Tips for getting rid of ants. Post your ideas.
I don't know about the borax recipe, but I used crushed red pepper - inside and outside and it worked like a charm. I had a colony next to my driveway and sprinkled some pepper on the driveway and in the grass and the ants have been gone for about 2 weeks. It really works. (07/29/2004)
Here's a recipe for homemade ant traps from today's newsletter.
This is for roaches. 1/4 cup shortening, 1/8 cup sugar, 1/2 cup powdered boric acid and 1/2 cup flour. Stir with enough water to form balls. Keep away from children and animals. Toxic. (07/29/2004)
By Sharon Ott
Mix equal parts Borax and powdered sugar. Set out in lids from baby food jars, or lids of similar height, just a teaspoon or so in each bait. It may take a few days, but it works. You may need to place new baits out after a few days in really humid weather. Be sure to place your bait in places inaccessible to pets and children. (07/29/2004)
The borax and icing sugar (powdered sugar) works very good. A couple of years ago farmers were told in our area to try Sunlight dish soap to spray grasshoppers in the fields. My parents bought an industrial size pail of Sunlight dish washing liquid, but since they were never told the amount to mix with water they never did try it. We all had lots of dish soap. Anyway, we tried it at our place by mixing approx 1/2 soap and 1/2 water and sprayed it on the ants near our deck. It got rid of them. (11/18/2004)
For a pet and child friendly method, I have used equal amounts of baking soda and sugar. I did this several months ago, and after a few days, I haven't seen an ant in my apartment since. (05/26/2005)
I live in an area that we get major ants, they should pay the house payment we get so many! In the baths, all doors they come in through windows, I purchased numerous things, Terro at Wal Mart worked best like clear liquid on paper, but with pups we did not do that again. So this year I was dreading spring for the ants come marching in only I put cinnamon, on all window sills, esp. the baths then around the door entrances and no ants. The spice bottles at dollar stores, 2 for a dollar is cheap and pet friendly. Good Luck! (05/26/2005)
I've never heard of them called 'sugar ants' before. But soon after we moved to NV, we had an infestation of ants, in the same places you've seen yours (bathroom, by the kitchen sink, etc.) and we were told they're looking for water. All we used was Raid and got rid of them, but not before some made their way to my stash of non-zip baggies of chips & cookies for my husband's lunches. No telling the money we had to toss out spent in those foods and the baggies, of which then I switched to zip style sandwich and snack bags. (05/27/2005)
Chalk lines work too. Mark a heavy line wherever you see them coming in from the outside. They won't cross it. (05/27/2005)
We were beginning to have a similar ant problem-- lots of tiny black ants in the kitchen. So my husband looked outside the house, under the siding, and found several ant nests around the perimeter of the house, between the siding and whatever is under the siding. He sprayed directly on the ants living under the siding every place he found them with some bug killer stuff from Wal-Mart. This was a few weeks ago, and I haven't seen ants in the house since. I am sure this was not the most environmentally friendly method, but it seems to have worked! (05/29/2005)
Thank you for all the recipes. (05/30/2005)
When we had this problem when we lived in Florida, I found that plain old white vinegar worked wonders! I bought a sprayer bottle (like you use to mist plants) at the dollar store and filled it with full-strength white vinegar. Every night before bed, I would spray this onto the kitchen counters, floor near the garbage can, etc and just let it dry. It's non-toxic, won't harm animals or people, and the smell dissipates quickly. You could just pour vinegar on a rag and wipe the counters down with it if you don't have a spray bottle. Good luck! (06/03/2005)
By Becki in Indiana
I live in TX also, and sugar ants are such a sore subject. We were lucky and never had a problem in the first house we lived in. We have been in this house for a year and a half, and still have sugar ants. They are already in your house. They are in the walls. We have put boric acid powder in all of the electrical outlets, and we spray every 3 weeks, but you have to bait them or you will never ever get rid of them. I have tried all of the recipes and remedies online, but so far nothing has worked completely.
They may not come around for 2 weeks, but then they are right back. I have had 3 exterminators tell me that even when they put out bait, it may take up to a year before they are all gone. The most success has been with the homemade recipe of boric acid powder, sugar, and water placed around the house in baby food lids. They take the poison back to the others and eventually stop coming. I also wipe my cabinets down in the kitchen with straight bleach to deter them from walking there. It's been a nightmare, but every morning I still have dead ants on the counter in the kitchen. I just cannot afford to pay an exterminator right now.
If you own your home, be very aware of termites. It's not a matter of IF you have them, it's WHEN you will get them. We have had them at both houses. In most cases, you don't know you have them until you see the damage they have done. Good luck! (06/03/2005)
By suzi homemaker
When you want to get rid of ants around children's playground equipment, or in garden, sprinkle heavy with corn meal where needed. In 2-3 days, you'll ask yourself, where did all the ants go? They eat the corn meal, then poof, they are gone! I have to do it every summer.
By Brenda (06/03/2005)
If you are having problems with ants, sprinkle baby powder around the area that they are coming into, the ants will not cross it!
By Charlene Laws (06/24/2005)
I had an ant problem indoors and found that the 20 mule team Borax is a great way to get rid of them without poisoning your family.
Also, ants hate cinnamon. If you want to get rid of ants just sprinkle cinnamon around. You get rid of the ants, and you get a nice scent too.
By Noelia Gutierrez (07/12/2005)
Went to Home Depot - purchased TERRO at advice of employee. Took everything out of closets, washed shelves and applied TERRO on small pieces of cardboard and put in corners of each shelf. No more ants. Thank Goodness!
These tiny pests are often called Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) because they came from South America on coffee ships in the 1890s. They're a major pest in California (I'm near San Francisco) and all across the southern US.
It is important to know the type of ant you are dealing with since they vary in food (and hence bait) preference. Do a Google search on Ant Identification to find sites that tell you how to distinguish the various species and what their preferred foods are, if you are not certain. Most seem to like sweets. There are several good sites at the top of the search results list.
If yours are the little Argentine ants, which prefer sweet food, try Terro bait syrup. It's inexpensive. This is a syrup of boric acid and sugar that you place either in drops on a piece of cardboard, or it comes in little plastic trays that you cut a hole in for access. The trays wiped out my ant problem this year. It only takes a few days -- then no ants in sight.
You can make the acid syrup yourself, perhaps advisable if you have lots of ant colonies. Be sure you get the acid/sugar/water ratio right. You don't want them to die till they take the cocktail to their queens and larvae back home at the nest. A recipe I found on a Texas A&M site recommends 1 part boric acid powder per 100 parts bait material, e.g.1 tsp per two cups for a 1% solution. (08/17/2005)
Thanks for all the helpful tips. This is the only website I found that really explained how much of everything to use. Thanks again. (09/27/2006)
By Nancy Bird
I've tried the Borax and it doesn't seem to work for the tiny ants we have here in NC. They literally can crawl right through straight borax and nothing happens to them. We are going to buy Terro tonight. (07/10/2007)
We moved into the upstairs of a vacant home rental. We are not using the basement; it is empty. The previous renters let the lawn die and also let weeds crop up everywhere. There were what seemed a hundred thousand ants of different species all around. So when we moved in, we expected to see them.
When we first moved in, the house was pretty clean and we didn't see any ants indoors, just spiders. But a week or two later, sure enough, the little sugar ants came.
We battled them as best we could. Ant powder, bait, Vaseline on counters. I treated all of the outdoor colony locations as well. Ant powder kills them quickly, but doesn't solve the problem. Vaseline didn't really work, either. They were on the indoor house plants, anywhere where there was food, in the garage...they even went after bathroom products like soap or shampoo.
Very frustrated, we would spot clean any time we saw them. We cleaned them off the house plants on several occasions. I found this site and decided I better find out where they were really coming from.
By accident, my wife and I discovered that there were dozens of ants on her house plant that we had treated the day before. The ants "magically" reappeared. It finally dawned on me to check the house plant. The results were sickening. There was an entire nest/colony between the porcelain pot and the plastic liner of the plant! There were more ants in there than you could possibly imagine! I quickly removed the plant and disposed of the colony far away from the house. While doing so, I killed a single, large, winged ant, which I suppose was the queen.
Later that day, in the laundry room, I killed 2 winged ants that were mating! Finally, my wife found a winged ant on her elbow on the couch and killed it.
We haven't had a single ant inside the house since. So the moral of this story is to find out where they are coming from. Look closely and follow them to the source. It makes me sick to think of all of the thousands of ants that were inside our house plant, crawling all over the carpet, food, cupboards, and us! (07/17/2007)
We live in Portland, Oregon and have had these ant problems for three years now. One year, my husband and I discussed putting caulk around the baseboards and other areas we've seen the ants come through. It worked that entire year. But now, they've found new holes to come through. Just today I was putting clothes away in my 2 year old son's closet, and there they were. We're going to do a bit more caulking in there - I know they're coming from a tiny hole in the ceiling - so using the baby powder would be impossible and since he has clothes in there - I don't know if I want to use the Borax mixture.
Does anybody else have other ideas I can use? Oh and we've had winged ants crawling/flying around two particular windows in our living room. Any suggestions for that? (05/01/2008)
By N Hicks
I just tried the baking soda trick and the cinnamon trick and neither one worked for me. I watched 2 ants come from hiding and crawl all over both, and neither thing bothered them. I don't know what to do. (09/16/2008)
I live in Ontario, Canada and in the past year or so, I have had the very same problems with these tiny ants that have plagued my apartment. With the help of all these blogs, thank you. I have find a solution that works. Thanks to Becky in Indiana.
I've purchased a spray bottle at the dollar store and decided to spray the heck out of my kitchen with vinegar and amazingly enough these little buggers are gone. It is a bit of a funky smell, but it really does work. It doesn't cost all that much and they are no longer parading my kitchen. I recommend this method very much! I thought I would never be able to get rid of them. Thank you! (01/07/2009)
By One happy lady!
I have to concur with the previous statements regarding vinegar. It's cheap & it works. My version of the generic tiny ant is undeterred by borax. Being fresh out of vinegar, I've just sprayed their entry point and trail with lemon dish soap & water. Ho hum.
I've a good idea where the colony is, am pleased to see that they've survived another winter, and am monitoring the activity of a new sister colony a good 30 meters away close to an attached garage. In Tacoma, I'll have to provide a vinegar corrective action every few days for the next few months only. These gals just don't seem serious about the interior (hic abundant araneae). They will keep doing their cleanup thing outside & I'm humbled to share that space with 'em. (06/04/2009)
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