Hot Tub Ants

I've got ants!
Northern California black ants. The kind that invade whenever the weather get really hot or really wet. The kind that ignore food. They're looking for something (aren't we all), but it's not food. Maybe the weather changes disrupt their homes (like earthquakes on ant-scale).
Anyway, lately they've been swarming the top edges of the hot tub. The hot tub sits on a gravel bed surrounded by a wood frame with dirt or grass. It's going to foggy with occasional periods of rain until next summer. What do you think my best ant-kill and return-prevention options are?
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Calling an exterminator who should have the ants identified by an entomologist. That way a treatment for those specific ants can be prescribed and applied.
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....or if you're not made of money, head on down to the Home Depot or the local do-it-yourself pest control store and buy a small bottle of the nastiest ant killer they have and see if that works.....
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I used to have a similar problem here in Southern California. Once a month I use a grocery store purchased brand of ant spray around the bottom of the hot tub, about 6 inches up from the ground. The ants have to pass that area to get to the top. So far that has worked for me. If I go much past a 1-month interval they return, so you might have to experiment with different spray intervals and brands of ant spray.
Please report back the results of whatever you do, so others can learn from your experience.
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CWLee
"I appreciate those who walk out from the edges with
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@pac.bell.net says... :) Anyway, lately they've been swarming the top edges of the hot tub. The hot :) tub sits on a gravel bed surrounded by a wood frame with dirt or grass. :) It's going to foggy with occasional periods of rain until next summer. What :) do you think my best ant-kill and return-prevention options are? :) :) It can depend on what type of ant you are dealing with on what to use. If it is a small ant most of the common gel baits probably will work whether they are a species that is living in the ground around the tub or it being one that lives in the insulation or lining of the hot tub itself....Terro..Combat, though depending on what their colony needs are may determine if they are looking for sugars or proteins. If it is a large ant they probably are carpenter ants that would require a more specialized bait or professional treatment.
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Lar

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I like the granules. They carry them back to the nest, helping to kill the unseen ants, too.
No need to hire an expensive exterminator. Go to Homer's and buy a bottle of diazanon or malathion. That will do it.
Steve
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says... :) No need to hire an expensive exterminator. Go to Homer's and buy a bottle :) of diazanon or malathion. That will do it. :) :) Diazinon is no longer on the market..malathion would stink too much, especially if it were to get into the insulation.
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Lar

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" It's going to foggy with occasional periods of rain until next summer" Boy that sure sounds like the Mill Valley hills. As for the ants I would go buy a spray at Home Depot or any hardware store, maybe try some bait station, try some deferent stuff the cost is cheaper than a pest service sure they will come back and spray for free ( I sure that's if you singe a service contract)We had a pest service when we bought our new house cost I believe $65 every 6 weeks. Still got ants and a excuse every time they came back, that was a short lived service( the lawn guy is next) It seems when the first rains hit the ants are on the move, seems like when the summer heat hits the ants are on the move, seems like nothing kills them.
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snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net says... :) contract)We had a pest service when we bought our new house cost I believe :) $65 every 6 weeks. Still got ants and a excuse every time they came back, :) that was a short lived service( the lawn guy is next) It seems when the :) first rains hit the ants are on the move, seems like when the summer heat :) hits the ants are on the move, seems like nothing kills them. :) :) :) not with today's products..I expect the treatment to last the year. One foundation treatment for all species of ants.
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Lar

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says...

I agree, nothing I have tried lasts much more than a year but if I am lucky, it does.
I also live in norhtern CA and know the ants of which you speak. While I don't have a hot tub I do have a method that results in a quick kill. I simply follow the trail back to the nest then pour water on it for a few minutes (really drench it) when all the ants come out holding their little white maggot babies, thats when you hit them with whatever ant spray you have handy. The nest will generally not repopulate until the winter rains have gone if at all. I never spray indoors, these ants always come in from the outside.
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says...

Thanks guys, The fascinating thing about these ants is how they never bother the food in the house.
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