Invasion of the red ants

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The state of Missouri (US) belongs to the red ants in the summertime. They are everywhere.
They congregate around my back door or get into the detached garage, it bothers me. In the lawn I don't much mind.
I've been using Diazenon powder to control 'em. It kills many but doesn't repel 'em. They keep coming back.
Anything on the market that effectively repels red ants but won't cause serious problems for pets, etc?
Thx, Will
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On Tue, 22 Jun 2010 08:38:15 -0500, Wilfred Xavier Pickles wrote:

How about a pet anteater?
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Chief Two Eagles wrote:

Chuckle...
For OP, I find the Amdro (or is it "n"; I can _never_ remember) ant killer effective in the "don't need applicator license" aisle.
Diazinon is no longer available at all in the US afaik and hasn't been for several years (pushing 10 now???).
The Amdro bait is pretty effective at actually being carried into the hills and eliminating colonies which is the key to control in areas. It also does deter them from areas in which there is some scattered it seems--I notice on sidewalks particularly if there's a den started in a crack they'll continue to congregate at the entrance until they're done in but they avoid the former trail areas it's scattered around like the plague. But, they're conditioned to clean the debris from around the den and the workers will carry it out and around and in a day or so a small den will almost always be eliminated completely. Sometimes a really large den may come back to small activity in a week or so, but a second application will then get the newcomers. Speaking of which, I noted while mowing around the equipment lot yesterday a couple big 'uns I need to go get...
--

--

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dpb wrote:

We began using Amdro when my husband was the handyman for our condo...lots of outdoor work and loads of fire ants. Amdro sprinkled lightly along paved areas (patios, pavers, sidewalk, seawall, etc) would eliminate them for about a year. At least to the extent we didn't get swarmed when we worked on sprinklers. It's pretty interesting to watch them try the bait and then tell their friends :o) Should be applied when a couple of days of dry weather is expected and gently so as not to disturb the nest. I've never tried it for other varieties of ants. The label directs that it should be broadcast on an entire lawn, but that was never necessary for us.
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On Tue, 22 Jun 2010 13:48:23 +0000, Chief Two Eagles wrote:

:-) I wonder how far they can swim? Maybe the OP needs a moat around their property.
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On Jun 22, 10:16am, Jules Richardson

I've been usingthese guys for a couple years now and I'm happy with them. www.domyownpestcontrol.com
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wrote:

I had a friend with ants in her garage who didn't want to use poisons because of her cats. I suggested sprinkling dried chrysanthemum petals. Apparently they contain natural pyrethrum which kill insects but are harmless to pets. She bought some from a website and it worked.
Paul
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On Tue, 22 Jun 2010 08:38:15 -0500, Wilfred Xavier Pickles

If they will eat Amdro it works fairly well but if it has been used much around your area they will not eat it anymore. Othhene powder will work too (black can at the home store) In either case, follow the label directions.
For the other poster, yes they swim. In fact, if you have a flood, stay away from any floating mass of stuff you see on the top of the water. It may be an island of ants (the whole colony). They will swarm on anything they bump into and that many ants can easily kill you.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote: ...

I've never seen that after 10 years or so...but that, of course, is application as noted above on specific colonies/hills, not broadcast over an entire area. That would, over time if continued, undoubtedly breed either avoidance and/or resistance. Not a smart thing to do...
--
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Nor I if you use fresh Amdro. But I have seen them completely ignore Amdro that has been opened and sitting for a year or two. Evidently it loses its attractiveness to them.
KC
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KC wrote: ...

Wouldn't know; it never lasts that long... :)
I'm sure whatever is the bait portion would loses it's volatile components. I don't know about its toxicity degradation w/ time.
Unless that goes away, it seems to me that since they pick the granules up and transport them away from the nest openings as debris when it's scattered it would still be of some benefit even if they don't glom onto it. Watching, it seems to me that that's sufficient contact to kill, the only real need for the bait on a den is to get some carried inside to the tenders and particularly, hopefully, to the queen to end that particular colony permanently.
--
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It happens eventually. When I first moved to Florida in the early 80s Amdro was the go to solution for fire ants. The extension service even sold it at a reduced price but eventually it just stopped working.
For that matter, I have not seen a sugar eating ant around here in 10 years. You can leave a sugar cube on the counter for months and they won't touch it. I worked my way through all the proteins baiting them with each thing they were eating until they simply ran out of things in my house that they would eat so they don't come in anymore.
Ants have not been here for a million years by being dumb.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I have a package of Amdro that is probably 5 or 6 years old. Use it about once a year now, works great. I no longer treat our condo yard, but just patios and walkway nearest to us. Seems to be the custom for fire ants here to move into the building in the spring...one neighbor said she had them coming from her kitchen drain, but they probably were going TO it, which one nasty infestation was doing in my condo. We are ground floor with slider right next to kitchen, so if any food is stored on counters, they will find it. Most people I know in Fl. keep all that stuff...bread, cake...in the fridge. We have also had long dry spells in Florida, and lots of pests will move indoors just looking for water.

They love Publix coffee cake, bread, butter :o)

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On Tue, 22 Jun 2010 15:29:39 -0400, " snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net"

Do the bait thing. Take some of that coffee cake and mush it up with boric acid about 12-15 parts cake to one part boric acid. (a little water helps that process) then put the goo in bottle caps around where the ants are walking. After a while the ants that eat cake will be gone. They may come back eating something else but eventually they will be gone if you keep baiting what they are eating. I had that experience with doughnuts. Pretty nasty when you realize that doughnut you are eating is full of ants.
Mine got so selective they would only eat dog food the dog had chewed on. Guess what my last bait was made from ;-)
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wrote:

Let me be the first to ask the dumb question ......... what does boric acid do to ants?
Steve
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On Tue, 22 Jun 2010 15:55:00 -0700, "Steve B"

Not dumb!
It _burns_ (acid) the exoskeleton, when they walk on it. Same with killin' cockroaches. Dust with it like a Sevin dust around a home perimeter.
The mixtures used in a bottle cap type bait (jelly for one) will attract them, when you cannot "dust" an area.
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On Tue, 22 Jun 2010 15:55:00 -0700, "Steve B"

It is a slow acting poison if you use a small dose.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

It also works to keep flea eggs from hatching...that from our vet when our cat had an awful case of fleas and just before topical treatment was available.
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On Tue, 22 Jun 2010 20:40:44 -0400, " snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net"

One of my friends used to own a flea treatment service that he sold for 6 figures. The secret of his success was treating carpets and furniture with a combination of boric acid and diotomaceus earth (mentioned by another poster). Both are unregulated and available in bulk from a place like Lesco. He made an applicator out of a PVC pipe with holes drilled in it that worked like a roller depositing spots of the mix that they worked into the fibers with a broom. As a bonus it also did a number on just about all the other creapy crawlies we have here.
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<stuff snipped>
<.... what does boric acid do to ants? -- Steve >

When I lived in an old walk up in NYC, I sprinkled boric acid all around the kitchen floor because the roaches were so thick. They sailed right through piles of the stuff like they were skiing and it had no visible affect on them at all. I suspect NYC roaches have some sort of super immunity from being exposed to every insecticide known to man.
The roach infestations in old buildings like that is unbelievable. They grow so large you can actually hear them scuttling around. I remember the shock of turning on the bathroom light one night and seeing the wall seem to move as dozens scurried for the dark when the light came on.
It's nice to be reminded that at least I don't have to put up with those nasty little critters anymore. The last time I saw one here was years ago, and that was a hitchhiker that came in the bottom of a paper bag from the supermarket. This year, it's stink bugs, tiger crickets, sugar ants and squirrels. The removal of the red maple out front has seriously altered the eco-system around the house. Had to Hav-a-hart some squirrels over to the next town as they were trying to move into the attic after the loss of their home.
Learned a great trick from the 'net to keep them from damaging themselves on the way to their new home. Peanut butter and Ambien. Puts 'em right out. Never had one *not* wake up afterward, although they always look a little groggy when they arrive at their new homes. Necessary treatment after having one get loose in the car. That was NOT fun. Tried to climb onto my head - ran around the inside of the car at warp speed. I grabbed for it and it bit my thumb but good - it was like getting your finger stuck in a sewing machine. They don't just bite once, they chew. I felt at least 5 separate bites within a single second.
That's when we stopped and opened the door and let him exit. The next day, at my doctor's office I learned that squirrels very rarely have rabies - phew! - (which is what I was sure I had contracted from the bite). Of course, he said if I wanted to be sure, I could bring the squirrel to the health department for testing. I should have realized that I might need the squirrel for just such a purpose, but when you're being bitten by a panicked squirrel flying around loose in the car, your only thought is how to get it out of there. Now.
Since then, I also use strong magnets in addition to the built in trap locks (gravity based and NOT very reliable!) AND the Ambien treatment for transport. And they ride in the trunk now, too, in the Hav-a-hart trap which is placed in a plastic trash bag to contain the poop, pee and squirrel stink that comes out of them even when they're knocked out cold. Don't know if you've ever seen an older male close-up. They have immense gonads, thoroughly out of proportion to their size and they leak icky stinky goo and poop, even when unconcious. Shocking, but not as much as when a male possum got caught in the trap and I discovered that they have dual penises. Looks like the forked tongue of a snake. We first thought we were looking at it giving birth. It was getting a hard-on, instead, it turned out.
I trap squirrels because one year a squirrel got in before we left for vacation (had the door propped open to load the car) and did over $3000 worth of damage to the windows and other items trying to get out for two weeks. We though we had a break-in when we first got home because the rim of the toilet was covered in dirt, where he would go to drink. Squirrels apparenlty don't lick themselves clean like cats. Who would break in to stand on the toilet, I thought, and why didn't they steal anything?
When I got to the kitchen and found a bag of cookies and a box of cereal on the floor, clearly chewed through, I knew what had happened. The tale of finding him and evicting him has become a traditional Thanksgiving story at our house, almost as revered as the time when we lit a fire for the holidays and flaming birds began flying around the living room.
Anyway, Rocky did not go easily or quietly. Finally had to build a loop stick to haul him out of the stove where he was hiding. Somewhere I have picture of Rocky staring out from under the hole beneath the burner. We're still finding dessicated squirrel pellets on the tops of cabinets and other odd places.
-- Bobby G.
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