Have any ant solutions?


(squirrel-kissing paper tamer) #1

Every year I battle tiny ants and last year I mostly won. I noticed multiple mounds along the walk the other day and upon entering the dark kitchen for my morning coffee found hundreds of teeny, tiny ants feasting on any crumb left on the floor. I had already left out Terro Ant killer but apparently, that wasn’t as good as whatever my housemate swept off the counter onto the floor.

In the past I’ve used Borax with some success. They are in the walls and climb out through the hole drilled to pass cable wires onto the second floor in search of ferret food crumbs. One year I pulled the cord up, wiped Poison Peanut Butter on it and fed it back in. Problem solved. I’ve also tried Diatomaceous Earth which just leaves white dust everywhere and I’m not sure it worked for the problem I have.

Do I have to take off electrical plates, dismantle floor boards and pull up corners to set bait? Or is there a better way? I’m prepared to scorch the earth around my house to put an end to this seasonal battle before it gets out of hand.

Thanks guys for any advice. (They are the little black ants)


(Retta Stephenson) #2

Cinnamon.
They HATE cinnamon.
It smells divine.
It looks like you never clean.

But after a few days, you should notice them getting less and less. We kill any scouts, so they don’t leave new scent trails. We get the cheapest bulk sized cinnamon. If you need to stick it to vertical surfaces, try spritzing with a water mister first, then quickly “dust” with cinnamon.

It’s messy to clean up, and could be embarrassing if company surprises you. But should work. :ant::ant::ant::ant::ant::ant::ant::ant::ant::ant::ant::ant::ant:


(squirrel-kissing paper tamer) #3

Thank you, I love cinnamon! I have plenty. How long do you keep it around until you clean it off? I left that stupid DM on for weeks and it looked like I baked a cake and left flour everywhere.


#4

JTry the cinnamon. I’m all for natural cures but if you need something stronger, get the outdoor terro bait and spread it around the base of your house.

I use something I get from Tractor Supply. It’s called Bug Block. Comes in a big purple spray bottle. I spray it on my baseboards and floor, and you could spray the hole they’re coming in at. They hate it.

You could also try spraying some expanding foam into that hole.

When I use the Terro liquid bait trays my ants just ignore it, but if I take a strip of aluminum foil and pour out a thin line of the liquid, well then they line up along it like horses at a watering trough.

You could try pouring boiling water into the mounds.

Do you know about the “second wave” when you use the liquid bait? The adults take it back to the nest and kill other adults but there are eggs hatching all the time and the new generation will be looking for the source of the Terro. So even if it looks like the ants are gone, leave the Terro out for another day or two just in case. Or maybe you already knew that. :grinning:

I fight them every year too. Hate them! Good luck!

ETA: You can buy the Bug Block online but you have to pick it up at the store. It’s $14.99 but it’s a huge bottle and it WORKS. You’ve got a Tractor Supply in Alexandria.


(Michelle) #5

I have the same experience. It is just Borax and Sugar water so I don’t worry about poisons laying around.


(Jody) #6

I used to try all the natural products too, but last year I was like “F this” I need something more powerful.
Went to the hardware store and bought these stakes that I put around the house…you just push them down into the ground right up next to the foundation. They worked really well, you can’t see them, I totally forgot it was an issue till I was out messing in the yard and noticed them. I need to get more!


(Graci) #7

I second the vote for Terro, it is the ONLY thing we’ve tried that has ever worked and we pretty much exhausted all natural remedies other than burning down the house :house_with_garden:


(Sharing the Bacon Love since 2018) #8

These stakes got a name?


(Jody) #9

Of course they do, but I still have brain fog! I’ll look when I get home tonight.


(Karim Wassef) #10

Diatomaceous earth


#11

I just use the Terro liquid bait traps. My roommate and I have had to kill at least five colonies in the past year, and those work just fine. We just leave it out for a week to make sure they can get it to the queen and the larvae and wipe out the whole colony. This is warfare, you gotta do what you gotta do.


(Full Metal Keto) #12

I have a can of Raid that I bought about 15 years ago. Still mostly full even though I have any invasion almost every time it rains heavy. I don’t spray it on the ants. I look for where they come in and spray a quarter sized burst in their path. Minimal and a couple hours later they are all gone. No dead ants to clean up. No messy powders everywhere and no waiting for results.


(squirrel-kissing paper tamer) #13

I used Terro with a success last year and I put down what I had left over (maybe it goes bad?) and they walked right past it to the bacon bit and cheese crumb that was on the floor. They’re cutting sugar and borax out of their diet this spring. :rofl:

Thanks everyone for your ideas. I’ll order more Terro, look into the spikes for outside. I have a ferret who runs around the house so I have to avoid sprays and can’t leave out a bunch of poison. I will also get on my hands and knees and try to figure out where they’re getting in. They go behind a cabinet or baseboard so I’m not sure.


(Graci) #14

If the Terro had been opened a while ago it will become ineffective after a few months from what we saw last Spring.


(squirrel-kissing paper tamer) #15

Well, that makes total sense. Thanks!


(Bunny) #16

Had the same problem years ago and what I do is spray distilled vinegar (put in spray bottle) on the floor and wipe counter tops down with it every time I use the kitchen.

Ants have little antennas on their head which detect anything sweet or the pheromones other ants secrete that’s how they create a trail and other ants follow it.

You destroy their ability to do anything with the residual molecules left over from the distilled vinegar because it destroys the ability of those little antennas to function properly and fresh vinegar also sucks the oxygen out of the air for them also!

I still do this and so far not one ant or bug (roach) in the kitchen or where ever I spray it


(squirrel-kissing paper tamer) #17

Thanks Bunny. It’s a less expensive and easy way to clean up too. I’ll make up a batch. Do you dilute it with water?


(Justin ) #18

All great solutions and I have fixed many ant problems for work. If you can find where they are coming in from outside which may or may not be the case. Fill all cracks with spray foam. Be careful cause can get messy but if they are coming from outside rather than under your foundation this may be a fix at the source. Good luck.


(Bunny) #19

No, do not dilute!

I always buy the big giant gallon sized distilled vinegar it’s only 1.00 something!


#20

It can be challenging to stay in humble relationship with nature’s ants when they appear like they’re taking over our personal habitat! And sometimes once must take drastic measures if one’s food and/or sanity is at risk. However, whenever possible, one can do a protocol that both makes the ants leave and also avoids harming any ants. :ant: Cinnamon is a polite way to get their attention, and Cayenne and Vinegar are handy as well though with the risk of potentially harming them like other substances that are toxic to them.

But… since my ketones and BDNF are awesome tonight… am writing more about a simple ant communication protocol I’ve followed for years with great success - in case interesting or helpful to anyone out there, as this matter is dear to my heart. The ants have taught me so much about myself (my relationship with the earth, the unconscious, my primal psychology, my patience/impatience, habits, values, fears, etc).

Ants are an extremely intelligent and responsive community of beings - the terrestrial underground world is their usual queendom , and they are matriarchal societies like many bees and other pollinators who rule the aboveground. Ants have been held in great respect by aboriginal & indigenous cultures and even more recent Abrahamic cultures (“Go to the ant…consider her ways, and be wise” Prov. 6:6).

Believe it or not - there is a simple way to get ants to leave your space within 24 hours, without harming them. The first time I heard about it way back, from a very dear indigenous teacher, I couldn’t help but be sort of incredulous, but then it quickly shifted into curiosity, and as I started to sincerely try to implement the protocol, the results were amazing. It’s do-able for many situations, though in extreme pantry swarms it takes expertise (with pantry swarms it’s recommended to remove all food items first then implement the protocol - and if one is creeped out by swarms that can be very challenging of course). Even in such cases with a huge amount of ants the protocol can be successful within 24 hours. Most humans in industrial culture have an automatic extermination reaction, and this protocol is a great way to work on bringing mindfulness that reaction.

Sidenote: this protocol does not work with roaches and termites to my knowledge, it’s specific to ants (and aspects of it work with bees too).

Respect of ants is an ancient tradition - but it’s also explainable through Myrmecology (from Greek: μύρμηξ, myrmex, “ant” and λόγος, logos, “study” - entomology which focuses on the scientific study of ants). This protocol is based in acknowledging relationship with the ants and their amazingly sensitive communication and also having gratitude for their maginificent work in the life cycle we all share (they aerate the soil with their vast underground work which in turn conducts water and grows pastures for ruminants and bees, and they are food for lizards and some birds, etc etc). The protocol is done with respect of their intelligence and full expectation of their comprehension. Ants are a social community acting as one body aiming for the same goal, colony survival - they respond as one body, and they strategize by optimizing algorithms! Every day they solve complex problems due to a sum of simple interactions. In fact, a whole branch of computer programming/math exists called ant colony optimization algorithm, ACO ) - a probabilistic technique for solving computational problems based on the study of ant communication!

Ants don’t rely on sight or sound - they follow their own ‘programmed’ rules and signals in the forms of chemical smells/pheremones, vibrations and touch - and an ant never disagrees with what it has to do within its colony… So if you’re sincere, fearless, and intentional – your pheremones & vibes (ie, your state of mind) will back up your words and in fact are the words (as in communication with bees as well). Ants are highly sensitive, and if they are told they have to go in order to avoid harm, they will pass the message on to each other and as colony will change their activity within hours.

sensitive%20ant

It’s best to do the protocol at night when they’re active and you’re about to go to sleep, so you can give them till morning to sort it out completely or at least clearly start to reduce in numbers. When you do the protocol, it won’t look like they’re listening - because it takes awhile for them all to subtly communicate and change their strategy across their entire chain of communication. That’s why - in cases when it’s not a massive invasion - it’s nice preventative to do it in the evening before going to bed so you can chill out and give them time to sort it out . By morning they’re either gone or significantly less in numbers, and within 24 will be gone.

Protocol: Center yourself, breath fully and relax as much as possible then clearly & firmly speak your heartfelt desire aloud to them - intentionally & emphatically - and tell them and their queen short n’ sweet that they have to leave because this is YOUR home, and you are the Queen/King of your own home, and they need to PLEASE go outside and back to THEIR home, not inside YOUR home, etc. Tell them they MUST leave your home. Then, thank them for being them and the response you know is already happening though it may not appear so. It may feel odd at first to communicate with ants, that’s to be expected in industrial culture.

Ants respect clear communication - and will respond within hours (it takes awhile for the message to relay through the colony). Do the protocol with the full expectation that they comprehend and will do their best to communicate among themselves and change their route/plans. Then let them get to work communicating, and trust that they’ll figure it out, as they’re so intelligent!

It’s the only way I’ve dealt with ants for over a decade. Never in swarm situations, just in the typical ant situation with a worrisome constant line of them somewhere in the kitchen working hard (no epic pantry invasion yet - thankfully). When I began this protocol it would take around 24 hours for them to be completely gone, but as my understanding about ants deepened and my communication got more coherent, surprisingly it became as quick as the next morning after an evening request. And humble relationship with the ants is another way that life is beautiful :sparkles: