Fire Ants

I recently moved into a ranch house (no basement) built in 1999 about 10 miles north of Sarasota in Florida. The problem is fire ants. They aren't a gross infestation; maybe 25 a day before I started taking measures. They appear in all rooms somewhat equally, so I can't find likely point(s) of entry. I keep them under pretty good control using fire ant granules that I spread around the outside perimeter using a broadcast lawn fertilizer spreader.
At the junction of the floor and wall in both bathrooms there are gaps like this, which may be an entry. https://www.flickr.com/photos/90278919@N00/15937498515/
(Ironically, as I was taking the photo, one did emerge. But that was the first time I witnessed this.)
I want to seal the gap not only because of the ants, but to improve the appearance. My plan is to brush some borax powder into the cracks, then run a narrow bead of caulk along the crack to hide it.
The former owners had newly installed carpeting in the bedrooms, so I can't see if they have similar gaps, but I can put borax acid along the outside edges.
Any other ideas?
Thanks,
R1
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On 12/03/2014 7:10 AM, Rebel1 wrote: ...

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Use something far more effective than Borax...at least Amdro or the like. Probably be worth the $$ to get a professional treatment done where they can use something more long-term stable (since Chlordane and its relatives aren't available OTC any longer)...
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On 12/3/2014 8:50 AM, dpb wrote:

Living in PRNY, we get carpenter ants, but not the tiny vicious assault fire ants. My friend from SC says that the pros can get chemicals that are not available to ordinary Joes. Which is likely good, they would be over used.
One time I was in SC, and the fellow I was helping did step on a fire ant nest. I was amazed how small they are, compared to fire ants. But they were wicked, and he was suffering from the bites for a couple days.
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On 12/3/2014 9:28 AM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

When I lived in Florida, I was doing yard work around the condo. I knelt down on a fire ant nest....they are very stealthy and can be all over you before they bite.....then they bit! Man! I was up and brushing off fire ants from my thighs as fast as I could. Probably didn't take 10 sec. to get most of them off, but still had over 100 bites.

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On 12/3/2014 12:22 PM, Norminn wrote:

they were all over the poor guy's feet and ankles. He was wearing open sandals, and the both of us spent time brushing them off. I had work shoes and wool socks, they didn't seen as much interested in me.en they bit! Man! I was up and

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On 12/3/2014 8:10 AM, Rebel1 wrote:

First thing to do is to clean extra thoroughly...vacuum ever possible crumb, mop floors, make sure all kitchen storage is clean. Put sweets (cakes, breads, etc.) and butter in the fridge....everyone in Florida does. Then put a little bit of Amdro around hills, being careful (per label) not to disturb the nest. It's real interesting to see them come out of the nest in a minute or two to grab the bait.
Amdro's directions include using it for broadcast. I think that is entirely wasteful, as f.a. nest close to pavement and structure and putting it at the nest makes more sense.
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Then put a little bit of Amdro around hills, being careful (per

Problems is, I don't see mounds anywhere. And before I bought the house, I had a pro do an inspection; he didn't find anything out of the ordinary.
Amdro was the first product I used outside. It worked okay for a while. My second outdoor treatment was with a product from Ortho (can't remember the exact product name), bought at HD. Worked much better.
Another problem with Amdro: It's for outdoor use.
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On 12/3/2014 10:12 AM, Rebel1 wrote:

Nice thing about Amdro is that you aren't spreading poison all over the place to get at a few nests. I've seen people dump enough Spectracide on their yard to CRUSH all of the ants.....so lame and stupid.
Well, the idea behind making a real clean-up is to get rid of bait that attracks them to the indoors. If there are no mounds (under planters or pavers, along walks, etc) then they may not be fire ants. Get a bottle of boric acid ant bait....most hardware and big box stores have it....it is generic and easy to use. Put a drop or ten on the trail the ants use to get to where they go in the house; takes a while, but it has always worked for me.
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wrote:

Doesn't the presence of fire ants mean there are NO termites?
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On 12/3/2014 10:46 AM, RobertMacy wrote:

No.
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Then - in all probability - what you are seeing aren't fire ants. I've lived in Florida for 21 years now, seen umpteen fire ant mounds on our 10 acres but have NEVER seen a fire ant inside the house.
That is not to say we never have ants inside, we do. And our house is incredibly tight; nevertheless, the suckers find a way in. And if they can't, they will excavate a way through the concrete block by slowly removing small granules from the mortar joints.
I'm pretty much reconciled to cohabiting with an occasional ant - after all, they do clean up stuff - but my wife is pickier. She likes the little tubes filled with a liquid that the pro exterminators place here and there. If she can't get those, she uses the little square ant trap things.
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wrote:

I tend to agree. When I moved here I had a lot of fire ants but they were all outside. I used Amdro, then Orthene when they stopped eating Amdro and pretty much wiped them out. The downside is that then the other, more invasive ants (white footed, big head etc) moved in and I have had ant problems since. The only real way to attack ants is with baits. If nothing else, they stop eating the bait. I have baited these ants so long and with so many things they don't seem to eat anything. You can pour sugar on the floor and they will not touch it. I have also worked my way through most proteins. It got so selective that they were only eating something that the dog had chewed on. I baited with that and killed that queen too.
I bait with whatever I see an ant interested in and that stops the colony he is from within a day. We changed brands of dog food and they were interested in the new stuff. I mixed it into a bait and I am ant free right now but I expect to see them again soon.
Mix your bait about 1 part boric acid to 12-15 parts food. That will get them but somebody will move in to take their place after a while ant they probably will not eat that bait anymore.
I do think that a lot of things we "know" about ants is not really true. They are finding that an "orphan" ant from a colony with a dead queen can join another colonty and I suspect they learn from him, what killed his queen but it may be by eating him.
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I'm in North Texas - we have fire ants, too - for a lotta years, I used a broadcast spreader all around the yard with some kind of granules that kill a lotta different things - now, I still use the granules outside, but I only apply them in a 2 - 3 foot wide band around the foundation with a coffee can shaker - where I can (mainly in the brick's weep holes), I also use the white powder (mostly borax, I think) from Home Depot that's advertised for roaches - I also use the white powder inside the house under the fridge, behind the stove, under the sinks (near water sources) and behind the the baseboards (I pulled the baseboards when I put in new flooring) - IIRC, the white powder looses effectiveness when it gets wet.
Outside the house, I've also had very good luck keeping insects away with Terro - I think it's a sugar water \ borax mix - it's a bait - as long as I keep the Terro bait stations filled, there are no ants around.
IMHO, sealing cracks to keep ants out is ineffective - they'll get in through places you can't see - baiting them, and letting the ants take the poison back to the nest, works best, IMHO.
FWIW, I don't have any pets or kids around that'd mess with the bait stations . . .
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My grandmother called the large red and black ants 'piss ants'. Not sure why she called then that, but there are ants that do have that kind of smell to them.
On top of a small hill near me there is a building with some radio equipment I and several others keep up. A few years ago the fire ants moved in. There is usually 5 to 10 mounds of them in an area about 400 feet each way. We put out some stuff (don't recall the name) for them to take back to the mound and it kills off the queen. It looks sort of like brown sawdust. Just spread about a cup full around the mound. The next week when we go back, those mounds are inactive. We test them by poking with a long stick. If the ants don't come out in a few seconds, we think the mound is inactive.
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You probably saw the picture of the 2 in the Corkscrew,
Did you see these?
http://gfretwell.com/wildlife/White%20black%20bear%20cub%202.jpg
http://gfretwell.com/wildlife/White%20black%20bear%20cub.jpg
Fairly unusual.
There are a bunch of wildlife pictures on that site, most I shot locally here but a few I have collected from my son in law from FWC and SFWMD Most of the snakes were in my screen cage.
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