

"However, it [Boric acid]is generally considered to be not much more toxic than table salt"

Reference 1

"As a general household insecticide Boric Acid is safe enough to use around children, and has been used in ointments and salves for diaper rash on babies. It is also used, in a very dilute solution, as an eyewash."

Reference 2

"Boric acid is a low-toxicity mineral with insecticidal, fungicidal, and herbicidal properties. It does not evaporate into the air and poses no danger to the human health and the environment."

Reference 3

Here is a link that might be useful: Terro Liquid Ant Killer

    Bookmark   April 30, 2008 at 10:01AM
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taragirl

But if the ants eat it and then are eaten by lizards or birds or other wildlife, could it harm the wildlife?

I once heard that something can be labeled "non-toxic" if, when given to, say, 100 worms or mice, etc., fewer than 50 are dead within 24 hours. Doesn't matter if the rest die 12 hours after the experiment ends. I'm not sure my info is accurate, but I'm always suspicious of phrases like "safe for pets, environment, etc."

Anyhow, I always try to fix the cause of an "infestation" before resorting to poisoning the current batch of "infestors." (Is that a word?)

    Bookmark   April 30, 2008 at 1:22PM
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jobird

Yes,a person should find out where the "infestors" are getting in and block their access. In the mean time,Boric acid (Borax) is a much better,IMHO,immediate treatment (less toxic and insects do not develop resistance to it) than other insecticides.

FYI,Boric acid (Borax) only kills insects,which,the last time I checked does not include lizards,birds or other wildlife.

"Insects are in the subphylum Tracheata because they breathe through a trachaea.

"Boric acid fact sheet - PDF format "

Here is a link that might be useful: Insect structure and function.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2008 at 3:40PM
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reeree_natural

I once heard or read some where (but never tried it) to use corn meal. the 'queen' will take it to feed her 'tribe' they can not digest it and it will kill them. It's safe, and will not poison or harm your cat.
Ree

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 7:10AM
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sue36

Thanks for all the advice. We still have the ants. I sprayed around the baseboard near the cat's food and they never came back to that area. But two days ago they were all over the floors and counters in the kitchen. They seem to be coming up behind the granite counters and from under the cabinets. No way to stop them from coming in. It's a wood framed house, they could get in anywhere. I'm going to try one of the solutions above.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 2:38AM
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annova914

It sounds as though you have a full blown ant infestation in your walls and outside. I endured our ant problem for several years and finally got on a quarterly spraying program (we have a cat--no problems) with a pest control company (they also do our annual termite check). They spray around the perimeter of the house and then along the baseboards on all 3 floors (it's helping us with our silverfish and spider cricket infestations as well, thank goodness!).You might want to purchase Ant Spikes (at Kmart). One of my neighbors uses them and swears they work. You push the spikes into the ground all around your house.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 7:08PM
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michelle_phxaz

I agree with the use of Terro. We had a bad ant problem, and within one week they were totally gone.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 8:13PM
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