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ants in my walls, floors, ceilings, BEDS!

Enough! I've had it with the two ant colonies (little black ants) that moved into my walls 2 years ago and simply won't go away. They have scouts everywhere, and each week it seems we get rid of the trails in one room only to have the ants pop out from under the carpet in another room.

Boric acid doesn't kill them at all and I've tried mixing it in all strengths with various sweeteners, serving it up as a bait food. Powdered boric acid they avoid. Diamtomaceous earth they avoid. I've even tried those store bought ant baits.

I need to find a way to get them to take something home to mommy to wipe her out, and every ant back at the nest, which is who knows where, but somewhere in my walls.

Waking up at 3 am to find an ant on me in my bed was not a good thing. Now I'm a light sleeper, but feeling ONE little ant on me was enough to wake me up. I figured, nah, that wasn't an ant and lay there in the dark. Sure enough, a couple minutes later I feel another tiny creature on me. I grab my flashlight and look around in my bed, but see nothing. Lay back down again. Feel ANOTHER tiny thing, on my arm this time. I squish it, I sniff my fingers, yep, ant smell. Get up and turn on light. Another one. Turn on the bright ceiling light, a trail is coming down the wall, onto my pillows and into my bed....grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. So I strip the bed and start laundry at 3 am. Take a shower too, as the ants were on my pillows, which means my hair is probably harboring a few more and I keep finding them on me. Grrrrrrrrrr.

HELP! Does anyone have some sure-to-please-mommy-ant and all her family recipe of death and destruction?

These ants are very tricky. They don't make trails out in the open any longer, the trails go under the carpet, or under the wood baseboards. They pop up from the window sills, from cracks in the drywall. They are living somewhere in my 2 story house, maybe in a couple places.....and I want them gone, dead, kaput...
 
Have you tried Terro(spelling)? poison for ants. It is liquid and you put a couple drops on a piece of cardboard and set that near their trail. They are drawn to the poison and will eat it and then carry some back to the colony. Soon it will kill them out. Yo might have to refill the cardboard as they will line up on it and just gobble away. However, if you have pets in the house, don't leave this in an area where the pet can get into it. I have had really good results with this.
 
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I have had great luck with boric acid mixed with peanut butter! You squoosh a little bit of it up with the pnit budder, and then scoop it into a drinking straw. Cut the straw off where you want to leave the bait -- near a trail -- and the ants will take the sticky gooey deadly oil back to the nest.

But that's because we have oil-eating ants here. I know that different kinds of ants eat different things. There's sugar ants, easily killable with Sucralose, and oil-eating ants, who go crazy over pnit budder, and fire ants...and those I've heard ONLY die when you can get two colonies to make war -- get suited up, and get a shovelful of one colony and dump it on the other. THAT does the trick.

....then again, so does fire. And cold. Do you live in a part of the world where cold would make the ants uncomfortable? Can you turn off the heater for a few days, or wait for frost?
 
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Mulchy, welcome to the world of the Argentine ant in CA. Remember my posts last summer? I had spent years of ant invasions every summer, trails in the second story bathroom, the bed was a favorite, not to mention the kitchen. Once there was a huge invasion so they could get into a glass jar of: dried split peas!!! After years of trying every non toxic remedy (Terro, which is boric acid they ate to NO effect, DE no effect, etc) I finally had a company spray a bait containing imidocloprid. This is the active ingredient of Advantage, the flea treatment for cats. I made sure they sprayed only on cement, never on ths soil, and nowhere near the vegies. End of problem! I wrote a pathetic post asking if I was still an organic gardener.

This year that company is out of business, but the ant problem is not terrible. I've started using Terro again, but again, even though the ants eat it, there is no discernible effect.
 
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So why not buy some of those Advantage pills and make your own spray???that's what I'd do .Then you can control where it goes.I would try to find out where in the walls they are and spray there too.In the meantime maybe a net over your bed well tucked in would keep them off you.I couldn't handle this at all.I would try anything in your situation.
Good luck with this,
Mavis
 
I LIVE in the garden ,I sleep in the house
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VERMIN! VERMIN MUST DIE!!!! X-(

You have my sympathy, but I have no real solutions for you. My ants followed my mice, and now that we have the mice more or less (they're letting me believe "more") under control, the ants have disappeared.

Got insurance? ;\ A poorly-maintained gas barbeque, a fumble-fingered long-lost relative of uncertain background, a strategic placing in off-site storage of valuables for an impending planned home renovation... BOOM! No more ant problem.

Just a thought I've entertained myself a couple of times, when listening to the scurrying noises in the ceiling and smelling the cat poop up there, too...
 
[hr]I have three seasons: GROW, *SEW*, and SEED CATALOG!
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Advantage is an extraordinarily expensive liquid that would take thousands of dollars to make into a spray. And ants could crawl right through netting. Oh boy...
 
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But I LIKE MY HOUSE! And my yard! And you know, those tiny little exoskeletons are probably bomb proof too...

As for boric acid and peanut butter/sugar, I usually make a combo mix so if the ants want sugar or protein they can have both. These ants really prefer cracker crumbs, so I'm guessing they are non sugary, carbohydrate ants with a slight taste for protein... (goes along with todays diets and manipulating carbs or protein).

I did get them out of my bed though. And the trail in my room was a scant trail so I sprayed the trail right where they enter the room (under the window sill)(you don't want to know what I sprayed with) and so far they haven't come back into my room (this trail goes INTO the walls, not outside). Unfortunately these upstairs ants don't visit the out doors. They live in my house.

2 weeks ago they invaded my daughters room and bed (although she has so many crumbs in her room and bed it's no wonder). 3 weeks ago a bunch of little reddish ants invaded my sons top bunk bed! He had dozens of bites all over him. Those came in from outside and circled around the entire downstairs til they found his room, then somehow got into his bed. Poor kid was so sore and itchy. He thought he was bit by mosquitoes and went around shutting all the windows every night. I looked at his back and decided the bites were too many and too tiny to be mosquitoes. Went and looked in his bedding and there were little red ants...

Vacuuming every day. Looking at floorboards every day. Checking my bedding every day.

Then there are the kitchen cupboard ants. These go through the walls and enter the kitchen from behind a cupboard. They pop out on the ceiling, or on the floor, from different places each time they decide to invade the kitchen...

Since my computer is near the kitchen, one way I know my kitchen has been invaded is when I get up in the wee hours, restless and sit at the keyboard, only to have ants get on me. Turn on the light and there will be a trail at my feet. grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

But these creatures don't die with boric acid. I've used that stuff for years, mixed with honey and peanut butter and they gobble it up, and the numbers get reduced temporarily, but they always come back.
 
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Old ms. mulchy had troubles of her own
she had a lot of ants that wouldn't leave home
she tried every thing she knew to do
to drive those ants away
she even loaded up the spray gun
with toxic, toxic spray

But the ants came back, the very next day
the ants came back, she thought they were goners
but the ants came back, they just wouldn't stay away.


The ants were quite resistant they came back full force
they crawled into the bedding and got back at the source
they crawled all o'er ms. mulchy, driving her insane
she pulled out all the stops
ms. elfie's to blame.

But the ants came back, the very next day
the ants came back, she thought they were goners
but the ants came back, they just wouldn't stay away.

The house it was a shambles, an obliterated wreck
with pieces scattered everywhere
even the back deck
the children were a cryin', the husband really pisssed,
ms. mulchy was a frownin when she saw a trail she'd missed

But the ants came back, the very next day
The ants came back, she thought they were goners
but the ants came back, they just wouldn't stay away.

(sung to the tune of "the Cat came back the very next day")
 
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Aspertame is the most effective ant killer i know of. Since it is 1000x sweeter than sugar they love the stuff. And since it is a known nerve poison it kills them quite effectively. plus they love the stuff so much they make sure to take it back to the queen so she dies too. End of future generations.

To use, figure out where the ant trails are (sounds like you already know) and sprinkle a line of asperatme on the trail. Watch to make sure they eat the stuff because there are ants that are not thrilled about sweet but love grease (in that case try aspertame mixed with bacon grease).

Good Luck
 
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Aspertame does nothing to the Argentine ants in Los Angeles.
 
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Hi!
I'm new on here, but the ant problem is one I used to have a lot in the hill country of Texas.
Has any of you used baby powder? The one with talc is definitely superior to the one out of cornstarch, but I have had luck with both. I put it in my windowsills, around doors, wherever the little buggers sneak around and they leave... I envision them with red eyes and sniffles, making for the great outdoors which is a lot safer for them, with all the humans wishing they were dead!
Good luck and happy gardening!
 
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Mulchwoman, It sounds like you may have a bad infestation of "Fire Ants".(some are red and others are black) as far as I know there is nothing that will kill them, there is a product out called "Amdro" that helps some,(not organic) You might want to talk to a professional exterminator about them. In the Houston area, they have been known to swarm small animals and sting them to death. go to Google search and search for "fire ants in California". hope this is not what you have.
 
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We don't have fire ants. Yet. We have assorted varieties of ants here, some all red, some part red, some black. Varying sizes too.

I'm going to try the aspartame...and other fake sugars too if that doesn't work.

Thanks everyone for your suggestions.
 
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Mulchy,

We don't seem to have the persistant variety of ants up here that you have down there in CA.

But I've found that a combination of those ant baits that they take back to their nest (I put out about 3 different brands, like an ant smorgasborg) as well as wiping their trails down with vinegar will drive them out of the house within a week. Eventually they'll come back if the honey jar gets left out or something else really tasty like cat food is scattered about but I just repeat the process.
I think the vinegar messes up the chemical trails they leave as markers for other ants.

Don't you hate the smell of a squished ant? There's nothing quite like it..... ick!

If I find their nests outside, I pour straight vinegar all over it. It seems to drive them away.

You have my sympathy-
Keli
 
*We don't own the earth, we borrow it from our children*
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they must not be sugar eaters. Those would probably be attracted to grease.

Ohio does not have Argentine ants
 
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Argentine ants are sugar eaters. They eat the boric acid sweet baits and aspartame but it has no discernible effect. I think the reason is, at least in my neighborhood, is that we are sitting on top of one giant ant colony that extends for a good part of the city. I'm not making this up, there was an article about it in the LA Times. Yuck!!!! The imacloprid (spelling?) bait must have worked just in my yard for awhile because it's so strong. But it certainly didn't eradicate the problem.
 
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Hey Mulchwoman

Did you find a solution to your ant problems?
My sister down in Florida, is having ant problems, just wondered if you found anything that worked?
Did you try the aspertame?
Smiler
Robin
 
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I few years ago I came across a remedy for pests in the garden, I think it may have been in Organic Gardening. The suggestion was to gather the pests put them through a blender to make a water/soap/pest mixture and then spray the plants. It apparently works very well!
Keli's posting about how squished ants smell bad got me thinking. Ants use pheromones, (chemical smells), to communicate with each other. this is why they follow trails the first ant, a scout, finds something interesting and heads back to the nest leaving a scent trail in both directions. The more ants, the stronger the scent and so on...
Anyway how about running some ants through the blender and spray the result, with a windex-like sprayer around the base of the walls? You might have to experiment with water and alcohol as a carrier to find the right solvent for the ant pheromones. Ants give off alarm scents when the are attacked. This is the smell you are trying to get in your blender. Try puttting your blender glass container in a likely ant trail along with something to attract them and you could probably get quite a few in there.
By the way you don't need very much of the pheromone to affect the ants. By way of example there is a type of moth that can detect as few as one or two MOLECULES of pheromones. Ants may have similar sensitivities.
good luck
David
 
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The ants didn't even look at the fake sugar for more than a minute. I put out assorted baits which were ALL ignored. I also bought some horrible chem stuff and for a month, once a week put some of that along the floor board, in the areas they always enter the house. The latter seems to be the only thing they didn't like and the haven't come back in, upstairs.

I also put assorted baits outside, and those were ignored. Spent a fortune on various baits "guaranteed to work", and the ants didn't bother. At least not when I went outside to look and see. But since one colony is no longer all over my front steps, maybe, just maybe they snuck into the bait and took some home, as I haven't seen that particular, HUGE colony any longer. Now I have to go find the plastic bait holder and figure out which brand it was (I bought 4 different type baits). I'm thinking that colony out front must have been going under the house and into the walls and up to the second floor, as the ants upstairs seem to be gone, and they certainly didn't take any indoor baits. I still have ants on the back porch, and once a week I spray along the back edge of the house so they won't cross and go into the house itself. That seems to be "working". The baits I put out back have not killed any ants as far as I can tell.

So, I can't give a definitive answer. Unfortunately, the less toxic methods of ant control failed and I had to go with chems. Frustrating.

As for ants in the blender...maybe. I hate the smell of ants though. I hate picking them up, let alone putting them in the blender. Hmmmm. Put the blender, with some sweet stuff on it, right along the trail of ants? Let them climb in, then turn the thing on? Have to get it all set up with extension cord ready. Those things are NOT getting a free ride into my kitchen via the "Blender Express"!
 
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Hey Mulchwoman

Thanks for the info! Smiler I'll pass it on to my lil sis.

I've been trying to get her to come join us here at OG. Maybe she will now that she's finally bought a house of her own, with a nice size yard.......plus the new wildlife she's already run into, ants!!

I awoke last night, from a nightmare, ants coming after me with a blender!!!

Thank You to David. Smiler

Smiler
Robin
 
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