Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Getting rid of ants
Old 08-02-2006, 12:27 PM   #1
Full time employment: Posting here.
bow-tie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 687
Getting rid of ants

We have ants and they're driving us crazy. They are very little buggers... we think they are grease ants maybe.

Anyone have any ideas in an effective to way to show them they aren't welcome in our house, i.e., killing the little bastids.

Any info is appreciated.
__________________

__________________
Diggin' my way to financial freedom, one buck-at-a-time
bow-tie is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Re: Getting rid of ants
Old 08-02-2006, 12:39 PM   #2
Moderator Emeritus
Martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: minnesota
Posts: 13,212
Re: Getting rid of ants

If you know where they are coming from, CFB in the yellow jacket thread recommended using a "light" insecticide like Sevin:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
The vegetable dust thing works great with ant nests too.* Suckers are down 2-3' at times and you really cant pour enough liquid insecticide down there to kill them deep.* Put a bunch of the dust at the entries to the nest and let the workers carry the dust down into the nest and kill them all.* Works great for those @#%$%@!@%$@%#$%@#ing argentinian ants we have here in california that are virtually unkillable.* Only ant species that will cohabit multiple queens, combine and split nests, and reoccuppy old dead nests...but NOT if its still full of insecticidal dust...
We are having ant trouble too.* One bunch came up through a hole in the asphalt on our driveway!* Greg used gas on that one.*

Your question got me looking more on the internet.* I found this site that talks about ants:* http://ipcm.wisc.edu/programs/school/section_5/ants.htm

I found our ants, Pavement Ants:

Pavement ants (Tetramorium caespitum) have been an increasing problem in the state. They are 1/8 inch reddish brown to black ants with two nodes, sculptured furrows on the head, and a pair of spines on the thorax. These ants feed on greasy foods including pet food and on sweets. Nests are often under driveways or sidewalks or in other concealed sites. Workers can be found in the kitchen. When swarms appear inside, the nest may be under a slab or similar location. Indoor colonies swarm at any time. If the nest cannot be found, baiting with a protein-based bait is most often successful. Barrier treatments will give seasonal control from outdoor colonies.





__________________

__________________
.


No more lawyer stuff, no more political stuff, so no more CYA

Martha is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Getting rid of ants
Old 08-02-2006, 12:47 PM   #3
Moderator
Sarah in SC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 13,456
Re: Getting rid of ants

Borax, like 20 Mule Team in the box at the grocery store. Sprinkle it where you see the trail and at the entry if you can find it.
Works on fleas, too (but only on carpet). Cheap!

Sarah
__________________
“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.”
Gerard Arthur Way

Sarah in SC is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Getting rid of ants
Old 08-02-2006, 12:51 PM   #4
Full time employment: Posting here.
bow-tie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 687
Re: Getting rid of ants

Thanks for the ideas...

Keeping 'em coming if anyone has any.
__________________
Diggin' my way to financial freedom, one buck-at-a-time
bow-tie is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Getting rid of ants
Old 08-02-2006, 01:03 PM   #5
Moderator Emeritus
Martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: minnesota
Posts: 13,212
Re: Getting rid of ants

I just read on the net to put out a bowl of dry cream of wheat, the ants will eat it, the cream of wheat will expand, and they will explode.

hum. I wonder.

I did find this recipe that seems to make more sense:

Indoor Ant Control
Supplies: 1 tbsp. boric acid
1 tbsp. mint jelly or peanut butter
1 cracker
Small cardboard box
Instructions: Mix the boric acid and mint jelly; spread mixture on a cracker. Punch pinholes in a cardboard box; place cracker inside. Place box in an area where ants cause problems, but away from children and pets.
Note: The mint jelly or peanut butter lures the ants in and the boric acid kills them.
__________________
.


No more lawyer stuff, no more political stuff, so no more CYA

Martha is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Getting rid of ants
Old 08-02-2006, 01:06 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
JPatrick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,494
Re: Getting rid of ants

Are you talking about "sugar ants--the little dudes that invade kitchens cupboards etc?
If so, in Texas I used the ant traps/baits that they sell in grocery stores. *Put em everywhere in the kitchen. *I even removed switch plates so I could drop them inside the walls.
It took awhile, but we whipped em!
__________________
JPatrick is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Getting rid of ants
Old 08-02-2006, 01:17 PM   #7
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 717
Re: Getting rid of ants

Look at this as a long term problem. *It doesn't matter much how you kill the ones you can see - windex does a good job of that, but focus on not getting a new infestation. *Never leave a dirty plate in the sink overnight. *Empty all wastecans every night before going to bed. *Don't leave any food out. *Use baggies to contain any open packages. *Wipe down kitchen counters after any use. *Remove and clean any pet food bowls every night. *Make the person who left the food that caused the infestation - clean up the infestation. * If you ever spot a scout - redouble your efforts. *Once or twice a year spray the perimeter of the house with a commercial insecticide, but only use an insecticide on the outside, and handle it like it was battery acid. *
__________________
Random Reinforcement is Highly Addictive.
riskadverse is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Getting rid of ants
Old 08-02-2006, 01:19 PM   #8
Full time employment: Posting here.
bow-tie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 687
Re: Getting rid of ants

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPatrick
Are you talking about "sugar ants--the little dudes that invade kitchens cupboards etc?
If so, in Texas I used the ant traps/baits that they sell in grocery stores. *Put em everywhere in the kitchen. *I even removed switch plates so I could drop them inside the walls.
It took awhile, but we whipped em!
I'm not completely sure what they are. *I think we had sweet ants earlier in the summer... yes, we have had two flavors of the little &$#@ers. *I bought some Drax (I think that's what it is) over the internet and that, combined with some storebought stuff, seemed to knock them off, at least temporarily. *

The ones we have now are even smallter than the sweet ants. *I think they are attracted to grease, among other things. *They are a serious PITA.
__________________
Diggin' my way to financial freedom, one buck-at-a-time
bow-tie is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Getting rid of ants
Old 08-02-2006, 01:25 PM   #9
Moderator Emeritus
Martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: minnesota
Posts: 13,212
Re: Getting rid of ants

http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/iiin/areasea.html

Grease ant is a name commonly used for one of the smallest ants found in homes in Iowa. These ants are technically known as thief ants. They are very small; only l to l.5 mm (1/16th inch)long. They are smooth and shiny and may be yellow to light or dark brown. Indoors, these ants nest in cracks and crevices of walls and cabinets, under floors and behind baseboards. The nests are frequently difficult to locate since the ants travel great distances in search of food. Though they will eat almost anything, these ants prefer to eat grease, fats and meats. Grease ants form a trail from the food to the nest and the moving columns of ants can be located with careful inspection.

These ants are very persistent and may be difficult to control. Ready-to-use insecticides applied into cracks and crevices in the vicinity of the nest may be effective, though re-appearance of the ants after a week to 10 days is common. Better control success has been reported when ant bait is used.

Most available ant baits must be mixed with a grease or oil to make them attractive to grease ants. Any grease or oil that can be mixed with the bait should be effective. I suggest vegetable oil, peanut butter or a raw pie dough mixture of shortening and flour. The bait-oil mixture must contain enough grease to be attractive, but not so much as to dilute the active ingredient below where it will be effective. Though exact proportions of the most effective mixture are not known, I suggest starting with one drop or of oil, to 5 to 10 drops of bait. If ants are not attracted to this mixture, try another oil or increase the amount of grease in the mixture.

Small amounts of the bait and oil can be mixed together on wax paper and then transferred to the area of ant activity. The bait can be placed on small squares of paper, the non-sticky side of small masking tape strips or directly on the ant trail. Baits must be used with care. Make sure the bait is out of the reach of children and pets. When ant activity has ceased, carefully dispose of the remaining bait.

__________________
.


No more lawyer stuff, no more political stuff, so no more CYA

Martha is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Getting rid of ants
Old 08-02-2006, 01:27 PM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
MasterBlaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 4,359
Re: Getting rid of ants

Quote:
Originally Posted by riskaverse
Look at this as a long term problem. *It doesn't matter much how you kill the ones you can see - windex does a good job of that, but focus on not getting a new infestation. *Never leave a dirty plate in the sink overnight. *Empty all wastecans every night before going to bed. *Don't leave any food out. *Use baggies to contain any open packages. *Wipe down kitchen counters after any use. *Remove and clean any pet food bowls every night. *Make the person who left the food that caused the infestation - clean up the infestation. * If you ever spot a scout - redouble your efforts. *Once or twice a year spray the perimeter of the house with a commercial insecticide, but only use an insecticide on the outside, and handle it like it was battery acid. *
Well, besides being a little anal retentive, you are absolutely right.

We've had very good luck with a product called Grant's Ant Stakes. These are stake pods that you place in the ground. The ants take the poisen jelly from the stake back to the Queen ant where the queen ant is killed. It takes a month or so to get rid of the problem, but they never come back. In the meantime you can spray or wipe till the anthill dies off.
__________________
MasterBlaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Getting rid of ants
Old 08-02-2006, 01:28 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,136
Re: Getting rid of ants

I'm with JPatrick on using ant traps. Don't use insectiside anywhere near them or it will prevent the little devils from taking the bait. And be patient, it does take a while to see results.

__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Getting rid of ants
Old 08-02-2006, 02:03 PM   #12
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 717
Re: Getting rid of ants

I've never had any luck with Grant's - I've tried them on at least 5 occasions (years ago).* I finally decided that I can't control the outside environment (easily), but I can control mine.* On two sides to my house there are serious ant colonies not more than 5 feet from the house, with trails that go for 75 feet or more.* *I've never had any luck in eradicating the colonies and I do get an infestation inside the house every two years or so.* *Everytime there was a reason, and every time taking steps to remove the source of their food worked in preventing a re-infestation.* I gave up trying to kill them and just try to coexist with them now. Now termites . . . that's a tougher problem. * *
__________________
Random Reinforcement is Highly Addictive.
riskadverse is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Getting rid of ants
Old 08-02-2006, 02:33 PM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
cute fuzzy bunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Losing my whump
Posts: 22,697
Re: Getting rid of ants

Some ant types go for traps and others just wont bite.

Depends on the ant and what part of the country you live in.

What part of the country do you live in? What do the ants look like?

We have argentinian ants, which are the worst little @#$%$'s on the planet. They're special in that multiple queens will live in the same nest together, and they will split and combine nests, even repopulating formerly dead nests. They attack and kill wasp nests, termite nests, etc.

Basic ant protection, what I do twice a year:

1: get one of those general insecticides that screws to the end of the hose. Spray all the ground area according to the instructions. Let dry before letting people/animals on the area...once dry the stuff is fairly safe. Dont spray the bushes, trees, shrubs or any open water like ponds, pools, etc.

2: get a jug of 'home defense' type insecticide and a $9 sprayer. Spray in a circuit around your foundation or slab, in any crack in any concrete, the edges of any walkway, and in any areas you see or have seen ants.

3: if you find an ant nest or trail, put some Sevin dust or equiv on the nest or trail and remove once you stop seeing ants. They've now carried this into the nest and killed it. I have a squeeze bottle (for mustard!) that is good for this, and one of those metal pump dusters

4: maintain ant bait traps if they work for you. They do nothing at all for me.

Ants generally move twice a year...they want to be high, dry and warm during your cold/rainy seasons and in the ground during the warm/dry seasons. Trick is to do your spraying just prior to these movements. Easy here in the southwest where you generally know when the first real rains of the season will start for the fall spraying and when the rains have pretty much let up for spring spraying.

If you're dilligent, you can get by with just the sevin dust on the nests and trails, and a can of Raid to spray any baseboard/doorway/wall entries you see inside the house.

Gasoline, bleach and all these other bits are of no help. A large ant nest can be 3-5' deep, 10'+ across, and is usually segmented into multiple chambers against liquid incursion.

Oh yeah...might take you 2-3 years to get them out of a house or out from under a slab or driveway. First thing they do when threatened is move the nest. Thats why the vegetable dust is so effective...they get coated walking through it, take it home, then die.

One last thing...some termites look an awful lot like some ants...you need a big magnifier to tell the difference between one strain of ant we have in my area and a strain of termite.

The above spraying regimen costs me about $50 a year and takes about an hour in the spring and an hour in the fall. No ants in my house.
__________________
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
cute fuzzy bunny is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Getting rid of ants
Old 08-02-2006, 02:39 PM   #14
Moderator Emeritus
Rich_by_the_Bay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 8,827
Re: Getting rid of ants

Down here we have this deal where you might "tent" your house every 10 years or so. It's intended for a type of termite but kills everything else, too. They literally shroud your house in a plastic tent, covering the roof, garage, you name it. You vacate and they blow in this toxic gas which displaces the oxygen. It allegedly dissipates so quickly that even a small opening in the tenting ruins the effect.

They they come back, remove the tent, open the windows and voila you get your house back. The whole thing sounded horrendous. But apparently it is so transient that when you compare it to the usual spraying, insecticides, traps, etc. it's no worse, and maybe even safer long term.

Anyway, we did it a couple of years ago for termites. We survived (what's a few IQ points, anyway) and haven't had a single problem with any bugs since then. Drastic but effective.
__________________
Rich
San Francisco Area
ESR'd March 2010. FIRE'd January 2011.

As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
Rich_by_the_Bay is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Getting rid of ants
Old 08-02-2006, 02:54 PM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
JPatrick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,494
Re: Getting rid of ants

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
multiple queens will live in the same nest together, and they will split and combine nests, even repopulating formerly dead nests.*
Yup, that sounds to me like a problem that would be pretty much exclusive to Calyfornya
__________________
JPatrick is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Getting rid of ants
Old 08-02-2006, 03:48 PM   #16
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 557
Re: Getting rid of ants

Ortho has an ant dust that has the same active ingredient that the professional exterminators use, but in a lesser concentration. Spread this around the mound, if visible, or in cracks/crevices in you house, and seems to work well.

Make sure the infestation is not of the kind that is house destructive. (i.e. earlier comment about termites--or carpenter ants). If that is the case, probably pays to get professional help.
uncledrz
__________________
uncledrz is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Getting rid of ants
Old 08-02-2006, 03:54 PM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,183
Re: Getting rid of ants

"HOT SHOT" Boric Acid $3.00 local Home Depot. Cheaper than exterminator, no mixing mess, neat little applicator bottle, really quick. I go around all entry zones and NO MORE BUGGIES in the house!!! 8)
__________________
crazy connie is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Getting rid of ants
Old 08-02-2006, 09:17 PM   #18
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
cute fuzzy bunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Losing my whump
Posts: 22,697
Re: Getting rid of ants

Boric acid is a good low toxicity solution for keeping them out of the house, providing you get good coverage and dont have any cracks in the slab (if you're built on one) or they make their way through drains or the drain openings in a slab. I had the little SOB's coming up from the drain under one of my tubs; fortunately I had access to that through the side of one of the bathroom cabinets. Wont do anything about the nests outside or repel them from the property. As long as your goal is to just keep them out of the house, you're good to go.

Ortho ant dust uses permethrin, which is a very good insecticide. Fast working. You will kill any bugs that come in contact with it, and quite directly. If its a sizeable nest, the ants will probably move.

The carbaryl in the Sevin dust is slower working and really, really mild stuff. You can dust a pet and a pets bedding using the 5% variety, and eat fruits and vegetables that have been dusted with it without any ill effects. I use the 10% variety, and its slow enough working for them to get home covered in it before they drop dead.

These argentinian ants we have are tough enough that you have to take a more active role in not only keeping them out of the house, but driving them away from it and controlling the nests.

This reminds me a bit of a conversation I was having with one of my neighbors regarding home security. You dont have to make your house theftproof, but if you can make it more of a pain in the ass to try to get into your house than someone elses house, the thiefs gonna pick someone else. The old bear and the sneakers joke. I'm making my property just unpalatable enough for the buggers to decide that somebody elses yard looks good to them.
__________________
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
cute fuzzy bunny is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Getting rid of ants
Old 08-03-2006, 08:07 AM   #19
Moderator
Sarah in SC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 13,456
Re: Getting rid of ants

Hey CFB,
As the board's resident home chemist and bug expert, can you tell what your flea control secrets are...your comment about sevin dust reminded me that my dad used to use that on the dogs.
We are fighting a losing battle this summer, even with all the expensive stuff now available. Plus one dog has really dry skin, so the advantage stuff doesn't work at all--she's on cortisone as well. I've tried the heartworm/flea control once a month stuff, the advantage, Capstar pills, flea powder, flea baths, and spray. Any advice? 4 dogs, 5 cats, 4 acre yard, they are indoor/outdoor pets. Thanks!
Sarah
__________________
“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.”
Gerard Arthur Way

Sarah in SC is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Getting rid of ants
Old 08-03-2006, 12:16 PM   #20
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
cute fuzzy bunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Losing my whump
Posts: 22,697
Re: Getting rid of ants

Never get them at all. I think because we keep the yard well sprayed they just dont get them. Once in a blue moon I find a tick on one of them, but its pretty rare.

I had a little trouble with them on the cats when I lived in the bay area many years ago. I had a spray from Zodiac (comes in a spray bottle) that you spritzed on the carpets and it prevented eggs from hatching. I also bought a little box with a light in it that went on the floor in the kitchen where I had linoleum...the fleas would go to the light, hop in the box and not be able to get out.

When I started spraying the yard with the hose-end based insecticides, they went away altogether.

I also used a product called 'revolution' thats an all-in-one pet product...heartworm, fleas, ticks, ear mites, etc. Its a back-of-the-neck liquid item, so may bother your doggies skin. But its ingredients are very different from advantage, so maybe it wont bug your pup.

Four acres is a lot to spray...but it'd probably cost you under $150 and all ya need is a long hose. Is it all irrigated or is some of it dry? Fleas really like moisture...
__________________

__________________
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
cute fuzzy bunny is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Getting rid of the land line and 911 cube_rat Other topics 18 10-14-2006 06:09 PM
How to get rid of a time share Kitty Life after FIRE 11 10-05-2006 08:07 PM
Getting rid of that SUV Arif Other topics 5 06-11-2006 10:31 AM
"I got rid of all the excess in my life." dex Other topics 0 06-15-2005 08:32 PM
Get Rid of the Vinyl? Hyperborea Other topics 10 11-09-2004 06:00 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:18 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.