Ants

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Stebben84
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Ants

Postby Stebben84 » Fri May 31, 2013 6:21 pm

So I've lived in my house 4 years now and haven't had any insect issues until recently. I've been having small ants in my kitchen. I keep a pretty clean kitchen so I don't know why those fuckers are invading my space. The problem right now is minor. There are 2 or 3 at a given time. That's enough for me to know it's a problem.

I've known borax is a good solution, but I'm not sure what route to take. I've seen tutorials on borax bait traps which use sugar. Unfortunately they also attract more ants and that's not really what I want. I read that sprinkling some around the edges of counter tops and on the window sill could do the trick if the problem is minor. Borax is a wonderful product and having it around the house is key for many things.

Anyone else have suggestions or has this worked for you?

Sandi
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Re: Ants

Postby Sandi » Fri May 31, 2013 8:00 pm

I have had problems with ants for years including this year. However I seem to have hit the right product this time.

Purchase a can of "Terro Ant Killer" spray. I sprayed along their route, and under the kitchen window where they entered. That was weeks ago when they first appeared. Haven't seen one since.

http://www.terro.com/products/ant-spray

Find where they come in and spray that as well as their active route.

snoqueen
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Re: Ants

Postby snoqueen » Fri May 31, 2013 8:47 pm

I got silicone caulk and went around the perimeter of the house on the outside, caulking right where the wood meets the concrete foundation. I had to go up under the bottom edge of the siding, but it wasn't that hard. Use a caulk gun not those little plastic squeeze tubes, and pay your main attention to the areas nearest where you saw the ants inside.

I also caulked the places comm wires went in, around hose bibs, and any other little openings or places two different materials met. I had new basement windows with good caulk so I left them alone, but you might want to seal around yours if they are older.

I don't think those ants climb very high, so I just did this up to maybe 3-4 feet off the ground,

I have no idea exactly where the ants were coming in, but I must have plugged up their route because they disappeared after I did this. And it sealed small air leaks, so it was good maintenance anyway.

I've used borax in the past (in my old house) and it's helpful but you don't want to spread it around if you have pets who might lick it or lick their feet after picking some up. I have also heard cinnamon deters some bugs (well, that makes sense if it is a natural defense of the cinnamon plants, right?) but I have not tried it.

Finding out what the ants are eating and disposing of it always helps but it sounds like you already covered that.

Sandi
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Re: Ants

Postby Sandi » Fri May 31, 2013 9:16 pm

snoqueen wrote:I have no idea exactly where the ants were coming in, but I must have plugged up their route because they disappeared after I did this. And it sealed small air leaks, so it was good maintenance anyway.


Good point. That should stop them after the ant killer wears off, if you can get all the cracks and crevices.

I did caulk, but couldn't find where they were coming in on the outside. I did caulk a few places on the inside, but they would just find a new crack, and they don't need much.

Stebben84
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Re: Ants

Postby Stebben84 » Fri May 31, 2013 9:48 pm

The problem is that every window has cracks in it to release water. I, like many other keep my windows open. Caulk is good for larger critters, but ants and other bugs find their way in through other tiny means. I caulked the shit out of my house when I moved in. I may have missed spots, but those bastards will find their way in.

snoqueen wrote:it's helpful but you don't want to spread it around if you have pets


I have a cat, but there is no way her fat old self is getting on the counter. As of now I have seen no ants after spreading some borax. I'll keep you interested parties posted.

snoqueen
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Re: Ants

Postby snoqueen » Sat Jun 01, 2013 3:20 pm

The problem is that every window has cracks in it to release water.


That's where you put up these teeny tiny little signs that say "beware -- anteater on premises."

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Re: Ants

Postby Kenneth Burns » Sat Jun 01, 2013 4:51 pm

I've also gotten good results from Terro. Not the spray in my case, but the liquid.

fennel
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Re: Ants

Postby fennel » Sat Jun 01, 2013 5:37 pm

On a lark, I tried a remedy I found via the intertubes, for an ant hill near the house: baking soda. Fat chance, I thought, but it's a cheap experiment. They vanished overnight.

Go figure.

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Re: Ants

Postby Remember_Me » Sun Jun 02, 2013 2:22 pm

fennel wrote:On a lark, I tried a remedy I found via the intertubes, for an ant hill near the house: baking soda. Fat chance, I thought, but it's a cheap experiment. They vanished overnight.

Go figure.


They're not gone.

They're just busy brushing their teeth.

rabble
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Re: Ants

Postby rabble » Sun Jun 02, 2013 2:23 pm

We get them every spring, scouting out the kitchen counter. They stop about mid June. We keep the sink empty and the countertop spotless, and they still keep coming back. We've used the standard insecticides with mixed success.

Mrs Rabble found out they hate clove oil and cinnamon sticks. This year we put that stuff out there along all the places we see them entering and leaving. The kitchen smells like cloves and cinnamon. There's a line of alternating cinnamon sticks and cloves along the counter. Little drops of clove oil and cinnamon oil in strategic locations. Man, do the ants run from that stuff. They HATE it.

We replenish them every week or so. It's been less expensive than the insecticides, we feel better about using it around the pets and the food, and we have seen the fewest ants this year than we've ever seen in this house in the spring. We used to see several every day. Now we see one or two every few days, and a couple times none in over a week.

We like this method.

Stebben84
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Re: Ants

Postby Stebben84 » Sun Jun 02, 2013 6:35 pm

So I've had borax on my window sill and along the edge of my counter for 3 days and I'll be damned if I haven't seen an ant since right after I first put it down. I watched two ants climb all over it and was encouraging them to eat up. I don't think they actually eat the borax, but it sure did get on their bodies and may have took it back to the nest. I dunno. I'll keep it there a couple more days then get rid of it and see what happens.

rabble wrote:Mrs Rabble found out they hate clove oil and cinnamon sticks.


I read that as well when checking the intertubes about getting rid of them. From what I read, it deters them but doesn't eliminate them. It's definitely more pleasing than a line of borax on your counter.

rabble
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Re: Ants

Postby rabble » Sun Jun 02, 2013 6:43 pm

Stebben84 wrote:
rabble wrote:Mrs Rabble found out they hate clove oil and cinnamon sticks.


I read that as well when checking the intertubes about getting rid of them. From what I read, it deters them but doesn't eliminate them. It's definitely more pleasing than a line of borax on your counter.

I think she put out borax too.

After ten years of every damn spring they come and then they go away, no matter what freakin chemicals we throw at em, we have concluded they cannot be eliminated and decided to go with the "deter them as best we can till the season's over" approach. They always quit before the first day of summer.

As I said, this method has given us the most success since we moved in here.

markkay
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Re: Ants

Postby markkay » Tue Jun 04, 2013 11:33 am

Terro liquid ant traps! Available at Willy Street Ace Hardware and elsewhere. We had lots and lots of ants appear overnight in kitchen cabinets and on counters a few weeks ago. We've had ants before in the spring, but never that bad. The Terro traps worked as advertised. They were gone in 2 days. Of course, they may be biding their time....

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Re: Ants

Postby TheBookPolice » Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:28 pm

When we converted an ugly plant bed (with massive levels of tiny ant activity) into a vegetable garden last spring, we napalmed the area with boiling water infused with lemon juice and garlic. Smelled great, but the rivulets full of ant carcasses were a little unnerving. But hey, fertilizer.

Mean Scenester
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Re: Ants

Postby Mean Scenester » Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:31 pm

I love the smell of lemon juice and garlic in the morning ...


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