Ants

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Don't think this is an actual home repair question but I didn't know where else to post. We just started (I live in NJ so it's starting to warm up) seeing ants in our kitchen...big brown ones. They huddle on the sponge and in the sink and dishwasher. Problem is I can't for the life of me figure out where they're coming from (we're talking like 10 at one time..not hundreds). I've walked outside around the entire house looking for where they come in....the kitchen is over a basement so I also looked down there and nothing. Do these things come in through water pipes? How do I get rid of them??
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I had some of those little ants on the counter top in my bathroom. Just for the heck of it, I doused them with Listerine. I had to do it for several days in a row, and they vanished. I dont like using chemicals in the house and this seemed to work fine.
wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@UNLISTED.com wrote:

Psst! Listerene is a chemical.
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says... :) snipped-for-privacy@UNLISTED.com wrote: :) > I had some of those little ants on the counter top in my bathroom. :) > Just for the heck of it, I doused them with Listerine. I had to do :) > it for several days in a row, and they vanished. I dont like using :) > chemicals in the house and this seemed to work fine. :) :) Psst! Listerene is a chemical. :) And has more reported incidences to poison control centers than any one group of insecticides...but the counter is minty fresh.
--
Lar

to email....get rid of the BUGS
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At least he didn't use dihydrogen monoxide. That is far, far more dangerous. Read: www.dhmo.org
--

Christopher A. Young
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You're absolutely right. The dangers of DHMO have been ignored for years. It is a chemical that has been allowed to enter our homes, even with windows and doors closed. The amazing part is how much exposure is tolerated without complaining to the EPA. Their website is readily available, as well as the Centers for Disease Control(CDC) Perhaps you could enlist 'heybub' into contacting the government agencies regarding this widespread abuse of hazardous chemicals.
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Public apathy. DHMO is in more homes than Alar, DDT, anthrax, and arsenic. But the ignorance is rampant.
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Christopher A. Young
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I think the word is getting out. Yesterday morning we woke up to find that the community services district had shut off all supplies of DHMO to our house. The relief we felt at learning of their concern for our health was overwhelming.
Alas, an hour later, they turned it back on. We figure it was dirty politics or an Enron-like energy scam that the CSD fell for. Now, I fear, we're screwed.
-Frank
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fwarner1-at-franksknives-dot-com
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i second using the sugar poison . just put it out on your counter where they are comming and in a week or two theyll be gone. i had a black big ant problem once and this would getem but theyd come back in a few months. turned out ,when i cut down the two 60 year old sugar maples in my front yard ,i found they had infested both . after i cut the trees never hadem back. diazanon or malathion sprayed on ground and foundation around the house every month in the summer really helps heep bugs out.. lucas
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I had ants entering the attic through a power cable spanning a length of at least 100 feet. Look at different times of the day. I timed the ants and it took about 10 or so minutes to make the trip to the large oak across the street.
I sprayed the base of the oak as well as put down some sugar insecticide bait in the attic and it took care of it in two weeks.
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If you cannot find a trail entering your house look on trees overhanging your house.

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No trees overhanging the house.
On Fri, 22 Apr 2005 19:32:37 GMT, "Art"

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The other Mike wrote:

Small bottle ant bait from hardware. Sugar and boric acid. On the outside chance it is unusually dry there, and they are just looking for water, it may be a passing invasion. Doesn't take much room for them to squeeze into an opening for plumbing or beneath walls. Helps to make sure cabinets, floor, etc, are squeeky clean. Pet food and kids crumbs are major factor in bugs seeking food.
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Make sure you have no leaks causing wet wood (not necessarily rotten) behind walls. I had this happen to me when I bought my house 26 years ago. Turned out that the idiot who inspected the house for insect damaged did a poor inspection. The entire corner of my house (kitchen section) from the sill at the foundation to the corner roof rafter had to be ripped out and rebuilt due to a carpenter ant infestation. Needed a new corner post (4x6) , new insulation, plywood sheething and reshingle the siding with cedar shingles.
All of this damage was there before I bought the house. The termite/insect inspection was useless and I considered suing the agency but decided to drop it because they had this exclusion about not being repsonsible for damage hidden in the walls. I couldn't afford the attorney
All of the money that I had ecieved for wedding gifts (just got married 26 years ago) and then some had to be spent on bullshit that should have been caught by the inspector.
Do I sound bitter? I hate ants, they suck.
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wrote:

I had the same problem in my old house and it drove me nuts. These were the big black ants and I thought they were coming in from outside. I did the whole drill, looked for trees overhanging, etc. They used to appear in the kitchen in the warm weather, 2 to 10 at a time. I killed them as I saw them till one day I went to re attach some siding on the house side that had come loose. I could not nail it back because ALL THE WOOD BEHIND IT WAS GONE!. It was eaten by those suckers. I had a major infestation and like the previous poster, had to remove most of the siding and support.
Don't mess with this. Call someone to give it a good check.
Mike
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The other Mike wrote:

I live in Sussex County. I just put ant poison on the earth next to the foundation where I had two different colonies of ants living next to the house and crawling into the kitchen.
I used some "ant crystals" I bought from a mail order place last winter and some powdered boric acid I had purchased years ago. [I have lived here seventeen years and finally decided to do something about the tiny predators crawling around the kitchen.]
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Sometimes ants will build nests between the walls. If you buy an ant spray and remove the electric socket plates and spray between the walls it might help.
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Lots of good advice here but everyone is telling you how to kill them, not how they might be getting into your house. One thing about ants, if there is a crack, they'll find it. Here in south florida, I think ants have morphed into super ants because nothing seems to kill them.
In any event, we had a similar problem and the entry point was two-fold. The range hood was vented to the roof, they were coming in through that. A removal of the vent pipe top and inserting screen over the pipe then putting the top back on solved that problem, for about a week. The second entry point we found was in the gable vent on the end of the house. It has an electric fan in it that blows the louvres open when the thermostat kicks it on. It isn't tightly sealed when closed and it turned out to be yet another entry point. Same thing, took the louvres off and cut a sheet of screen to fit over the frame the fan was attached to and with my trusty staple gun was able to seal it all the way around with screen, then put the louvres back on.
Again, as with ants, I just know it's a matter of time before they find another entry point and I'm back to Home Depot again. I almost have to thank the little suckers for helping me find all the holes/cracks in the house.
I use the plug in type pest repellers in various points of the house, they are sunbeam models and they seem to be effective and are chemical free.
Another thing to keep in mind is if you've recently had your house tented for bugs, or a neighbor close by may have had it done. Ants come from all over to cart off the carrion. Where there is a free meal, there are always ants looking to take advantage.
Believe me, ants don't need trees to get in or on your house, they defy gravity so they'll get it if they can.
A major entry point in most kitchens is where the sink drain pipe enters the wall. You may have the metal ring around the pipe covering the entry point into the wall. Slide that ring out and see how tight the seal is. If there is any space at all, spray your bug spray down inside the wall, then caulk it closed. The same goes for bathroom sinks.
They also like to come in under any breach in the weather stripping on the bottom of doors. Most people don't think to weather strip the top of doors as well.
Shower drains is a good entry point as well, especially if you have a septic tank.
Good luck!

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Lost in Translation wrote:

I'm in Florida, too. Carpenter ants were all over our condo property until we cleaned up dead wood on lawn and repaired exterior wood panels that were damaged and wet. One nest in a tree - dead wood - allowed them to get onto roof and into a kitchen. Bags and bags of poison did nothing compared to just cleaning up.
We have ground floor unit, and get small ants in the spring when we leave sweet stuff on the counter too long. They get in easily through patio sliders, but easy to get rid of using simple bait with sugar/boric acid. I have read about powdered boric being repellant for some bugs, as they don't like granules. If they persist after sugar/boric bait, instructions state to try mixing with a touch of vegetable oil (in case they are "grease" ants. Ants and other bugs also come in doors more when conditions are unusually wet or dry (looking for shelter or water). Don't need to use a ton of poison. In my experience, both in Fl. and north, cleaning up and putting away their food does the trick most of the time. Spring seems like time to build more nests, as it is almost the only time I've ever had them indoors. They like the sugar in toothpaste, too :o)
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Log onto www.gardensalive.com and buy liquid ant bait. I had carpenter ants for years, and this was the only stuff that got rid of them.
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Christopher A. Young
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