Ants!!!

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Ants!!!

Postposted on Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:55 am

So has anybody else been having unusually severe problems with ants this year? We've had them before, but never anything as bad as this. In the past couple of weeks we have discovered two full-blown colonies living inside the house -- one in a potted plant, and another in the overflow drain of one of the bathroom sinks. When the colonies are discovered and disturbed, the ants come boiling out by the thousands, carrying eggs and immature larvae with them.

These ants don't seem to be interested in the ant baits from the hardware store, which have worked for us in the past. I wonder if the formula of the ant baits has changed. Or maybe this species of ant doesn't like the bait.

We're way too far north to have crazy ants. I'm speculating that either A) the unusually harsh winter here in the Midwest forced ant colonies that normally stay outdoors to take shelter; or B) there's some new invasive ant species that has gained a foothold in this area.
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Re: Ants!!!

Postposted on Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:13 am

every few years they get bad here (northeast) and we have the outside of our house sprayed... then we dont see them for a good year or two. DONT use orkin or those guys.. they are a complete ripoff (they wanted like $400 when it was all done) - I pay like $75 every 2 years :)
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Re: Ants!!!

Postposted on Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:19 am

Had the same issues with sugar ants here in Texas last year. The ants were getting more and more desperate in trying to find sources of food and stable climate due to the hotter, longer, and dryer summer season. So your speculation is probably very accurate in that ants are looking for shelter and food.
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Re: Ants!!!

Postposted on Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:26 am

Apparently there is going to be huge ant explosion this year and it actually started last year. I know I have been fighting the darn hills and trails around my house since last summer. That and the Southern broad-leaf weeds have gotten out of control too. Certainly makes my yard work take more time.
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Re: Ants!!!

Postposted on Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:28 am

I remember there was a problem with pharoah ants throughout my old condo building. It seemed like a "phantom" problem, they would show up, then disappear for a while, then show up again. In reality, they were probably always there but not always noticed. Anyway, it was a nightmare, they would sometimes come pouring out of cracks (it was an old building), and you could not leave any food out in the open. I even ended up putting my boxes of cereal in the fridge just to keep them out. They also loved honey, I had a bottle in my cupboard and they were all over the lid. Needless to say that got pitched out. The condo building had a management company that was aware of the problem and they sent out notices about it and got a pest control company in, but a year later when I moved out, the ant problem was still very much real. I was definitely paranoid about transporting the ants to my new place but I was very careful in moving and inspected everything closely and luckily no ants made the trip. I personally don't hate ants but it goes without saying you most definitely don't want them in your home.
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Re: Ants!!!

Postposted on Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:28 am

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Re: Ants!!!

Postposted on Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:36 am

forget the baits and use the drops that they take back to the nest.
it is what always works for me.

as for are we seeing ants yet... too early for us in the frozen north :-)
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Re: Ants!!!

Postposted on Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:41 am

I stockpiled the Sevin Dust and I barricade the house in it every year. No ants.
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Re: Ants!!!

Postposted on Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:52 am

Diatomaceous earth is supposedly effective for ants, if you need a non-toxic approach.
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Re: Ants!!!

Postposted on Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:55 am

ludi wrote:Diatomaceous earth is supposedly effective for ants, if you need a non-toxic approach.

Works on dog fleas as well.
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Re: Ants!!!

Postposted on Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:02 pm

ludi wrote:Diatomaceous earth is supposedly effective for ants, if you need a non-toxic approach.


Yes, I remember reading that on reddit. It slices them up! Make sure you get food grade because the pool one is treated with chemicals. I have a stink bug problem where I am so I'm looking to get my hand on some if they are just as bad as last year.
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Re: Ants!!!

Postposted on Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:08 pm

Have you considered getting an anteater as a pet? :lol:

http://www.livingwithanteaters.com/2009 ... eater.html
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Re: Ants!!!

Postposted on Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:18 pm

if the Diatomaceous earth is difficult to come by the Blue and Orange hardware stores usually have http://www.terro.com/ that works quite will. It is a pain to clean up if it spills but the ants swarm it for a week and die off. Eggs hatch and I get another swarm (not as big as the first) and another then..... silence.
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Re: Ants!!!

Postposted on Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:31 pm

It is estimated there are more than 10 quadrillion ants alive at any given time. From a purely evolutionary perspective, they're winning by a long shot.

Yet they're not trying to drive you out of your homes. Much less poison you...
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Re: Ants!!!

Postposted on Tue Apr 22, 2014 1:01 pm

I had an ant problem where they were getting into my house through the front door and going to the kitchen to grab the food scraps. There was literally a solid line of them. If I fixed one entry point they'd just find another way in. I figured they going by scent/path, so what I was throughly washed the floors with a Mr. Clean/Vinegar solution and then sprayed the whole entry way with Ant Raid. Then for good measure I put some of those ant baits/drops they back to their nest, just because.

It seemed to have worked, I didn't see a single ant last year. If they can't navigate to the food source and get lost (due to the Mr.Clean/Vinegar) covering their scent/path/trail, they'd just move to my neighbors for food (I'm in a townhouse). Don't know if that's true or not, but it makes sense to me.
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Re: Ants!!!

Postposted on Tue Apr 22, 2014 1:22 pm

Two years ago we had a big problem with them. Terro took care of it, though. It's a weird, wonderful thing to watch them flock to that stuff, carry it home and then never to be seen again. The next day my kitchen counter was a warzone with so many casualties. Last year they stayed gone. I'm sure they'll be back this year, though.
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Re: Ants!!!

Postposted on Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:38 pm

A bit of Borax mixed with honey seemed to work last year after a few days. Although by the time we tried this solution, the summer was long over.

Edit: I think borax (or sodium borate) is the active ingredient in Terro. Likely way cheaper to get borax and mix with honey yourself.
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Re: Ants!!!

Postposted on Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:04 pm

I've had a major ant problem here at my house for the past few years. Using every kind of poison they sell at Wal-Mart, Home Depot, etc.
Coincidentally, I discovered a water leak in the wall that had been there since it was constructed back in the 80's. Long story short, some stupid muther******** ran a sheetrock screw through my water line in the wall and it slowly rusted out and had a super slow leak. The ants were always crawling on the driveway and exterior walls and would eventually come inside to visit.
Now that the horrible task of repairing the leak is done the ants have disappeared.
So make sure you don't have a small leak in a wall or around the house somewhere, cuz here in San Antonio, these little ants are ruthless and immune to most any poison other than lighter fluid and a match!!!
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Re: Ants!!!

Postposted on Tue Apr 22, 2014 4:13 pm

This year it's been quiet so far. We don't typically get a lot inside but they do like to go up inside of our exterior siding or in the drain holes in our brick. I found a few gels last year that they really loved and it seemed to stop the problem. Time will tell.
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Re: Ants!!!

Postposted on Tue Apr 22, 2014 5:01 pm

zenlessyank wrote:So make sure you don't have a small leak in a wall or around the house somewhere, cuz here in San Antonio, these little ants are ruthless and immune to most any poison other than lighter fluid and a match!!!

Heh. Mortared stone foundation, dirt floor cellar. Ant combat starts on the ground floor 'cause the cellar is a lost cause.
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Re: Ants!!!

Postposted on Tue Apr 22, 2014 5:05 pm

This thread needs some pics!
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Re: Ants!!!

Postposted on Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:36 pm

I get little black pavement ants every year. They usually appear sometime in mid-February, but this year I didn't see any until 3-days ago, which is extremely late. Probably due to the brutal winter.

They're completely harmless, but being so small (and having dark floors throughout), I usually don't see them until I have a borderline situation on my hands. It's weird, because they come up in the same 3-4 locations, all of which are at least 5-10ft away from an exterior wall, and none of which are anywhere near a food source. Left unchecked, they just continue to file in and then aimlessly wander around.

I suppose I could put the poison bait/traps at their spawning points in early Feb and just leave them there, but most of them are in visible areas and would be somewhat embarassing for company to see.
Last edited by The Egg on Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ants!!!

Postposted on Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:41 pm

BerserkBen wrote:This thread needs some pics!

If things go as usual, I can provide in about 2-3 weeks. Mine are little red ants. Don't care about the name, genus, phylum, or species. I just want them gone.
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Re: Ants!!!

Postposted on Wed Apr 23, 2014 5:06 pm

Have a few that creep in every year, but after a bit of spraying never seem to have them anymore. So no, but I live on pretty sandy ground so not sure if that helps the situation or not.
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Re: Ants!!!

Postposted on Wed Apr 23, 2014 5:33 pm

When my fiance had her house built, she had a pest control system built into the walls. Every so often the pest control guy comes and pumps a bunch of bug killer into a tube sticking out of the side of the house. Apparently it works - in two years of being here, I've barely seen any kind of crawling bug in the house (and here in San Antonio, there are plenty of bugs). It's an awesome system. I had pharaoh ants in my previous house and don't want to deal with that again.
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Re: Ants!!!

Postposted on Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:11 am

Captain Ned wrote:
ludi wrote:Diatomaceous earth is supposedly effective for ants, if you need a non-toxic approach.

Works on dog fleas as well.



This stuff.. What also does it work on? Ticks? Spiders?
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Re: Ants!!!

Postposted on Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:52 am

tanker27 wrote:
Captain Ned wrote:
ludi wrote:Diatomaceous earth is supposedly effective for ants, if you need a non-toxic approach.

Works on dog fleas as well.



This stuff.. What also does it work on? Ticks? Spiders?


By the way it operates on insects (according to the wiki page) it looks like it would be effective against any insect small enough to get itself covered by the power while walking through it.
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Re: Ants!!!

Postposted on Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:13 am

DE is the answer. Particularly food grade. We had ants and spider problems for several years after flooding and odd weather. I put it around the foundation of the house using gloves and a garden spreader. The problem ended pretty quickly. I reapplied this year since it will wash away after a period of time.

Just make sure you wear a good quality dust mask while applying/handling it. Its very dusty by nature and you really don't want to breathe it.
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Re: Ants!!!

Postposted on Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:54 am

tanker27 wrote:This stuff.. What also does it work on? Ticks? Spiders?

Pretty much anything with an exoskeleton.
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Re: Ants!!!

Postposted on Thu Apr 24, 2014 4:28 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
tanker27 wrote:This stuff.. What also does it work on? Ticks? Spiders?

Pretty much anything with an exoskeleton.


Running to my local Hardware store!!!!

Finally something effective that is kid and pet safe.
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