Ants, ants, ants.... and more ants...

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Jenco, Oct 31, 2004.

  1. Jenco

    Jenco Well-Known Member

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    I'm having a really hard time getting rid of little black ants that are everywhere. I'm not too sure on what kind of ant it is, but they're not red like fire ants nor brown like sugar ants. Back home in Louisiana the mounds are built above ground so it's easier to relocate/erradicate them. Here in Arizona, the mound is below ground and it's not always easy to locate. They just started making their way closer to my doors and windows. Any advice on how to repel them or perhaps a natural insecticide I could lay down in the yard would be great!

    I don't want to spray any harsh pesticides or chemicals because my dogs lay outside in the grass for a few hours a day. Thanks for any advice and help in advance!
     
  2. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I don't know how well it will grow in your area, but mint keeps ants away. It also spreads like a week, so you'd need to contain it in some way.

    My Grandma swore by baby powder. Put a little sugar with the baby powder to attract them.
     

  3. BobK

    BobK Well-Known Member

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    If you can get the ants to feed on Ant Terro ( a boraxed based insecticide) you can get rid of whole hive in about 10 days to 2 weeks. If you just want to keep them out of things diatamacious earth (found at pool supply stores) works really well as long as it is kept dry. Ants will not cross a barrier of diatamacious earth. I often use it around our feed barrels.
     
  4. Fla Gal

    Fla Gal Bunny Poo Monger Supporter

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    Here in Florida we have a small black ant that I call a sugar ant. They're fairly tiny and will overtake your house in a fraction of a heartbeat. They don't have outside nests to speak of but are very comfortable living in your walls, attic or where ever they can easily reach food or water.

    The little buggers started going after the moisture in my kitchen sink. I started drying the sink every time I used it and before I left for work only to find them migrating down the sink drain. In addition to drying out the sink, I started stopping up the drain. The crafty little buggers found the bathroom sink. I started doing the same thing with the bathroom sink and they migrated to the toilet tank! :eek: They are industrious little guys. :p

    I had very hardy Florida plants that were low maintenance and required no watering for them to thrive. I hadn't watered them for a few months and it was a dry spell. I figured if the ants wanted water, I'd give it to them. I began watering the plants a little every three or four days and the little guys were apparently satiated because they disappeared out of the house as quickly as they showed up.

    Another time I was so infested with the small black ants, they were getting ready to move to the inside of my house, I resorted to "Terro Ant Bait." It's sugar water with boric acid in it. I had what seemed millions of the critters and they flocked to the Terro. It got rid of them. I found it in the K-mart garden section but I'm sure you can get it at Wal-Mart or other places. Here's a site that has a picture of the box.
    http://store.arbico-organics.com/1257401.html

    I hope this will help you with your problem.
     
  5. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Baiting is the absolute best way to get rid of ants. The amounts needed are very small, the active ingredients are very low in toxicity and dilute. Contact poisons, like sprays, dusts and such, only work for a short time and are more risky for you and your pets.

    Terro has a good reputation. If they want it, it will work. Try a tiny dab when you see them. They will take it instantly if they want it. If they take it, put a little more. One quarter teaspoon will kill a whole colony. Terro is sugar based and they may not take it. If not, look for Amdro. The same rules apply. Test a few grains. They will pick it up instantly if they want it. Don't waste it.

    If you cant put either bait out of reach of the pets, put the pets outside while the ants collect what they will. It will only take about an hour for them to get enough to kill the whole colony in 10 days or so.
     
  6. Jenco

    Jenco Well-Known Member

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    Thank you all so much for your replies! I'll try the baiting idea that you all recommend. They haven't made it in to the house that I can see.... yet.... but I'm sure in due time they will. Those little buggers are everywhere outside though. My neighbor was trying to tell me that they eat termites, so we must have an infestation in our neighborhood... :confused: I've never heard that so I thanked him for the information and went on my way. Has anyone else heard this?

    DH wants to just call the "Bug-B-Gone" people... :no: I refuse since it didn't help at all the last time they came out and I wasted $50 just to placate his intent on being right.
     
  7. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Some ants are predators of termites. The Argentine ant is the only one I am aware of though, and based on your description, that is not your ant. Believe me, you don't want that ant. My guess from what you say is that you have what is commonly called a sugar ant, or **** ant. A more accurate name would be a pavement ant, although I would need to see an ant to make a positive ID. If the nests are close to the structure they may come inside during the cold winter months. If you try the Amdro, you can spread a cup around the edge of the house and be rid of them until spring. Eventually they will repopulate. Ants actually own the earth. We just fool ourselves with paper and lawyers.
     
  8. Bryn

    Bryn New Member

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    I saw in the papers the other day about these ants. They're called "Ghost ants" that like sweets. I have the same problem in kitchen/ bathroom in South Florida. They look like a very tiny ant, but actually they're white with dark spot in the middle. In it, it advises using a bait for workers to carry to their queen that would kill the whole colony. Spraying stuff on them wouldn't work unless you kill the queen.


    Bryn
     
  9. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Bryn says:
    This is the best way to deal with all ants. Actually, they don't carry the bait to the queen, they carry it to the larvae and the larvae chew it up and feed back to the workers who in turn feed it to the queen. Some baits are too concentrated and kill some of the larvae and workers before the bait gets to the queen. The choice of toxicant is important, but so is the concentration. Generally, boric acid should be less than 5%. Jelly baits and liquid baits dry out and get more concentrated as they dry out. So you can't expect it to last long. Terro is an example of a liquid boric acid bait. Hydromethylnon is another toxicant that is excellent and is often put in grits. Amdro is a good example. Hydromethylnon is usually less than 1%. Amdro will remain acceptable to the ants for years if you keep it in a tight lidded jar. I carry at least 5 different baits in my truck. I test them so I don't I waste them.