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Bar none, baits are the best way to treat ants. Its eloquent because it takes advantage of ant behavior to introduce a absolute minimum amount of a dilute toxicant. Boric acid can work great. It's cheap and easily obtained. You just have to keep the concentration very low. It should be less than 5% by weight. That means a 10oz jar of jelly would only take 1/2oz. of boric acid. Thats like 1/4 tsp. Ten ounces is enough for 4 years of serious ant problems.

The key and the trick with any bait is acceptance. If the ants take it and the active ingredient is slow acting, it will kill the whole colony.

I'm guessing from your posting there was an annual ant celebration going on. I bet you don't that much activity every day.

Normally, only 5-10% of the ants have outside jobs. When you see a mass, you must have exposed the colony or they were doing the mumbo.

Amdro is a good bait -- if they take it. Someone else recommended Logic for fire ants. I have heard it is also an excellent bait. Combat granular is a consumer version of another excellent bait.

It's easy to tell if a bait is going to work. Put down a few grains and watch. If they like it, they will pick it up immediately. Another baiting tip is the closer to the mound, the less picky they are about taking it.

Baits are far and away the safest way to deal with ants. The toxicity is low, the concentration is low, the amount is small. Watch after you bait. Don't wait all summer to re-apply. If you continue seeing too many, test the bait again and apply some more.
 
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