Probably cheaper to go to Lowe's or HD and buy one of the roach and ant
killers that contain a high percentage of boric acid. I got one pound of a
Roach and Ant mixture (dust) containing 40% boric acid at Lowe's for less
Ants do set up housekeeping indoors. After an extended ant problem several
years ago, we found a complete nest inside a box of Reynold's foil wrap on a
cupboard shelf -- queen and all. With that exception, an occasional
intrusion of ants has been the result of outdoor explorers finding their way
in though cracks around doors or windows in this old house. Easy to stop
with outdoor bug
spray around the point of entry and along their trail after cleaning up
Boric Acid is Boron, a mineral. You need to find a Boron mine. Go
there when the miners are working and offer them money and beer. They
will give you some if you bribe them well.
Go to a drug store, K-Mart, Wally Mart, or any other store that sells
drugs and health care stuff.
OK, this whole thread is outta control.
For crying out loud, this isnt rocket science.
Put some coca cola into a stainless steel or glass pan. Heat. Add
sugar. Add corn syrup/Karo. Add some rasp jelly. Add some bacon fat or
hamburger grease. Throw in a few dog or cat food kibbles. Add just a
little (say a 1/4 tsp per cup) of borax/boric acid/WHATEVER BORATE YOU
WANT. IT DOESN"T MATTER.
Bring it slowly to a boil. Stir.
OK, now you need:
1) Clean jars (mayo, jam, wahtevah)
2) Cotton balls or rags or something absorbent and fluffy
Take the lid of your clean jar and stab a hole with your trusty screwdriver.
Decant the gooey coke/sugar/fat/borax solution into the jar.
Throw in your cotton balls or rags or fluffy absorbent material and
shake it around so the crap is saturated with gook.
Find your trusty ants and grab some with your hand and throw them into
the jar. DO NOT KILL THEM. The more the better, but you need at least
one to make it back to the colony. He will make the stink-trail back to
the jar so that zillions of others can carry the borax/BORATE/WHATEVAH
back to the colony and feed the queen.
If they like your recipe (whatever it is) you will need enough to feed
them for 2-4 weeks.
Then they will stop coming back.
Here, in great central valley of California (Mediteranian
climate), I bought a white, plastic bottle, with spout-tip,
of "Boric Acid Roach Killer III" (1 pound, powder), branded
"PIC Corporation", www.pic-corp.com
I bought this because I could have *sworn* that the
"Terro(c) Ant Killer" liquid that I had been buying, listed
the active ingredient as boric acid. But now, after buying
more Terro, I see the Active Ingredient is listed as:
Sodium Tetraborate Decohydrate (borax) 5.40%
Terro comes from:
Senoret Chemical Company, Inc.
St. Louis, MO 63122
I've had good results with the Terro stuff, when I take a
few extra steps, to stave off the autumn onslaught of the
small (1/8 inch), black, Argentinian (I think) invaders.
Every fall, when the first cold rain comes to the valley,
these little guys panic. I think it's because they don't do
well in the cold--they slow down as the temp gets down to
50F, and get really stiff and slow when it gets near 40F. A
good freeze (rare here), will decimate a colony that hasn't
found a protected location, and they don't seem to be
adapted to that situation. And cold rain is just too much
for them, so they have to find good shelter. So a nice
warm, dry house is just the ticket. They can probably make
do in the ground, but a house is better.
They are so small, a bread-crum is a big deal to them, and
there's usually enough stuff like that on my kitchen floor
to create a real harvest. And if I've gotten lazy, and left
some dirty dishes lying around, I've provided them with
enough bounty to cause the population of their colony to
quadruple or more. I think that a lot of food causes the
queens to just eat and poop eggs--fast. An unprotected,
outside garbage can can cause a colony of thousands to blow
up into millions, spinning off new colonies that need
someplace to go--like my house.
These little buggers don't do the normal fly and mate thing,
they mate right in the colony, and multiple queens are the
norm. And they seem to have no predators in this area,
except maybe for me. Give them ample food, and they'll
reproduce like... well... people! I *suspect* that a
sudden, unlimited increase in their food supply can cause a
doubling of the colony population in 5 days. An r-rated
species, on steroids! That's part of their species survival
strategy--they form huge colonies, food permitting, spin off
additional queens and colonies, and remain cooperative
amongs the colonies. They seem to feast on anything that I
eat, be it sweet or fat, milk or honey, bread or cereal. Not
so sure about vegetables, tho. Here, they are one of the
most invasive, exotic ant species. Even tho it seems
impossible for a human to feel any kind of bite from them,
they will eliminate every other ant species wherever they
are able to make a living. I've read that their communal
colonies can stretch accross counties, and that they will
invade other ant colonies and even bee-hives, killing or
driving off their inhabitants by sheer numbers, sometimes
losing *millions* of their own in the process. I have no
qualms about trying to exterpate them wherever I can.
One time, they were making tracks across my garage floor,
from one corner to the opposite--about twenty feet of trail,
about 6 or 8 abreast, on average. I decided to experiment
by vacuuming them up with the shop-vac. I sucked up the
entire trail, repeating the process about every two (waking)
hours for three days. That's when I noticed the odor in the
garage. When I popped the lid off the shop-vac, it was
about six inches deep in these tiny buggers, and the stench
was amazing! Now I wish I had scouped some into a small,
graduated container, and counted the contents. Then I could
have done some more word to get a real estimate of the
number in that shop-vac. If I try to imagine how many would
be in a cubic inch, by first imagining how many there would
be in the top 1/10th of the cubic inch, I'd guess around
5,000/ci. The inside diameter of the vac canister is about
16.5". So 16.5" x 6" gives a volume of a little over 408
ci. So that's something like 2,042,000 ants. The track
accross the garage was still going, not quite as strong as
at first. That's the first time that I'm aware of having
killed over 2 million of anything.
So here's what I do.
First of all, I try to make sure that I'm not providing them
with *any* food. I periodically check the garbage can, and
if I see Argentinians getting into it, I spray it down with
soapy water, and the same for any trails leading away from
it, for as far as I can follow them. I *try* to keep my
house clean, but when I see the first storm approaching in
the fall, I go on a real cleaning binge. Cereal boxes and
the like get moved into the fridge (they can chew thru the
cardboard and plastic bags to get the cereal).
When I see the first intruders, I put out the boric
acid-based (or borax-based) baits as close to the point of
entry as I can get it.
I try to make sure that the *only* edible thing they can
find on my property is either a natural food source, or my
baits. And if it's cold and pouring rain, they probably
aren't going to be getting any natural foods, especially if
they've moved their colonies into my house walls or attic.
I'm just starting to experiment with making my own baits, so
have no data to offer there. A few years ago, the Terro
folks started offering their mix in exquisitely-designed
plastic traps. The design is good, because it limits the
air-flow past the liquid, and extends the dry-out time. They
also have a perfect little ramp for the ants to walk up, to
get into the bait-well. That's probably a moot point, as
these ants will find anything that tastes good, anywhere you
put it, except for the refridgerator. I think the traps
cost around $5 US for a box of six traps. Being a
tight-wad, I'm going to try rinsing out the used traps and
putting my own mix in. Quite a few ants will be so
overtaken with the bounty of the bait that they seem to
drown in the liquid, and the stuff tends to dry out a bit
over time, so it's a real pain to get them cleaned up. I've
done this to a couple of traps so far, but they both ended
up leaking, so I might just go back to putting the mix on
plastic lids, squares of cardboard, or whatever is
available. It's also quite a trick to get the liquid *into*
With factory Terro traps, used against a colony of
Argentinians without a good food supply, the results can
come fast. I've seen the traps get swarmed with thousands
of ants, and within around three hours, I can tell that
something is amis--they just aren't moving like they were at
first. After twelve hours, the numbers are starting to drop
noticably. After 24 hours, there's just a slow trickle, and
they're not scouting the rest of the house anymore. At one
week, there are still a few dozen ants going for the bait,
but no ants in the rest of the house, and the ones going for
the bait are not moving so good.
This fall, I managed to almost completely keep them out of
my larders, and quickly put the baits out when assault
started. Just putting out two of the Terro traps (one at
each of the two entry-points) halted the invasion, and I
think the colony involved must've gotten hit pretty hard by
the poison--it's been a month since I've seen one anywhere
but in the traps, or going directly to/from the traps.
Geez, how'd I get started on this, anyway? ;-)
Bottom line for this species: don't let 'em eat anything
but poisoned bait!
Several others have said where to get boric acid. So, I'll change the
subject again. I've had excellent results with liquid ant bait from
www.gardensalive.com which is a blue liquid, comes in about two ounce
dropper bottle. I'd had a pest control company tell me that carpenter ants
come dropping off the trees, nearly impossible to control, and it would take
several hundred dollars of spraying and repeat applications. Less than a
bottle of liquid ant bait later, and I don't have carpenter ants any more.
And I got to keep my several hundred dollars.
Their pantry pest traps work nicely on Indian mealworms, too.
Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
Rich. I find it at the drug store. Mix with equal parts sugar or
cormeal. Keep away from Children and pets Though
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