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Terro Ant Trap Questions
Old 07-23-2011, 02:01 AM   #1
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Terro Ant Trap Questions

We've had a series of ant forays which we've countered w/ my favorite weapon...........a small wadded ball of masking tape.......like N-sided sticky tape............but they seem to want to keep returning even after many days of peace and quiet. DW bought a box of Terro traps.....the indoor ones are the clear plastic containers w/ liquid in them and a red-marked small rectangular door you cut open.

Questions:
1) if I follow instructions and hold trap vertically while I cut door open, the liquid seems to want to stay in an inner reservoir when the trap is returned to the normal horizontal position. It looks like there is an "outer" reservoir that the liquid could flow into but the instructions do not indicate that I should have liquid there. Perhaps it is just secondary containment. Will it work effectively if the liquid is only in the inner reservoir. Both reservoirs are
inside the trap door.
2)Instead of cutting the trap door open as illustrated w/ a large scissors
which seems like it would open more than just the colored rectangle, I used a small sharp scissors to just cut out the colored rectangle. However when
cut this way, it looks to me like the open rectange is sitting on the flat surface which seems like it would inhibit entry. Should the door be enlarged beyond the colored area?
3) Any instances where the traps just were an attractive nuisance attracting more and more ants w/o eventual victory? Must be hard to stand by and just watch swarms of ants w/o retaliating.
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Old 07-23-2011, 06:22 AM   #2
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I'm sorry you wasted your money on the traps. It is the sweet borate solution inside that is what you want. You should've bought a small bottle of the liquid for something like $5 which will last you a lifetime.

The Terro liquid is a superb ant killer. See youtube.com Just put drops out where ants can find them and watch the action. You can put the drops on the counter, inside cupboards, on the floor, etc. The bottle instructions say to put a drop on a small piece of cardboard. Even that is a waste of carboard. The drops will dry up in a few days, but ants should have taken much of the bait back to their sisters and died. Wipe up the leftover liquid with a paper towel.

Terro is no more poisonous to humans than concentrated laundry detergent or dishwasher detergent. If I got some on my fingers, I would not even care.
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Old 07-23-2011, 06:52 AM   #3
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The Terro liquid is a superb ant killer.
+1
Yes, it works very well.
So do the Combat brand ant baits, which are much more readily available where I live (and even easier to use).
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Old 07-23-2011, 07:13 AM   #4
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I used the terro in a bedroom that had tiny ants coming in somewhere around a window. I put it out and all of a sudden I had a whole column of ants lining up to eat it. I went and got some bug spray, sprayed the column and no more ants. but the bait really attracts them.
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Old 07-23-2011, 08:32 AM   #5
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I used the terro in a bedroom that had tiny ants coming in somewhere around a window. I put it out and all of a sudden I had a whole column of ants lining up to eat it. I went and got some bug spray, sprayed the column and no more ants. but the bait really attracts them.
Actually, the best practice is to leave them alone. They take the bait back to their nest and feed it to the queen, so the entire colony will disappear. If you kill them before they bring the bait home, you may find them returning once their numbers increase again.
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Old 07-23-2011, 09:17 AM   #6
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Yes, the terro liquid stuff is good. I do put it on a little 1 inch square of cardboard/paper, however. For really tough years, I buy the granular stuff that you shake outside around the perimiter of the house.

While I am sure they'll work, I agree the prepackaged boxed baits are not necessary. They probably make them available so the ants are out of sight and you feel like you've trapped them.
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Old 07-23-2011, 09:28 AM   #7
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I'm sorry you wasted your money on the traps. It is the sweet borate solution inside that is what you want. You should've bought a small bottle of the liquid for something like $5 which will last you a lifetime.
Where does one find this bottle of "ant remover"?
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Old 07-23-2011, 10:35 AM   #8
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Where does one find this bottle of "ant remover"?
Generally, you'll find it at little (small town) hardware stores. At least, that's the only place I've found it.
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Old 07-23-2011, 11:10 AM   #9
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Is this the product?

Amazon.com: Terro 1-Ounce Liquid Ant Killer ll: Patio, Lawn & Garden

I've seen this at Menards and I believe Home Depot (Chicago area) and other the big box hardware stores carry Terro products. It's a pretty common brand name for bug killers. Here's a link to the stores that carry Terro:

Ant Problem? Terro = Ant Control Solutions
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Old 07-23-2011, 11:56 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by kaneohe View Post
Questions:
1) if I follow instructions and hold trap vertically while I cut door open, the liquid seems to want to stay in an inner reservoir when the trap is returned to the normal horizontal position. It looks like there is an "outer" reservoir that the liquid could flow into but the instructions do not indicate that I should have liquid there. Perhaps it is just secondary containment. Will it work effectively if the liquid is only in the inner reservoir. Both reservoirs are inside the trap door.
"Only in the inner reservoir" puts your genocidal plans at the mercy of the diligence of the ant scouts. I make it easy by spilling a small amount on the surface where I'm putting the bait container, and then plopping the bait container down in the middle of the sticky stuff. Once they find the puddle then they'll get to all the reservoirs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaneohe View Post
2)Instead of cutting the trap door open as illustrated w/ a large scissors
which seems like it would open more than just the colored rectangle, I used a small sharp scissors to just cut out the colored rectangle. However when
cut this way, it looks to me like the open rectange is sitting on the flat surface which seems like it would inhibit entry. Should the door be enlarged beyond the colored area?
I think you might be over-analyzing the instructions. I recommend hacking off the whole end of the container so that the carpenter ants can get in as well as the little black sugar ants.

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3) Any instances where the traps just were an attractive nuisance attracting more and more ants w/o eventual victory? Must be hard to stand by and just watch swarms of ants w/o retaliating.
Never. It's always succeeded. It can take 4-5 days of patience (and reloads) before you wipe out your customers. Eventually the whole nest gets sick and dies, or at least stops following that trail.

As LOL pointed out you can make your own from Borax & sugar water, or from boric acid ("eyewash") & sugar. Corn syrup (Karo) has great consistency & sweetness. Or you can buy the bigger bottles of Terro and keep refilling the bait containers.

The bait is not harmful to humans because we're big & heavy enough to handle it. However I always kept it out of the reach of our four-pound pet bunny, who had a huge sweet tooth and would have eaten the entire bait container just for the taste. Excess sugar always played havoc with his digestive system, let alone the effects of the borate.

Exterminators who use Termidor have also noted that it seems to eliminate outdoor ant nests for several months. However nature eventually reasserts itself. Here at Hale Nords we've arrived at a negotiated armistice where I don't kill them outside the house and they don't bother me inside the house. The 10% who didn't get the word never survive long enough to cause any diplomatic backlash.
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Old 07-23-2011, 12:41 PM   #11
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Nords should have a syndicated national weekly newspaper column. Why not get paid for this kind of writing?
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Old 07-23-2011, 12:51 PM   #12
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Nords should have a syndicated national weekly newspaper column. Why not get paid for this kind of writing?
I wouldn't say no to that, but:
1. All proceeds would go to charity, and
2. All deadlines would defer to rising surf.

At some point over the next year or so I'm going to have to move the blog from Wordpress.com to Wordpress.ORG and figure out how to "monetize" it. Then I'll truly be getting paid for this kind of writing...
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Old 07-23-2011, 12:52 PM   #13
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Thanks all for your input. Nords, I am starting to agree w/ your comments.
I watched one poor scout get on the paper the trap was on and go in every direction except into the trap so I think they need help.
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Old 07-23-2011, 03:39 PM   #14
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Ants are usually not a big problem where I live just south of the Arctic Circle, but I have had some problems with both large black carpenter ants and the teeny tiny sugar ants in past years.
I have used the carpenter ant control formula, the kind sold in medium size bags at any big box hardware store, around the house foundation. I also use the powdered Boric acid for small anthills near the sidewalk and driveway. So far so good this year, no ants of either type inside.
For the interior, I went through all of my cabinets looking for things that the smaller ants might be interested in, like sugar, pancake mix, drips on the side of a molasses jar, unsealed sweetened juice powder mix, etc. Everything (that was open) got transferred into glass or plastic containers, no exceptions.
I never keep my sugar in the bag I bought it in. I use 3 one quart mason jars to hold a 5 lb bag. I also do not use an open sugar bowl or dispenser for my coffee sugar. I use a rinsed out glass syrup bottle, refilling it from the mason jars using a small food grade funnel.
All cookies and snacks on the peninsula countertop are stored in tightly sealed containers. Counters are wiped immediately after preparing food of any type. If we eat in the living room, I use flat bamboo trays with raised edges to catch crumbs.
Results? No inside ants this year.
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Old 07-23-2011, 03:58 PM   #15
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14:00.......the battle has begun. After days of catching sporadic scouts but with no clue to their entry point, I finally found a small trail outside the kitchen door where some had appeared inside. An ideal venue......outside where I don't have to be restrained from the short term satisfaction of slaying them w/ my patented masking tape ball and where I don't have to cringe looking at the supposed hordes to come. The trail was on a ledge 6" above the step with no easy way to elevate the trap securely to that level so I did the Nord's Pied Piper strategy of painting a trail of Terro liquid from the trail down to the trap. The hordes are down the wall nearly to the step so hopefully they can find the mother lode. The outdoors trap seems to have a lot more liquid than the indoors one so hopefully it is up for the battle.
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Old 07-23-2011, 05:11 PM   #16
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I take it this thread is not about fire ants which require a whole different level of ant warfare.
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Old 07-23-2011, 07:18 PM   #17
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I take it this thread is not about fire ants which require a whole different level of ant warfare.
We have little red biting ants under our mango & star fruit trees. We've agreed that they won't come in the house, and I don't go roll in the dirt under those trees.

But from REWahoo's description of the real fire ant, our Hawaii version is more like a wet kitchen match.
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Old 07-23-2011, 07:21 PM   #18
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For fireants, I've used Amdro successfully for years. There are some details on use which make it very effective: Follow the directions carefully. If you don't follow directions and do something like "Stomp on mound; Pour Amdro on mound", then it is not as effective.
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Update/more questions
Old 08-01-2011, 03:10 PM   #19
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Update/more questions

How long is it supposed tp take fpr the Terrp tp work?
After a week, I noticed there weren't many ants at the trap but still saw
a relatively steady stream of them on the ledge 6" above the trap.
I repainted a trail of Terro down the wall to the trap and later saw more
ants at the trap though much reduced from the initial hordes that came.
There seemed to still be a lot of liquid in the trap tho it seemed significantly
thicker than it was at the start.

When the liquid trail dries up does that make the trail ineffective? Is it ok
to add water to the trap to thin the bait? I assume if this thing works
I should see no more ants on the ledge eventually? How long is eventually?
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Old 08-01-2011, 04:27 PM   #20
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How long is it supposed tp take fpr the Terrp tp work?
I'd say about a week, but the problem is figuring out which nest they're coming from. The little suckers don't wear nametags or colored rash guards so it's hard to tell if the bait is ineffective or if the bait is just part of a new war against a new nest.

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When the liquid trail dries up does that make the trail ineffective?
It's still poisonous, but they have to work harder to get it. They can also cross over a dry trail much more easily, so they'll keep following the scouts somewhere else instead of stopping at the edge of the puddle.

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Is it ok to add water to the trap to thin the bait?
Yep. There's some amount of evaporation, and adding water makes up for it.

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How long is eventually?
Well, the answer "Until you don't see them any more" isn't very chronologically helpful. But I'd say it takes about a week once you lay the bait across the trail. The trick is tracking down all the trails.

The good news is that eventually the ants are all dead, or they go elsewhere and stay there.

Our house has a constant stream of the little black sugar ants trailing around the outside... literally all four exterior walls have trails of ants going along them all day long. The difference is that they're using the exterior of the house as a highway to get to different exterior food sources (like dead insects or gecko carcasses). They're no longer using the exterior of the house as a way to get to the kitchen pantry.

Another thing that attracts ants inside the house is water-- especially drippy faucets or plumbing leaks in bathtubs/toilets/kitchen sinks. Even worse is realizing that you have an ant trail heading into a wall that has a plumbing leak behind it.
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