The ants are winning . . .

kitchencrazychrisMarch 24, 2006

Oh man, I almost hate to post anything with the widget thread alive and well, but here goes . . . .

My kitchen is being inundated by ants, and they're really starting to pi** me off !! They seem to come from NOWHERE, and are everywhere !!! I actually just stare at a space -- under the sink, the wall, whatever, and it's like the little buggers just appear, with no trail from whence they're coming !!! Yesterday saw a few on the outside of the dishwasher -- opened the top drawer and they were EVERYWHERE -- ran the load really fast, re-ran the load, and they were still there !!!! (and I might add, there was no food on the dishes since I pretty much rinse everything really well if I'm not going to be running the DW right away ) Today, under the sink, the other day, coming out a small area by the built-in micro. There is not one speck of food around for them to lust after -- the rains are through, so they're not coming in from the rain, or whatever stupid thing they do.

Anyway, point of post -- does anyone have any natural tips on how to deal with these things??? I hate to use sprays, which DH LOVES to use -- This morning he said he'll cut down any tree branches close to the house -

the thought makes me cringe -- Clark Griswold at his best !! I may have to resort to calling some pest control, but I hate the thought of all kinds of awful stuff being sprayed into our walls !!!! This is all starting to make me be a little bit edgy and testy !! There's got to be some kind of perfect widget for this !!



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I got rid of my ants last spring by placing Ant Traps, round tins, you punch holes in them; they crawl in to get the poison, and bring it back to the nest ( Ithink that's what happens) it worked for me within a few days. I got at least 3 dozen tins, put them everywhere and replaced them once. I could not trace my source of ants either.

Try posting on home disasters also.
good luck; it's annoying, I know....

    Bookmark   March 24, 2006 at 11:34AM
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We constantly battle the Argentine Ants. They don't seem to care about sugar or food per se, but they swarm over weird stuff... sometimes dirty laundry, sometimes a tiny piece of leftover avocado on a plate in the sink.

What I've found that works, is put the ant bait traps (look for ones that have Borax as the poison... Terro is one) anywhere outside that could be the source where they're getting in the house. If they're really bad, put one inside. The tough part is you have to let them get to the bait, and take it back to their nest so they'll give it to the queen. It's the only way to destroy the source. If you just use ant spray, it will disperse the ants and since these nests can have multiple queens, you'll just make matters worse.

Now... if you just have one or two scouts coming in. Spray their entire trail with windex. It gets rid of the scent so others won't follow.

Can you tell I've been battling this for a while? I've tried so many things, researched on the internet, and this method is the only thing that seems to keep things in check. If you regularly replace the outside traps, eventually you will diminish the population.


    Bookmark   March 24, 2006 at 11:52AM
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Oh, that's the worst, isn't it? I'm actually dreading the warmer weather. They come in through the slider and march on over across the aisleway, then up the cabinet, then along the cabinets in front of the cooktop just under the granite lip. Then, they make their gross little way into the pull-out trashcan. It's the absolute most horrifying way to wake up when you go to put the old coffee grinds in the trash first thing in the morning, and thousands of little ants great you when you open the trash! Last year, I bought an ant spray and sprayed it around the perimeter of my house outside. Repeated once every couple weeks. It really helped. The little ant traps didn't work so well. Many nights, we'd just put the trash out on the deck and bring it back in the next morning. That also helped.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2006 at 2:50PM
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We have the tiny Argentines too. But it's the bigger ones that get into the DW. For the life of me I can't understand how. If the water doesn't come out of the DW, how can the ants get in? Argentines are really really hard to get rid of - I think they like wet weather because I haven't seen them around this year and it has been very dry.

Speaking of horrifying, a swarm of winged elongated twig ants on the window in the evening in the rainy season. Freaky!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2006 at 3:55PM
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Hey Girls,
Thanks, all of you, for your input and shared horror stories !!! I was gone for a few hours today and was almost afraid to walk in the house to see what kind of partying the little buggers had been up to while I was gone !!!!! I got some of the little ant traps, so will set those out pronto !! I need to get something going here before DH (aka Clark Griswold ) sets out with the power saw chopping off all the branches that he's just sure are bringing in the ants !! I can't convince him they're a bit more of a ground dweller !!! Ah, anyway,
lunch is over, so now it's bait time !!! Thanks again for your quick responses !!! I knew I could count on the Forum folks !!


    Bookmark   March 24, 2006 at 4:58PM
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What you need is the "ANT Widget"!

Seriously, I grew up with these swarming our house: We never won, but we did fight a mighty battle. Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2006 at 5:50PM
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I'd never seen them until we moved out west. One thing that's always popular with the kids is the smell the ants make when you crush them...YUCK...

Terro is what works best for us. We tried kinder things, like windex and cinnamon. Worked for a while. Terro works for a longer while. Doesn't get entirely rid of them, though.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2006 at 8:44PM
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Chris, I don't know what part of the country you are in but are they little ants or big black ants (carpenter)?

With carpetner ants you have to find the nest/queen. We tried everything (including a one year contract with a pest control company to no avail). When we first moved in we had a tree removed because it was being eaten from the inside by them. We still would get them in the spring and then we did a bathroom remodel and found the nest/queen behind the wall. Haven't seen them since.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2006 at 9:01PM
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Grants kills ants - ant traps for OUTSIDE if you can find them. Diamentaous earth OUTSIDE. Here they love the top of the dishwasher and particularly the dimmer for the over the sink lights. So charming to fish out a few hundred thousand of their little corpses after they've killed the dimmer switch again.

I had great sucess with formula 409 inside. Kills ants on contact. Made me stop using it as a cleaning product tho. Things that make you go hmmm.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2006 at 9:14PM
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After having our home tented for termites we had a HUGE problem with ants (they were literally pouring out of the area above our OTR microwave). It seems that ants like to eat termites (and whatever is left of them). We had to wait until a pest control company could come out and treat the ants professionally and they suggested using regular Windex to kill them, just spray it on and wipe them up. It worked like a dream! Another suggestion is to use Ajax or Comet (the powdered cleanser type) and sprinkle it around the foundation of your home and/or inside your cabinets, etc. Personally, I like the Windex best and will never be without it for just that reason. Good luck!!!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2006 at 11:35PM
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Thanks again to all who posted !!!
Latest report -- I put out a bunch of the little ant kill packets -- and it has helped some. Still a straggler ant or ten in the dishwasher, but better than it was !!

I need to get some outside ant stakes or whatever today --

Maggie, not sure what kind of ants they are -- small black, but plentiful and so annoying -- We're in So. Cal -

Bmorepanic -- interesting about the 409 -- yeah, it really does make you think -- !! I've pretty much stopped using any traditional cleaning products just because I think -- Can't be good for us !!!!!

Windex, though -- I still use that, and I think I've just found another use for it !!! Thanks to those who suggested it !!! And the Comet idea -- will have to try that --

So, thanks to everyone for all the tips !! I appreciate you all !!!!


    Bookmark   March 26, 2006 at 10:14AM
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I had a terrible problem with ants - including in the dishwasher like you, ICK!!!! I used these, got them from the hardware store. I put a few on the counter and then put the same type of bait outside, only those were plastic instead of metal. *NOTE - if you have a dog that likes to chew "stuff", do not put these where the dog can get to them!.

Anyway, they worked GREAT!!!! And much less expensive than the $200.00 I was quoted from an exterminator...

    Bookmark   March 26, 2006 at 12:13PM
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One way you can tell what they are is by squishing one. Sugar ants will smell *really* unique, not in a good way.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2006 at 2:34PM
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we'd thought we were winning the battle against the ants... but they are back tonight.. ugh. Now, I'm wondering about my current thinking about honed AB granite for the new counters... will I see them all on a black background?? yucky...

    Bookmark   March 26, 2006 at 11:56PM
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We're also in So CA and had an awful time about 6 years ago. They were Argentine ants and just relentless! We had an exterminator service come and spray outside. They also did inside once (I hated to do it) but still no relief. Finally it was a combo of things that worked. We used the ant traps on the counter in a puddle of sweet Coffeemate. That worked as bait and the ants were drawn to it. Then into the trap where they carried the poison back to the queen. The exterminators finally drilled tiny holes into the walls in the areas where they had been seen and put boric acid (its a powder) into the walls. That did the trick. From that point on we had the exterminators at least every other month spraying outside only which cut down the ant population and we've never been invaded since! Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2006 at 2:02AM
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Today . . . (knock on wood !!!), the ants aren't winning, but then we're due for a big rain, so I'm sure they'll be coming back in droves !!!
Weed, thanks for the tip on Tat - will make a HD run and pick some up -- Figure I'll try everything mentioned here -

Flyleft -- I squished the ants, and no smell -- so guess they're just run-of-the-mill annoying no-use ants !! (Not that they would be useful if they had an odor !!)

Lisa, interesting that you mentioned granite !! Our granite is Vyara, and parts of it has black/blue small specks that really do keep the ants camouflaged sometimes.
Just yukky !!! However, I do love my granite, so price to pay, I guess !!!

Compumom, I'm beginning to think that we will have to resort to an exterminator, much as I hate to, because I'm thinking they just have to be hanging out in our walls !!
They were coming out of the granite edges, so obviously are between the granite and plywood somehow -- and I haven't a CLUE how they get into the dishwasher !! THAT is what's really irritating me !!!!!!

OH -- WELL !!! -- I could certainly have worse things to deal with, so guess I should keep this all in perspective !
They really do tend to get on that last nerve, however !!!

Thanks again, everyone, for your tips !!!


    Bookmark   March 28, 2006 at 10:15AM
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I appreciate all the info to try killing the ants. I have tried everything--borax, grits & jam, cat food w/borax, etc. My ants come flooding out of the water faucet when I turn it on. How can they get in the water faucet? I hope someone will help me retrieve my bath tub & shower!Thanks for any help you can give me.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 11:39AM
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We have had an ant problem every couple of years, and it seemed like nothing had a big impact. The ants would eventually find a better place, I guess. THEN, a couple of years ago, the problem was particularly bad. I went to Home Depot to look for something beyond the normal ant stuff. I found something with the word "Combat" in it. The directions stated that the ants would be marching two by two taking it back to the nest. They did. The ants went away. A year later I had a problem again. Same story . . same result. I put the stuff out at night. No more ants in the morning. it has to be nasty so I was very careful with regards to my grandchildren. Next time I have ants, Combat.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2009 at 12:35AM
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