ants! - little ones, but lots of them

Temps here in Ohio have gone up into the upper 80's suddenly, and there are loads of ants in our house. More specifically, there are loads and loads of tiny 1/8" long ants, primarily in our kitchen and bathroom. These are the ones that normally seem to be after sweets or grease.
I first noticed them in the bathroom, on the kids toothbrushes. They use a kids toothpaste that is a very sweet gel kind with sorbitol, so I got rid of that. It didn't stop the ants. I finally noticed they were also congregating around the sea monkey container in the kids' room, and I noticed then that they were going anywhere there was water.
Not only has it been hot, it has also been dry. I think that the ants finally came out of hibernation, and have been searching for some food, but especially water for their colony.
The trouble is, it is especially sickening to come in to the bathroom and find ants all over your cup, your toothbrush, etc. I used to take a drink at night with the light off, but no more. I'm afraid I'd be drinking ants along with the water!
I've tried spraying Diazinon outside the house along the foundation, wherever I see a little line of ants. It works a bit, for perhaps a day at most. Maybe this is because the Diazinon is water based, and not as strong as the old stuff I used to have.
I've also caulked wherever I see them coming in, but they always seem to find a new place. If memory serves, their numbers will dwindle with time, but it still doesn't help much knowing that right now.
Can anyone recommend something we could use to get rid of these buggers? I've tried ant traps with poison, but they don't seem interested at all.
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If you have a basement. Oil of pennyroyal 3 or 4 eye dropper amounts place on your sill. Won't kill the ants just drive them out. Good for a year or two.
Bill
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Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA

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This oil of pennyroyal is strong stuff. On second thinking I'd say smell it and consider if you want to smell it for a few months. This in your basement that could infiltrate your living space. So if inclined error on too light.
Powerful stuff .
Bill
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Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA

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By your description, and their feeding habits, my grandma called them "sugar ants". They don't bite people for some unapparent reason, madibles too small? As you also indicated, their apparent population will dwindle rapidly as summer approaches.
My wars with both these type ants and fire ants from entering my home was eventually won with common boric acid. The local feed/hardware store here sells it in economy size plastic squeeze bottles with a nipple cut to size dispenser end. The "sugar ants" seem to change entry paths readily, that's where the "war" part comes in. Have to remain vigilant.
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Dave



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I did not think Diazinon was sold anymore, but it should put an effective barrier around the house. Since these are sweet ants, place cardboard squares with a drop of Terro on each. Put the squares where you see ants. At first you will see hundreds of ants but in 3-4 days, they will be gone. Less toxic than insecticides, you can put a barrier of agriculture (finely powdered) lime around the foundation. Lime dust irritates ants and they would rather not cross it. The lime is a fine dust, wear a dust mask during application.
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Phisherman wrote:

Terro is the best stuff I have ever seen. I buy it in my local supermarket. It seems to be a combination of borax and a sweetener. IIRC it is not even marked as a poison, although it does say "keep out of reach of children". Good luck these ants are a real PITA.
EJ in NJ
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I've had some good luck with those little plastic squares that are about two inches square. They have bait that they take back to the hive. Pretty safe unless kids or pets eat them, so you can put them up high or in secure places. Unless you have really stupid kids or pets.
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Ant baits usually work well when the directions are adhered to, they need to be placed along ant trails, and they don't work quickly... the workers bring the bait back to the queen and even after the queen dies the colony workers will survive for many weeks.
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I discovered that avon skin-so-soft bath oil is great for killing ants. (I don't sell avon). I kept it at my summer place for use as a mosquito repellent. Much nicer to my skin than traditional repellents and it worked better. I had some trouble with those little ants you're talking about and had no ant killer, but I had some skin-so-soft. I sprayed the buggers with it and they died instantly. I sprayed their trail and it repelled them for six weeks, even outside. I put some on a metal deck railing as a test and watched ants, even big ones, turn around and run from the spot the skin-so-soft was sprayed on. I keep some in a spray bottle mixed 50/50 with water and use it whenever I see ants. It not only kills them, it repels them too.
Gloria

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