Recently we have had a rash of ants in our house. We have a two story
house, about 2400 sq feet. The ants are in the kitchen and laundry room
at one end of the 1st floor, and in the bathroom at the other end of the
house , on the 2nd floor. So, I am not sure if some sort of "spot"
treatment will help.
Do I need perimeter spraying , on the outside of the house , or should I be
thinking more of spot , inside spraying just in the areas where we see the
Any ideas would be appreciated !!
They are probably sugar ants (toothpaste). Mop floors well, get crumbs
and open food out of the kitchen. Clean cupboards if they are into
cupboards. Get an ant bait, put in locale where they are attracted, in
I have fought ants since I moved to Florida. Sprays are a waste of time.
Perimeter protection only tests their ability to find another path. You have 2
choices, you can bait them with what you see them eating (12 food to 1 part
boric acid) or you can find the home nest and kill them with extreme
Ants shouldn't be a continuing problem inside a residence - too easy to
get rid of. Only time I've had trouble inside the house was when we got
in the habit of leaving sweet, sugary food out on the counter. Then
they came from all directions. Cleaned up, put out bait, they are
history. Have dealt with carpenter ants and fire ants outdoors; easy,
again, with the right approach. Dumping a load of poison into the
environment is not the answer and most critters have some beneficial
purpose if the stay out of the house. This link has a lot of info about
I have ant problems because I am not willing to pump a truckload of poison on
my yard every month like my neighbors. (Chemlawn, Trugreen etc)
This isn't a continuing problem, just a series of separate problems that has
gone on for 2 decades. It involved at least 6 different kind of ants. Sandy
soil that never freezes and native plants that drop a lot of ant food pretty
much makes an ant rich environment. Eventually they all seem to find their way
into the house. Once they find something they like to eat or a comfortable
place to set up housekeeping they are a problem.
You've sealed up the house, which is great. Why would you work on
exterminating what is outdoors? "Spreading something" every few months
will help assure that our kids or grandkids will never be free of
insecticides, our water never clean, and nature will continue to be
malformed because of what we dump in the environment. If every anthill
must be exterminated, it is past unfortunate. Even fire ants have a
positive impact, but a far more negative and painful impact. I harp on
this issue, but getting familiar with critters and keeping them from
being pests is sometimes easier than one would care to believe. I
recall during a bad drought when yellow jackets and other bugs were on
the move to find water - anything with moisture, including my eyes, was
an attractive target. I found a yellow jacket once in an open jar of
jam left by one of the children. Easy solution :o) My ant troubles
have always been related, to some degree, to how clean the kitchen was.
That is an oversimplification. I had a carpenter ant infestation and I never
saw them eat anything in particular. Before you start telling me about "wet
wood" they were setting up satellite nests (eggs and such) in everything from
plastic diskette boxes to under our pillow in bed (pretty good yuck factor
there). The bedroom that had the worst infestation was renovated a few years
later and stripped down to the concrete block. I never found any indication
that there was ever any water infiltration anywhere. I did find the home nest
in a flower bed outside and killed it with a surgical application of dursban.
The carpenter ants stopped.
One infestation in our house, in early spring, reminded me of a movie
about army ants - a whole regiment marching across the kitchen. It was
in the days of kids who ate often and left food out :o) When I put down
bait - sugar and boric something - it was like the commander called
retreat, as within a few minutes they were all marching the other way.
They were gone the next day.
They are fascinating creatures to watch - disturb carpenter ant nests
and they evacuate in force, carrying their babies to high ground.
Fire ants swarm and don't bite until they are all in place, then all
bite at once. I knelt on top of a fire ant mound once, while puttering
in garden. Had over 100 bites on one thigh. Ouch.
I've never found ants in the house where there wasn't food. Crumbs of
dog food are a feast, and a couple of splatters of toothpaste a snack :o)
I had ants that were in love with Purina dog food. I made a bait from 1 part
boric acid and 12 parts Purina. It didn't kill all the ants but it killed the
ones that liked Purina. They are still walking around in the house. Ants may
have separate food streams in the same nest. A bait will only affect that food
stream. In most cases that is all you need but if you really have a lot of ants
it may not really mean that much.
I see the same thing with fire ants and baits like Amdro. You can move them
around and disrupt them but they don't go away. The only people here who don't
complain about ants have a service come in once a month and spray a ton of
chemicals around the house and yard. I can still point out ants to them.
Something I read said that the boric acid should be in solution, not
granular, for ants. Our little bottle of bait says to mix a few drops
with a drop or two of salad oil for grease ants. The dog chow trick
would probably work well, too, with liquid boric acid.
One application of Amdro made amazing difference in our condo yard. We
couldn't stand still without being attacked, and working on irrigation
system was tough. Have to take care not to disturb nests, use
sparingly, and don't water or let it rain for a couple of days. Fire
ants, here, like paved area borders, so we didn't need to use all over
the yard. That was about 5 years ago, and still have very few without
the condo chiefs doing anything more. Wish I had done a scientific
study - I think we got more of other bugs, like carpenter ants and
termites, in our trees with fewer fire ants prowling :o)
Have a service come in once a month and spray a ton and your
grandchildren will look like ants :o)
I have a grease ant problem and I had a bit of success with boric acid and
purina. They stopped eating purina.
Then they went after the canned stuff.
I mixed up some of the "gravy" in the bottom of the can with boric acid. They
managed to eat the gravy and LEAVE the boric acid!!!
I suppose those yankee ants are easier to kill that Florida ants.
These guys even shake off Raid ant and roach spray. If you hit them with the
liquid it kills them but as soon as it dries they walk over it with impunity.
Dursban seems to get them but only if you make an unbroken perimeter. If they
find a 1/4" spot you missed it becomes an ant highway.
My wife is a fan of the boric acid stuff, but it never works...
You can buy a 20lb bag of granules for not much at the hardware store
(or a can if you're problems are intermediate for a lot more/ounce) and
sprinkle some of them around...they'll carry it back to the den and
eradicate themselves usually for a good while...occasionally a queen or
enough of a residual egg cache will hatch out to re-establish the
colony, but normally it will take a new crop moving in. Inside the
house it usually will take a while.
I would not suggest this in areas if you have children who crawl on the
floor or very small pets, but the granules are otherwise no problem and
whatever is leftover can be picked up and re-used...the last little bit
is easily cleaned up w/ vacuum. I know, bags are labelled for exterior
use, but w/ the caveat of keeping children/pets away from them....
Ah Amdro ... it moves the nest. Same with Orthene.
Perhaps this hasn't moved to the rest of the country but around here ants
maintain separate food streams into the nest and when one stream starts dying
off they switch food, perhaps even spawning off another nest if the queen was
killed. Contrary to what you heard in Science 1, they will take in orphan
workers from a dead colony. Those are the guys who avoided the poison so the
new best starts out smarter than the original.
I know I can hire a lawn service that will spray 30-40 gallons of poison on my
yard every now and then and hold them down a but but I also think about my
BTW I can go show my neighbors with that service ants crawling around their
house too, a few days after the "inside" guy sprays..
Sprays are useless for ants.
I don't think ants in your area are in smarter than anywhere else... :)
Virtually any colony/den of any size will indeed have multiple food
streams. I suspect whether workers are/are not accepted depends on
specie as well. I'm not concerned about removing them all outside,
that's absolutely impossible regardless of the lawn size (and I'm
sitting in the middle of roughly 2000 acres, so can't worry about
On Fri, 17 Dec 2004 20:08:27 -0600, Duane Bozarth
:) Sprays are useless for ants.
It depends on the sprays you use. With what the pros have had come to
the market the last couple of years indoor ant problems are pretty
much not a problem. I'll give a 6 month warranty on my ant work, but
really expect the ants to be gone a year.
Lar. (to e-mail, get rid of the BUGS!!
Dancing dog is back!
On 17 Dec 2004 20:57:28 GMT, email@example.com (Greg) wrote:
I've had success with some of those duel-bait systems, raid double
bait stuff. I usually whip them out when I have an invasion. I find
the first trail before they enter myhouse and setup a bait disk.
After I watch the buggers take the bait I track it's progress. First
day or two, they are swarming all over the disk. By the third day,
the numbers drop and less than a week, they are all gone.
I think the grease side is peanut butter from it's appearence.
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