Natural way to get rid of ANTS???

CapeHeart(z6ccMA)May 7, 2003

Hello - I haven't seen Ants around in years but some how this Spring they are everywhere! How can I get rid of them without chemicals? We have pets including chickens and small children around.


Chantel :-)

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we had a n exterminater in once for ants they said look in your yard he bets there are at least 6 colonies of ants. You know when you see a black spot its millions of ants ? Thats a colony. He said you want to dispose of them.My mother use to pour boiling water on them.Or they will come in the house.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2003 at 11:58PM
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Thanks Nutcase
I found this recipe - hopefully it will work and not let other critters come my way! - bulldinkie I tried boiling water in the past, only to find colonies come back. Right now I find no colonies just ants coming indoors, so I will try this recipe around my foundation.

I hope it helps- many many years ago I used a pesticide and never saw an ant again until now.

Here are a few of Jerry's tonics for critter control.
4 to 5 tbsp. cornmeal
3 tbsp. bacon grease
3 tbsp. baking powder
3 packages of yeast (I would opt for the rapid rise)
Mix cornmeal & bacon grease into a paste, then add baking powder &
yeast. Dab the gooey mix on the insides of jar lids, and
set them near the ant hills.
When ants eat this mixture, they swell up and go to the big ant hill in
the sky.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2003 at 10:46AM
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Violet_Girl(z9a TX)

Try sprinkling plenty of dry grits around the ant beds. I have also heard that pepper works, and growing spearmint around your plant beds is supposed to help too. I have only tried the grits, though.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2003 at 4:18PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Are the ants causing a problem?

Dry boric acid works but can be hard on your soil.

Orange oil drench works (2 ounces of orange oil to a gallon of water).

    Bookmark   May 15, 2003 at 3:47PM
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lord_terabyte(Bossier City, La z8)

I can't see trying to get rid of ants without going for the whole colony. I like the boric acid mix for ants that will eat it...just find a small box to protect the drops from weather, maybe line it with foil so the mix doesn't soak into the box, and waterproof box with saran wrap? I'm sure there are better ways to make this product designed for inside use ready for outdoors.

If you had to use a granular type ant bait, you could cover it with something for several days, then wash it all away with water so the chickens can't find it. Or maybe you could put it in a box also...a tiny hole is enough to let the ants in.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2003 at 4:27AM
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owensgirl(z8 San Marcos)

Ants may be a pest, but I've read that fire ants kill ticks. Does anyone know if this is true? I tell you, I would much rather have ants than those nasty blood suckers!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2003 at 1:16PM
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Cinnamon works very well for getting ants to move somewhere else. It doesn't kill them, but they don't like it and will move. I've used it successfully in a number of different houses, around patios, sidewalks, etc. and to clear out an entire colony that for some reason decided my garage was the place to set up home. If you buy cinnamon in bulk (Sam's carries 1 lb containers for around $5), it's economical, too. I just sprinkle it liberally around areas you don't want the ants.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2003 at 11:44AM
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I heard somewhere about an amusing way to get rid of them. An old lady said she had taken a shovel, and took a shovel full of ants and dirt from one ant hill, and put on another ant hill. She did this all around the yard, swapping ants from one hill to another. The ants had a huge ant fight, and killed each other out. I have seen different ants fight with each other. It would be worth a try. And it's cheap entertainment. Lotta

    Bookmark   May 25, 2003 at 11:45PM
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You really must find their hole and put whatever you're using into this hole when the ants are dormant, either during the day for harvester ants or during the night for most others. If you're an organic gardener you must know that any remedy probably won't kill the ants but will make their home so unliveable that they'll vacate and hopefully go to your neighbor's yard. You will also need to use your remedy more than once. Ants are very industrious and determined and they'll keep cleaning out the existing nest a few times. I've had luck with white vinegar (fun, it bubbles when it contacts the minerals in the soil) and with a product called Auntie Fuego, produced by a company called Garden-Ville in San Antonio, TX. Their website address is and you'll probably be able to find a local supplier here. This product was originally produced for fire ants but I've found that it does work on others. As I said, you must be persistent and may need to use it a few times. It's a citrus peel, molasses combination and smells pretty good. Follow the instructions on the bottle. It's not cheap but it is effective.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2003 at 12:33PM
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Hi Everyone

I appreciate all of your suggestions and will try a few of them and see if it works. Unfortunately we have had nothing but rain here, but hopefully it will clear soon and I can get to work getting the ants to move on and out of our yard!

Thanks all
Chantel :-)

    Bookmark   June 11, 2003 at 11:10PM
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Put sugar on a damp sponge and set it where they come in. They are attracted to it and then you can drown them when you rinse the sponge and redo it for the next batch of ants on the way.

nola anne

    Bookmark   June 17, 2003 at 1:48PM
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You can pour boiling water down the anthill if you know where it is at, too.

nola anne

    Bookmark   June 17, 2003 at 1:50PM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

Arn't people curious? I feed the ants bread crumbs and set and watch them for hours. I find them fascinating.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2003 at 2:22PM
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Ants don't like those sheets of fabic softener, like "Bounce." I place them around my kitchen and it works.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2003 at 2:28PM
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Perenniallady_MA(z6 MA)

The best method is plain cornmeal. Sprinkle it around the area. The ants take it back to their nest, they eat it and drink water and the cornmeal enlarges in their stomach and they die. Sounds cruel but it actually works. This idea came to me from my grandmother. It works great indoors too. It is safe around your pets as it is natural. If you use it outside, it must not rain. (HA HA)The weather sounds like it will cooperate this week here in MA!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2003 at 3:58PM
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Albert when my son was very young - yes ants were the little pets he kept in an ant house and watched them make tunnels. But now he is a teenager and no longer interested.

I just think ants need to find a place away from my yard and inside my house! ;-)

Perennillady - Rain and more Rain here on the Cape - it came down sooooooo hard today! We may get a peek of the sun come Tuesday. All I know is I have a green lawn in badly need of mowing and the rain has taken a toll on some of my plants. I can't believe last year we were in the drought and this year it will not stop raining!


    Bookmark   June 22, 2003 at 4:46PM
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ptien(z9 ca)


Does your method (cornmeal) work on black little ants?
These ants are just all over my house.


    Bookmark   January 5, 2004 at 3:00PM
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Cover mound with yellow conrmeal.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2004 at 9:21PM
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thorspippi(z9/s14 CA Sacramento)

when I find them in the bathroom or kitchen, I spray the entire trail with windex. somehow, that destroys the scent trail they follow.

it's not a permanent solution, though.

(these are the ants that come in either to get out of the rain or to find water, not sugar ants)

    Bookmark   May 8, 2004 at 6:42PM
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Does the boric acid work for carpenter ants? How about the cinnamon? I can't find the nest from where these guys are coming from, but sure would like to find something they'll take back and destroy the nest.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2004 at 12:48PM
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digginDan(z5 NY Catskills)

We spread little cuttings of tansy around the window sills or wherever else it appears they may be entering. Works great!!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2004 at 1:55PM
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I have little ants crawling all over several of my bushes, including my roses of sharon and butterfly bushes. Are they harmful? Should I just leave them alone?

And as for ants in the apartment, I used cinnamon at the base of both doors and it worked perfectly.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2004 at 5:46PM
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stacey_turner(N Yorks)

I boil a kettle, then pour the boiling water into/over the mound. That usually gets 'em. :-)

    Bookmark   August 11, 2004 at 7:55AM
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flwrdrmgirl(S CA)

I am pregnant and in my 1st trimester so, I've been trying to find safe ways to kill ants. Thank you for all of these new remedies I've never heard of..cornmeal and orange oil I will try. I've always been a fanatic ant exterminator! Here's my 2 cents: I found that 'bubbles' will stop them in their tracks.
Shake up Windex or other applicable household cleaner to the target area and spray, foaming upholstery cleaner (works the best for outdoors only! clogs the holes), water mixed with hot sauce, Chinese insecticide chalk (very cheap to buy and safe around humans and pets), sprinkle cloves (works like the cinnamon), or if you can, use spackle or white/clear caulking to 'plug' the holes in your floorboards and cracks of your home where they are entering! Email me if you have any specifics!:)

    Bookmark   August 11, 2004 at 8:50PM
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Nikki_TX(8b tx)

Careful about the illegal "Chinese Chalk": NOT SAFE, especially for pregnant mothers! Info is all over the web about this insecticide. The NY Office of the Attorney General has outlawed the sale and use of it.

From the EPA:

"Illegal Insecticide Chalk, also known as "Miraculous Chalk" or "Chinese Chalk." You may have seen the chalk in a neighborhood store or sold on the street for about $1 a box. It is mostly imported illegally from China and often bears a label in both English and Chinese. Sometimes, like on the label we show here, the manufacturer makes claims that the chalk is "harmless to human beings and animals" and "safe to use." These claims are untrue and dangerous. Because insecticide chalk looks just like regular chalk, children often take it in their hands, write with it and put it in their mouths. The active ingredient in Insecticide Chalk is a chemical called deltamethrin, which is one of the most toxic pesticides of its kind. Insecticide chalk should be avoided at all times.

EPA is particularly concerned about insecticide chalk because children may mistake the insecticide for blackboard chalk. Overexposure to some chemicals found in samples of insecticide chalk can provoke serious health effects, including vomiting, stomach pains, convulsions, tremors, and loss of consciousness. Serious allergic reactions are also possible. Several children have been hospitalized after eating insecticide chalk.

Dispose of any supplies of insecticide chalk safely either return the product to the retailer where it was purchased, or contact a local hazardous waste facility to arrange for disposal."


Here is a link that might be useful: EPA Website

    Bookmark   October 18, 2004 at 1:40AM
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pinkychicken_face(queensland Aust)

now I'm in Australia and the ants down here seem to be on some sort of power trip because I cant seem to kill them with boiling water, cornflour, or even deisel fuel. help! I don't know what sort of ant they are but they are bloddy big and they bite hard and they are also right under the clothes line. Now I still need something that wont effect animals as I have a nine month old puppy.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2005 at 9:51PM
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Every spring I had ants coming in my house (mostly my kitchen) and I tried a lot of different things to get rid of them..organically. I don't kill them (following my own personal spiritual philosophy) and I realized that they came inside looking for food to take back to the others. So I took a cupful of sugar and poured it outside close to where I thought they lived..and in a day or more ants inside the house. This worked well until we had a few days of rain and then the ants were back. I realized that the sugar disolved in the I found a container and turned it on its side so the sugar stayed dry..and the ants disapperared again. I chuckle to myself when I see the odd ant or two inside...because I know that the sugar dish is empty..and I go out and restock their food supply.
I realize that most people will laugh at my natural solution as they go and buy chemicals to kill anything that they find not suitable in their gardens and homes...but I believe in Karma..and I am just one of the many lifeforms that inhabit this planet..and I am no more special than the other lifeforms ..including the ants. It's important to me to have a garden that is a spiritual retreat for me...and it would not be that...if I caused death there. This is my solution to the ants.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2005 at 8:00AM
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TexasCoon(z9 SWLA)

I've never heard of using cornmeal before. I'm going to try it out. I do know that you can mix about 3 capfuls of mouthwash(I use Listerine)and a good squirt of dish soap to a gallon or so of water & pour it on the ant bed. It'll knock em dead but you gotta soak the bed thoroughly to get all of them.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2005 at 11:12AM
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Mint flavored apple jelly, little gourmet jars at big prices of course. Mixed with an equal volume of the boric acid based ant & roach killer powder.
Amazing ant bait that the little pesky ones love - put a smear or nickle sized drop in their paths and a day or two later you' decide to try some of that expensive jelly to find out what the big attraction is.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2005 at 9:41PM
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DigginDanny(z5 NY Catskills)

The herb tansy is a great ant repellant. We just put small cuttings in the window sills and it keeps them away for the season.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2005 at 1:54PM
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I did'nt know about the cornmeal thing, I'm going to try it outside! thanks for telling! What I do know is that, when you have ants inside the house, you can spay them with fly spay, that gets rid of them full stop!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2005 at 9:04AM
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singleton165(z5 NH Seacoast)

I heard that a mixture of sugar and borax (laundry booster) sprinkled around the ant mounds will do it. They will take the mixture into the mounds because of the sugar in it and the borax kills them.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2005 at 3:18PM
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okay well we just got that prob. today so i have found LOTS of ways to get rid of them,

vinifar, cayenne, citric extracts, cinnamon, cream of tartar, salt, and belive it or not purfume! you can use cloves, peppermint oils, black pepper, chili powder and cornmeal.

you can also make something that will kill them using 1 part active yeast, 2 part mollasses and 1 part sugar. or u can use grits and that will make them explode.... but use instant grits, they work better and yea thats all i found oh yea if u put half ivory soap and half windex in a spray bottle it will kill them good.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2005 at 7:03PM
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Each spring 1/3 inch long black ants invade my kitchen. These ants are very agressive and go all over. I read that if you smash or squash a few of them and don't remove their bodies--leave them where you squashed them-- that the other ants will remove the bodies. They do remove the dead bodies plus they don't come back because you have created a hostile enviroment. It works, also, these ants will bite so be careful. M

    Bookmark   August 28, 2005 at 8:18PM
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lizinnh(z5 NH)

Boxes of Borax around the foundation works.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2005 at 8:58PM
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I don't know how "natural" this is but it works. There is a product called Combat. It comes in a injection tube. Not very large. The container looks like one of the new things you buy to inject a chicken to marinade them.

Anyway, you can buy it at any store but the cheapest place I have found is K-mart, believe it or not. Cheaper than Wally world.

It will keep the ants, cockroaches, carpenter ants or whatever, out of your home and deck. It works for about three months than use again and it should work for about six months.
Then it is up to you to judge when you need it.

I use to use Dursban in the yard but it was taken off the market. I use what is out there now. It doesn't work as Dursban does but well enough to keep them out of your yard.

If you use mulch in the yard they will live in it unless you do your gardens too.

I live an Alabama and we have to deal with fire ants here. If only the government would come up with a plan to eradicate them all at once so they can't move to another area til yours is free of "ant killer".

But first you have to get rid of the ants in your home. Than in your yard. Or both at the same time.
Combat in a tube. package is about 1x1x8. Good luck

    Bookmark   November 30, 2005 at 5:58AM
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Finest and cheapest way to get rid of ants.

1. I'm guessing Big Problem.
2. Buy the 1 Liter bottle of Honey, but any cheap sugar solution will work.
3. Buy a box of 20 Mule Team Borax. It's 99.5% borax.
4. Get a funnel.
5. Pour all the honey into a large bowl, and add ONLY about FIVE Tablespoons of Borax into the bowl.
6. Mix it up with a fork so all the globs of borax are finely disbursed amongnst the honey.
7. Pour it back into the 1 Liter bottle with the use of the funnel.
8. Rinse out the bowl and the funnel.
9. Go around the house and pour small globs of honey along the perimeter, and near any ant colonies you can see.

If the mixture is less than 5% borax, then the ants can take it home to the nest without it killing them immediately. ( That's why only 5 tablespoons.)
VERY IMPORTANT - Keep it less than 5% of the mixture.

The ants will take it home, everyone will eat it, and go get more and then they will die over the next 24 hours, including, most importantly, the Queen.

If you put in too much, they will die enroute and the colony will survive.'

Oh, and at just 5% solution, it shouldn't harm the soil.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2006 at 10:15PM
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merrygardens(z5 MI)

We have the large-ish black ants in our kitchen; they survive trips through the dishwasher cycle! I smash them when I can get a clear shot, but don't bother about the rest. Is this a mistake? Can they harm me or my home in some way?

    Bookmark   July 14, 2006 at 10:28AM
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I am having a problem with little itty bitty tiny brown/gold ants that are attracted not to sugar, but to fats. They came in somewhat last year, and mostly went after the dog's food, and cinnamon and hot pepper flakes only mildly detered them. The went away during the winter, now they're back in force and they practically cover my counters if I'm not there, actively wiping them up. We try to keep things closed, but they do things like climb the oil jar and die in the threads of the cap trying to get the oil. I don't really want to kill them (and we live in an apartment, there is no yard and no mounds to speak of) just repell them - encourage them to stay out of my house! (In a way that won't harm the kids or dog) Has anyone else dealt with these kind before?

    Bookmark   August 13, 2006 at 9:03PM
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In response to "anyaer" - it sounds like we have the same pests to deal with. In my research I am of the belief that they are either Ghost ants or Pharoah ants. It kind of looks like you've sprinkled garlic pepper or white pepper on a white surface as they are roughly 1/16th of an inch or a hair less. Finally got tired of trying to figure out what they were so grabbed a magnifying glass and sure enough - teeny tiny ants! They are almost translucent. Found this site while looking for a way to get rid of them. They have been "visiting" my kitchen for the last 3 years - usually only for a few weeks then they're gone. This year they appear to be moving in permanently which has prompted me to find a solution -- they gotta go before my mind does. Hope some of the methods here and on other sites work: borax, SSS, dryer sheets, spices like cayenne, salt, pepper and a few other things. I've noticed that my visitors for whatever reason are drawn to paper towels on a counter. No food on it but if we don't immediately throw the paper towel away and walk away - when we return the top and bottom is COVERED with the little creatures. Sounds like a paper towel sprayed with SSS might prove a good test to see if it works.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 1:09AM
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I have an ant fobia and I love animals of all kinds but not in my home so when I had an ant problem she told me to use Coffee and it worked like a charm it doesnt kill them but it keeps them from coming back they hate the stuff. I will try mixing the cornmeal and the coffee together and see how that works

    Bookmark   September 23, 2006 at 8:52PM
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Every spring I had ants coming in my house (mostly my kitchen) and I tried a lot of different things to get rid of them..organically. I don't kill them (following my own personal spiritual philosophy) and I realized that they came inside looking for food to take back to the others. So I took a cupful of sugar and poured it outside close to where I thought they lived..and in a day or more ants inside the house. This worked well until we had a few days of rain and then the ants were back. I realized that the sugar disolved in the I found a container and turned it on its side so the sugar stayed dry..and the ants disapperared again. I chuckle to myself when I see the odd ant or two inside...because I know that the sugar dish is empty..and I go out and restock their food supply.
I realize that most people will laugh at my natural solution as they go and buy chemicals to kill anything that they find not suitable in their gardens and homes...but I believe in Karma..and I am just one of the many lifeforms that inhabit this planet..and I am no more special than the other lifeforms ..including the ants. It's important to me to have a garden that is a spiritual retreat for me...and it would not be that...if I caused death there. This is my solution to the ants.

I realize this is an old thread, but in researching natural ant control solutions, I was so impressed with the above response from msjean. I am appalled by the numbers of people who are quick to kill anything that they deem a nuisance. People, ants perform a needed task in the environment, and invade our spaces in the search for food and shelter -- they don't hate us or have some biological need to annoy humans.

I have an anthill at the bottom of my natural path in front of my home. Using cinnamon just made them relocate to a spot away from the cinnamon. So, today, I've decided to relocate the ant colony to the community's common area. I flooded the ant colony and surrounded it with a ring of cinnamon. I then placed a pot of soil, with a land bridge, next to the colony. They quickly relocated to the pot of soil, which I will then relocate to the common area.

This is such an easy, non-destructive solution where everyone -- human and creature -- are both happy and can live in harmony. Why do we have to kill things? Someday, there will be nothing left to kill but each other.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2007 at 3:35PM
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I agree with you Shrivastava and msjean.

The going mentality is to kill and not many show second thoughts about this. We share this planet, if we can move the ants working with nature and with their nature, this is the best way. Respect and love for one another must start and come from detail level to be true respect.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2007 at 12:36PM
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I live in FL. If you have ever been stung by fire ants, you would not be so generous as to relocate them. It's KILL. It's not pleasant to have them attack you in your bed or invade your laundry or build their mounds in your garden. They are not only a nuisance, they are also dangerous. They will sting you, your kids, your pets and whatever they can overrun like baby birds. When I lived in Illinois, it was live and let live. Here it's survival of the strongest.

I read that using artificial sweetener will kill them. Open a couple of packages or three and sprinkle on the mounds. Amdro works and also a product by Bayer, but those are chemicals. You may also try cucumber peel along their trails to repell them.


    Bookmark   April 23, 2007 at 11:02PM
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cindra(z5b Ont)

When I lived in Texas I worked with a lady that was allergic to ant bites. I wasn't aware of this until one evening we were sitting outside at the picnic table and she took a sip of her coffee. There was an ant on the rim and it bit her on the lip. Anybody that has been around or seen anyone allergic reaction to anything could see that she was in trouble. Luckily she had her Epipen with her. A quick stick and she was ok after a few minutes.

Please don't say that ants do no harm. While killing may not always be the best solution we should all be aware that strange things can and do happen.

When it comes to fireants I agree with Jo! It has to be survival of the fittest. Fireants are aggressive and nasty and they hurt and can kill-Definitely a survival of the fittest competition!

Here is a link that might be useful: Fireants can kill Americans!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 1:00PM
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Read that oatmeal doesn't work, but yesterday I sprinkled some oatmeal on an ant hill in our back yard and today there is no activity at all on the hill. Maybe it doesn't work, maybe they're just sleeping...

    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 4:35PM
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To those ant lovers out there, have you ever been bitten by fire ants? Perhaps you would change your opinion if you would ever have the identical painful experiences as I have had with them.

Since moving to North Carolina two years ago, I have traumatically encountered massive armies of fire ants in both front and back yards. Only wearing sandals or flip-flops on my feet, I simply would be standing on the clean sidewalk which led to the front door of my house and from nowhere, I was suddenly and violently attacked by a number of very aggressive fire ants. Not very pleasant as the bites sting and burn! Having received multiple bites, I still bear the scars from them last year! I initially treated them by gently applying straight dish liquid soap to each bite until the pain resided. Then afterwards for days kept Triple Antibiotic Ointment mixed with Hydrocortisone 1% Cream on them. You go through about three phases when bitten by fire ants and it takes months for them to heal. I'm blessed to be alive to be sharing all this with you because I could have had a fatal reaction.

To keep these annoying aggressive fire ants and their pesty ant hills away from me, I have started sprinkling cornmeal on them and that eliminates them. Ants feast on cornmeal and when they drink water with it, cannot digest it and therefore go off and die. This "cornmeal sprinkling" process must be continually repeated to guard from new fire ants invading your territory again. Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2007 at 5:48PM
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I've been pretty complacent when it comes to my ant problem over the years. At most I'll wipe them up with paper towels, sweep them back outside, spray them off the decks with the hose. I think the neighbors' ants have figured this out and moved in with mine. I think they're forming a United Colonies of Tiny Invaders. One day soon my house will fall through the ground, there are so many.

A couple of ants by the door, maybe a sprinkle of them on the counter I could handle. But now they've moved into my cabinets, my laundry room, the bathrooms, the kitchen, my car, my dressers, my bed... Any little tickle I feel, I assume (usually rightly so) that it's another @##*@&%! ant.

You pacifists can keep your karma. I'm going to kill the little bastards before they carry me away. It's not like there aren't trillions of them in the world.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 11:59AM
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A mixture of confectioner's sugar (icing sugar) and baking soda works - put it on something that can be covered to protect it from moisture.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 11:45PM
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This thread is great. My printer is on overload, I'm printing the whole thing, as fireants in Texas are as big as Texas. Sneaky little beasts too. They will not attack until they have half of your body covered with them and then they send each other the signal to all bite at the same time. By the time of your first bite, there are thousands of them all over you. They are really sneaky in Texas. Sugar ants, carpenter ants, regular black ants, they are no bother to me. Fireants are dangerous. I have scratched the same ant bite for months on end with puss ooozing, so although I'm of the live and let live phylosophy, this is definitely the exception. They (fire ants) kill baby calves here in Texas. I do not hold these guys close to the heart.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2007 at 12:25AM
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goldedger(z5 Ontario Canada)

To get rid of ants in your home - use cucumber peels - just put the peels where you see ants - in cupboards, windowsills, etc. I don't know why but it does work!!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 4:18AM
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I wish I could find the gardening forum where someone suggested scattering citrus peels (grapefruit, lemon, etc.)in your garden. I cannot thank them enough. It works! They were swarming everywhere and within one day they were gone! Try it.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2008 at 10:45PM
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In Florida we have lots of pests, the 2 worst being Fire Ants and Love Bugs. I lived in Weatherford Tx. for about 3 months a few years ago and I agree that Texas Fire Ants are even more mean and aggressive than the ones in Florida and probably everywhere else. I have poured gasoline on the mounds and yes, I did strike a match to it. I eliminated lots of hills that way. I've used Amdro, Myrex, developed by Univ of Fl. and other insecticides. A lot of things make them just move to another area. I have found that if you pour Ammonia full strength on the mounds it will kill the whole mound, queen and all and you don't have to worry about the ants moving to another area. I've also read that if you use blackboard chalk (Not the insecticide chalk) and draw a line the ants won't cross over it to come inside your house. Now if only, someone could figure out a way to kill all the love bugs that invade us twice a year now, I would be so happy. Guess there are those that would holler about killing the love bugs also. I could capture some and send some to them so they could see just how horrible they are.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 2:50PM
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hey i live in az, which is the second hottest place on the earth and yet life still thrives here thanks to diversity. But the ants are a big problem, does anyone know a way to get rid of those little tiny black ants and the regular big black one? because today they invade are pantry an practicly ate are ceral up and also my bedroom.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 1:34AM
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I have had very good luck using Johnsons baby and Gold Bond foot powder. When there is a trail coming into the house, we pour a little powder along the trail where they are coming in and the next day, they stop coming. They usually find a new way to get back in and we do it again. It has been working pretty well and it is non toxic.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 10:45PM
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I live in the upper desert area of California on five acres. To say we have all kinds of ant colonies is putting it lightly. I have tried everything to keep them out of the house and nothing really works long term. I am not interested in using toxic substances.
This summer I opened a cupboard and there were literally thousands of ants eating from a honey jar that I inadvertently let the jar lid askew. Which got me to thinking.....ummmm.
So I placed the jar as it was outside the front door of my home where the ants find their way in. In amazement I watched the whole colony march back and forth from that jar all summer, leaving my home alone. A one quart jar of honey kept them busy from May until November when they die a peaceful death.
This summer I am also going to try it in my garden as ants are really the only pest I have here.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 1:47PM
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I am one of those people who believes in Karma and therefore doesn't believe in killing ants, or anything else for that matter. I don't want to try to convince people of the pro-killing persuasion, as it seems somewhat pointless in this context. I do find it very comforting and heartwarming to know that there are others out there who share my (and my husband's) point of view =)

The only explanation I will give here is this: I believe that all life has value and the desire and right to avoid suffering. When I have examined bugs up close I find them to be similar in mannerism and action to dogs or cats or other common pets. They're really kind of cute, and very interesting. They manage feats of strength, problem-solving, and teamwork that humans could learn a lot from. And to be fair, they were here first, both in the sense that ants have been on the planet far longer than people, and in the sense that they were on this specific piece of land far before I moved into the house. It's really their land, and we're just borrowing it without permission. If you disagree with my views, these tips might still be helpful for keeping them out, which is, after all, the ultimate goal!

While I believe everything I've just said to the depths of my heart, of course I don't want them in my house! I don't want them getting in my food and my stuff, don't want them biting me (and yes, living in Florida fire ants are an issue, although I have never had problems with them coming in my house). But that isn't justification to deny their right to life. So here are a few tips and tricks that we have found helpful:
1. Try to buy or rent a fairly new house. We currently live in a wonderful bungalow built in 1922, and there are more ways to get into this house for ants than we could possibly identify and seal off in 10 years. So we just try to keep it clean, be mindful to look for ants in the sinks and on counters, don't leave drinks out overnight, etc.
2. If you do live in a newer home, especially if it is fairly small, invest in some clear silicone caulk. It can be used essentially anywhere to seal cracks, the spaces between baseboard and wall or floor, open areas around pipes, etc. Just check for ants in the area before caulking, because obviously it would kill them if they get into it before it sets. Blowing them out of the way tends to work fairly well, or you can try #3...
3. Get some computer duster. It comes in a can that resembles WD40, with a little straw for spraying into the crevices between keys on a keyboard. You can use that little straw to maneuver into some tiny or tight spots, and from almost any angle. As long as you keep the container vertical, it shouldn't hurt them. (If you tilt the can very much, it becomes freezing and would probably hurt or kill them.) This can be used to blow them out of sinks or bathtubs before turning on the water, blow them out of cracks before sealing them, get them off of food or off of the counters before wiping them down, and is great to keep in the car in case you park near a colony or line of ants, to keep from running them over!
4. Keep counters, sinks and stoves wiped down. Don't leave an open cup by the bed at night. Seal food as well as possible, especially syrups and liquids that they might drown in. Put dirty dishes in the sink soon after using them and put away food. If you find a bunch on the counter and you remove the attractive substance (food or whatever) they will almost always disperse within an hour or less.

I love the idea of putting sugar outside for them! It not only accomplishes our goal of keeping them out, but it gives them something they want too, so is mutually beneficial to all! And I will definitely try the cinnamon thing.

As much as our families make fun of us for refusing to kill bugs or use insecticides, we have generally had fewer problems with bugs than anyone else I know who DOES just try to kill them. Not killing them makes us address the bigger issue, which is how they are getting in. Once that's taken care of, there IS no issue. If you just put down bait in the house, there will always be more coming in. And I don't care how meticulously you poison your colonies, there will ALWAYS be more.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 8:16PM
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If ants have made their home INSIDE my garden, I haven't seen any mounds, just when I turned the soil today I noticed the little red body movement letting me know my plots have been compromised. I already tried the hot water for a hill they built next to my garden, but won't have the means to heat the whole garden up before I plant. Would the sugar or honey "relocation" solution work to entice them to move out of the garden and into somewhere near? How do I get them to move out of my soil and into a hill somewhere?

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 10:21AM
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We have had ants invading the whole house . I swear they live in the walls . They seem to appear when it gets cold or rains . They seem to be mostly in the cupboards of the kitchen . HELP

    Bookmark   January 9, 2011 at 6:56PM
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My husband and I are renters in a house that was converted into three apartments. Our neighbor's house was damaged by a hurricane a few years back, and they are just now getting around to fixing it up. That house is apparently owned by a woman who is also looking to rent it out as a duplex.
The construction workers have been outside for a few days now, and must be stirring up some ants outside somewhere. We have been invaded by large black winged ants --- I think they look like winged carpenter ants, but am not an expert by any means.
This is very annoying to me, I have a large problem with finding ants in my home, much less all over my furniture and floor (we have hardwood floors, also...) I've tried cornmeal and traps and vinegar cleaners and even got some of those plug in pest removers.. It seems as if they are staying somewhat more confined to one particular wall (right next to where all this construction is taking place all day).
They don't really seem to be dying, but just staying out of the way... its very frustrating..
I am going to have to go this weekend out to a hardware store and try the Borax technique.. My husband (who is blind) is not bothered by them at all for a couple of reasons, 1: he cannot see them. And 2: he says they are harmless.
yeah, they may be harmless to us, but not to the wood floors or his large wooden musical instruments that sit against that wall..
Any other suggestions? If they are just being stirred up by the construction, is it logical to suspect that once it is finished, they will leave us alone again? or will they keep coming back? I'm a complete myrmecophobic (one who fears ants)... this is freaking me out!!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 7:43PM
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I heard of using sulfur is good for ants inside the home, try it and let me know..

    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 2:26PM
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we cant find the nest/s, the ants are everywhere in my house every room and they are tiny black ones but bite!! everyday I spray them and next day they are back.. so is there something in Australia that can be sprayed on window frames, door frames etc to stop them coming in the house? PLEASE if there is any safe product I will try it.. I have tried most commercial products here, nothing seems to get rid of them and they even come in where there is no food or water like in the bedroom and lounge.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 7:19PM
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I have had REALLY good luck using this mix:

1/2 teaspoon HONEY
1/2 teaspoon BORAX
1/2 teaspoon EQUAL Sweetner

Mix into a paste & put around the area where you see the ants. They will feast & take the food back to the nest. Don't be surprised if the couple of ants you saw turn into hundreds within a short time. Word gets out fast when there is sweet food found.

Yesterday they were all over my kitchen, last night they ate the bait, and today they are GONE!!
Good Luck!

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 11:30AM
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I have always heard that planting Yarrow around your home would keep the ants outside. Once inside control them with peppermint oil in tiny dishes. They won't go near or cross it. To harm a dog they would need to ingest large amounts. Cats are a little more of a question.
I have seen this one work though.
Try putting around your door jam to see if it keeps them out. If we don't all float or blow away we will fight the good fight against these pesky ants.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2011 at 12:48PM
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Just want to tell you we have all kinds of ants here in Pennsylvania If you can find where they are starting from, you can pour that earth that you put in swimming pool filters on top of them. It scratches their outer shell and makes them get dehydrated and they die. I really liked the one where you get them drunk

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 8:19PM
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I've got multiple colonies of the traditional black ants. They're everywhere. But I have managed to keep them outside by using ground cloves around my doors and anywhere else I know they like to come in. They hate this stuff.

It seeems cruel and unecessary to kill them when they're outside minding their own business.

I'm going to try the dryer sheets though...sounds promising.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 9:46AM
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Hey i have alot of the little bugger's all over my yard and also coming in my house. but i havent seen a mound or anything outside.
i have tried terro and it does work great in the house, but i am tired of seeing them under flowerpots and rocks. so i did try the recipe for the honey,sugar, and borax and hopefully i wont see any more...will let u know if it works:) also i have heard of cornmeal to get rid of them.. tomorrow i will set up alot of little dishes of cornmeal and borax and see what happens. Thanks..

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 12:27AM
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After reading this thread, I think I will cut up an old lemon I have mix it with water, cinnamon, and a tbsp of clove oil I have and spray it in my small backyard patio area where the fire ants bit me. I'll also scatter the lemon peel too and see what happens.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 10:21AM
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I am so grateful to find this site. I too prefer not to kill anything and have been invaded by tiny black ants. I appreciate the contributions of those who value life and I will try your suggestions.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 2:35PM
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When i was 6 years old, i have a very vivid and terrifying memory of a vacation trip to texas. we were on the beach playing hide and seek, my brother and cousins and i. I thought i had found the best hiding spot inside of a hollowed out tree stump, so i hid in there for all of five minutes. the next thing my aunts and uncles knew, i was screaming bloody murder as they yanked me out of the tree. I was covered in hundreds of fire ants being bitten all over. I was tossed into the ocean and rushed to the hospital. Thank god i wasnt allergic to ants, i would have died, and surprised i didnt die from the small amounts of venom they have in their lil pinchers. Enough ant bites can stop a persons heart. This is why ants in the home are not safe. An infant baby will only be able to cry if they are covered in these things. So, even though i dont kick over ant hills, or purposly destroy colonies, i am absolutely mortified of ants of any kind. I recently had alot of rain and hot humid weather here in tennessee and have an infestation of carpenter ants. I am going to use every remedy i can since i cant find their colonies, i think i will sprinkle cornmeal, cinnamon, and boric acid around my house. Not that im not sympathetic, i believe all things, even ants, deserve life, and i actually feel horrible about killing them, but I'd stab a shark if it tried to bite my leg. these things pinch. It sucks. So, I'm going with the decision to kill them, because, this sounds stupid, but i tried politely asking them to leave and they were everywhere the next morning. So, here's hoping!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 10:03PM
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I'm looking for a way to remove ants. My kitchen seems to be an area they feast in. I can't seem to deter them. Everyday they come back. I wish I could get the queen to leave her nest so I can end the insanity, but as of yet, that hasn't happened. My kitchen is over a crawl space so I think that's where they are hiding. I haven't seen anything outside my house. I have sprayed twice around the house, and still find these buggers in my kitchen. I find it humorous of people that don't want to kill these little things. They fill this planet, I'm sure some can be sacrificed. If you destroy a ant colony , I'm sure next year they will have a new one. They are called pests for a reason. If people can redirect them successfully ...GREAT but it wont work for all and in all locations. I happen to live in the Northern area so I don't have to worry much about the fire ant situation as much as florida, but I don't blame people for trying crazy things to get rid of them. I wouldn't have any problem if they would stay off my counters and cabinets. I can't even do dishes without finding them on me after. Yuck!! I need to stop the insanity. Is there a magic cure for luring the Queen from her nest? Maybe I should set up a jar of sugar and cornmeal on my counter and see what happens. I'm at a loss as to what will work without killing my animals.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 6:41AM
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Ament(5a SD)

Pam, take plain old cornmeal and sprinkle it generously at the entry point and across their trail. Ants will take the 'food' back to the colony and eat it. However, cornmeal doesn't digest so they starve. Thus killing the colony.
I have gotten rid of ants in this way. It was 3 yrs before ants returned to my property. I need to do this again this year, but it works well for awhile. :) Good Luck!


    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 2:53PM
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I am terrified of ants. They are creepy and freaky and I hat e them more than anything else in the world. While I'm not a huge fan of death for critters, ants in my world should die.

The best solution works in two parts:

First is to pour a cup of bleach down your drains- sinks and tubs one a month. This prevents them from coming, especially during rains.

Second, 409 or Windex applied directly to a trail stops them in their tracks and they tend to stay gone for a long time.

**Make sure you wipe them up as some species of ants collect their dead. The extra benefit is a clean home!

I rarely suffer from ant issues now, only a few rouge ants every now and then...happy hunting!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 3:09AM
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Just use a little bit of dish washing soap and hot water. Put it in a spray bottle and spritz them. Kills then instantly.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 1:11AM
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I have thoroughly enjoyed this page and many of the suggestions listed.
I have lived a relatively ant free existence here in South Australia for the past 12 years. We have a plug in, sonic, pest control which keeps away all sorts of unwanted visitors. I usually clean my worktops, floors, etc with a solution that I put together with Lavender, Tea tree and Eucalyptus oil, white vinegar and water and that deters any ants that wander in. I also spray the door threshholds and window cills and this seems to stop them trespassing. Today however my house is swarming - this is what drove me to this site.
I too do not like to harm other creatures and believe they have a right to exist in their space but not mine. I have a rule. If they are outside the house I leave them alone. When they come into the house I have to protect my family and if I cannot remove or deter them, then I use whatever NATURAL means I have at my disposal to eliminate them,
The one benefit to this invasion is that willing or not, I have to clean out all my cupboards!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2011 at 8:42AM
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Ideally, Nature is balanced. But that doesn't mean we have to refrain from any form of destruction for the balance to be maintained. We're just as much a part of the Big Picture as everything else on the planet, and we inevitably leave our "footprint", just as everything else does. What matters is that we recognize the power of our impact and work thoughtfully and diligently to minimize the negative effects of our actions on the environment.

We kill plants and animals to eat, we kill insect pests whose numbers become unbalanced (more than their predators can eat) to preserve our crops. Whether you call it killing, harvesting, or controlling, it's still a matter of survival or necessary intervention. What matters is that we do it with intelligent consideration of possible outcomes and responsible decisions regarding sustainability.

Something must always be destroyed (that broccoli I just ate) in order for something to be created (I'm growing some hair at the moment), and that's exactly what Nature and EVERYTHING in it does. Think about it. You can't even take a breath without destroying something- the pollen that just entered your lungs with that inhalation is kaput!

Personally, I will only destroy what I have to destroy to survive and care for the creatures and things I love. To get a good vegetable crop I intervene with a little organic balancing of my own. Whether I'm killing bugs, fungus or bacteria, I'm destroying something in order to create something else- wholesome, organically grown food to feed my family. But I'm doing it without killing bees and other beneficial insects, poisoning the soil, or polluting the water table. In fact, I'm not even killing all the pests, for without some being left, the beneficials will leave and nothing will be here to stop the next wave of pests. That's what balance means. That's the essence of organic gardening.

That said, I never bothered my several ant colonies in the past because they weren't interfering with my vegetable gardens. However, late last summer the ant population exploded. The hill under the chive patch in the herb bed grew, and they were clearly disturbing the roots of some of the other plants enough to kill them. The chives were looking pretty peaked too. My guess is that the roots were being exposed to air, which dehydrates them and limits the amount of root surface that's able to absorb nutrients. Some small plants were being up-rooted, looking as if they were frost-heaved (not so in August). Garlic bulbs were even being tossed out of the ground. One day I saw a garlic plant whose top was wiggling around, and thought "Aha, now we'll see who's the culprit". I sat down with a drink to watch the show. I watched as the bulb slooowwwly pushed up to the soil surface. I quickly pulled the soil away, expecting to find a mole or vole my cats had missed, but instead found a horde of big black ants! I was amazed! I tried cornmeal, and it gradually reduced their numbers to the point that they quit digging up my garlic. Good enough! But this year I'm seeing lots of new hills and there are at least 3 distinct varieties, including tiny red ants that delivered a wicked ankle-biting when I accidentally disturbed them while weeding. We have clay soil here in NY, so tunneling critters (ants included) love to tunnel under plants with a dense, fibrous root system. They hold the soil solid and keep their tunnels from collapsing, even in rain. Since some hills are beside the veggie garden, I can see we're in for more damage than I'm willing to tolerate. It's time for some serious controls.

Thanks everybody for the new suggestions. I think I'll first try mixing the different ant species together as somebody's Grandma suggested. It's a very clever idea, and I bet it will work. If not, I'll try the borax and honey.

BTW, I've used the sonic pest repellent indoors and it was very effective. I highly recommend it for anyone with an indoor ant or other bug problem, and it doesn't kill them, for those of you who are karma-concerned. Works on mice too! Not bad for something under $30 that you only have to buy once, is clean, and safe for pets, kids, and the environment.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 5:55PM
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Use Boric Acid powder, organic and it works.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 4:41PM
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I see some concern about killings and sharing the ants with the rest of the world. We just moved onto a house with some property that has been vacant for nearly a year, allowing many different kinds of normal unwanted wild life on property. I love animals I really do, don't get me wrong. But I'd like to enjoy my yard and I can't do that if I step on it and my legs are covered in black ants. I also have a dog that I want her to enjoy the yard as well. No doubt we need ants to decompose the soil and dead things. However, I want to make a garden and enjoy my fenced in yard and I can't do that long as those ants are there. My dog for one has allergies to ants and many other chemicals used for getting rid of bugs. It's not fair to her nor to my feet to get bitten by these things.

That being said, I am gmo free,an wish to try some of these non chemicals ways to get rid of these ants. I have a couple bags of cornmeal so I will try from there. I just hope the rain won't wash too much of it away!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 8:32AM
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Not sure if this helps but I live in tx and all ants here bite! Our carpenter ants get HUGE at least 2 1/2-3 inches long. And trust me those giant pinchers HURT!! Then of course we have fire ants, crazy raspberry ants, and every ant in between, just bigger and much more aggressive. The only product I've found that truly works for me is Spinosad fire ant control. I believe its organic and OMRI approved.( Although I don't think it works for the crazy rasp ants) Of cousre u could try Dia Earth powder too.I really Hope whatever u do use works!! Good luck!!!!!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 3:47AM
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So far ... and it does not look promising in the near future ... if they are the 'crazy ant', there ain't no treatment worth a penny. Discovered this today once we determined what we are being invaded with. Google 'ant invasion', and you'll get a ton of postings. Right now, wife and I are depressed because, with no way to control, we envision our having to move from our newly acquired house here in lower Texas.

Now ... if the many professional articles I came across, that address no control ... including collage investigations and information ... if you have a truly workable control process, then please advise; asap. Thanks

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 11:40AM
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Skie_M(Zone 7 (Southwestern Oklahoma)

Spread powdered Boric Acid (you can buy this at most local grocery stores or find it in your hardware stores, I got mine at Family Dollar), around the areas where the ants seem to get into your house.

Boric acid in powder form is reasonably safe to handle, just dont get it wet and on you or your family and pets. It's purpose is to dissolve the exoskeleton of insects as a form of control. Once they learn that they don't want to go there, they will stop coming in.

If you can find the nest itself, dissolve some boric acid in warm water (do this outside the house) and pour it down their ant hole. This will probably destroy any plants you get it on as well, but it will definitely kill the ants.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 10:23PM
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Ammonia kills ants on contact. There is enough of it in Windex with Ammonia D to kill them on contact. For colonies, including fire ants, I've poured a quart bottle of ammonia into the mound followed by two or three pots of boiling water. NOTHING emerged nor took up residence. Cinnamon sticks will keep them out of flower pots and drawers, but ammonia works on contact. I've read that a weak solution of Dawn dishwashing liquid in a spray bottle sprayed on your counters will also kill them and prevent their return.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 3:56AM
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Now that I know its illegal I think I'll drop by the dollar store and pick up some Chinese Insecticide Chalk.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 6:46PM
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To Pam: there is no way to lure the queen out. She is programmed by nature to stay deep in her colony and lay eggs and never come out. You can only get her out by digging her up or burning or drowning the nest.

To ShiningStarLives: your big black winged ants may well be termites (not true ants, but somewhat ant-like in appearance) or carpenter ants that are moving to start a new colony. In either case, yes they CAN do quite a bit of harm. After they've lunched on your husband's favorite guitar/cello/whatever they will cheerfully move on to the wooden beams, siding, floors, and joists of your house, and can utterly destroy them, leading to costly repairs or complete ruin in a surprisingly short time. You need to find out exactly WHAT you have and HOW to get rid of them.

My favorite method for destroying hills of ants in the yard is boiling water, which destroys only the local pests and does not contaminate the ground or water. For in the house, a citrus soap for all cleaning and mopping, boosted with 1/2 cup borax laundry booster; it seems to work against the ants, and the borax also kills roaches, or you may call them waterbugs--those nasty brown beetle-looking things. And it's safe (hey, you can add it to your laundry!) for babies and pets.

God told Adam to "fill the earth and take dominion over it"--surprisingly, "take dominion" can also be translated "make it your home". He also brought all the creatures to Adam to be named; in many ancient cultures the naming of a thing meant you had authority over it, you were boss of it. So I figure that in my house, I have the right to see that the ants stay out by whatever means necessary, and in my domain (my yard) I have a right to force them to move over, or even move out, same as I'd do if a squatter moved into my tool shed.

Respect and best wishes to all you gentle tolerant souls, but three fire-ant bites have been more than sufficient to erode my good will toward those little devil-spawn. Down with fire-ants!!!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 1:05AM
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Wow what a wonderful thread, Most ants don't bother me and I don't bother them,, but fire ants are the exception. Here in southwest Florida they overrun everything. I am so tired of trying to do a yard project and not getting it done because I got so bit up. I have tried the various commercial fire ant killers that are available at home depot. Nothing seems to last long. Shoot I am mostly organic gardening but I'm to the point that I would set off a nuclear bomb if I thought it would get rid of the fire ants. I not only get sores that last for months from fire ant bites I get extreme achy joints and feel ill if too many bite me. What is the most effective way for a poor person to keep fire ants off their property. I feel desperate it is destroying my love of gardening.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 8:35PM
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Coarse ground black pepper as a mulch and soil amendment kicked the ants out of my garden, but every month I have to sprinkle some more. I have kids and dogs so I can't use anything else other than pepper and neem oil for insect issues. They don't get rid of the ants either, they just move elsewhere. But if you just want them out of the area right away...pepper.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 4:18PM
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Mecdave Zone 8/HZ 9

Someone asked about the effect fire ants have on ticks in this thread about 10 years ago. ;) Just in case anyone else was wondering, yes, they will wipe ticks off the face of the earth, given a chance.

On our ranch we had ticks so bad there were areas it literally looked like the ground was moving there were so many ticks. Once the fire ants moved in, we never saw another tick.

Of course the fire ants became just about as big a pest, but over the years they seemed to moderate their aggressive behavior somewhat. Still though, it takes Amdro sprinkled around regular use areas about once a year to keep the boundaries set.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 7:03PM
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While I try to go about things in a natural way, and eat/live organically, I won't tolerate ants in my home because I 've been bitten, several times. The last time was a little over a week ago, where I found them in the linen closet in the master bedroom. As luck would have it, it was time for the exterminator to come on Tuesday. To do a quick elimination I used Windex, which did the trick, but am sure there was a mound on the outside wall which needed to go. The exterminator did what exterminators do, and the problem has been solved. I usually have only one 'visitation' a year, and it's always summertime after a good rain. Such was the case that weekend.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 3:11AM
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Easy. Orange peels. Just throw them where the ants are. The whole colony will e gone in a day. It works and it's easy. Enjoy your orange juice as you say bye to the ants.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 10:10PM
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My favorite method for destroying hills of ants in the yard is boiling water, which destroys only the local pests and does not contaminate the ground or water. For in the house, a citrus soap for all cleaning and mopping, boosted with 1/2 cup borax laundry booster; it seems to work against the ants, and the borax also kills roaches, or you may call them water bugs--those nasty brown beetle-looking things. And it's safe (hey, you can add it to your laundry!) for babies and pets.

Here is a link that might be useful: Classifieds

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 2:33AM
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The boiling water method is the best I have found, nothing will "get rid of" fire ants but it will make them manageable.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 6:40PM
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I live in the woods in a camper I have did many things. The best with no chemicals is follow them home. Take a water hose, turn it on high. Then where their hills are, put the forced water end in a hill. Push it down as far as you can. Let it run. Go down at least 9 inches. The way they build their upper tunnels it protects them from rain. It collapses and seals them in dry. So when you push the hose deep into their tunnel system you are going beyond their collapsing system it will drown their queens.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 3:51PM
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Diatomaceous earth (DE) will mechanically kill any creepy crawly nusiance critter by acting as a drying agent, dehydrating it to death. Because DE is silica based diatoms ( microscopic glass-like shards), it will cut into the joints of any critter that walks through it. allowing the dehydration to hasten. I use it for ants, roaches, fleas on my animals, mites, aphids on plants, flies in my chicken coop. It also deoderizes. It is available at all feed or tractor supply type stores ad food grade to use for animals which has a gray or reddish color from the bentonite clay in it (up to 6%) or you can get human food grade from health food stores (Too expensive) or from online stores like which is white with less than 2% bentonite clay. I feed it to my cats and chickens for worming and rub it into their fur to kill fleas, ticks, and mites. I also take one Tablespoonful daily in juice or my smoothie to keep my digestive system free of yeast and pathogenic bacteria, increase silica which helps calcium, selenium, and phosphorus absorption, and too many other good things to mention here. It is inexpensive and best of all non-toxic. Dr. Lyn

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 4:12PM
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I did have small problems with ants, but not on a large scale that required a lot of effort to put 'em down. What I stumbled upon today is, I believe, a very effective method to fight off ant intrusions. It's actually pretty simple - just draw a line of chalk every time you see ants walking in a line towards your house. They will stop right there at the spot. The only problems could be the rainy weather and a multitude of chalk lines, if you are attacked from all sides. You can find more info on this here:

Here is a link that might be useful: How to get rid of ants effectively

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 5:21PM
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For an interior ant trail, a thin line of Bon Ami powder stops them. Bye bye, ants.

It is mildly abrasive.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 5:01PM
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If you don't want ants in your house simply use white chalk like kids use in elementary school. Draw a line around the area you don't want them to intrude (i.e. perimeter of the house). Ants don't cross chalk lines.

Do this and ants will no longer enter your house. If you want to test it out, when you see a line of ants, use the chalk to break up the line. Not one ant will go over it.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 11:10PM
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Sometimes, the cats throw up, and, within a short time, ants are all over it. This usually occurred in the closets, where we couldn't see the vomit. I have wood floors in the closet. I oiled them with cedar oil from Ace Hardware on a rag, and haven't seen an ant anywhere near this house since. I think I may be onto something. But I would NOT get the oil on the carpet. It soaks in and dries up on the wood floor, but I think it would leave a stain on soft surfaces. I wonder if putting some cedar oil on cotton balls and putting those near the spots where the ants seem to be entering the house would work.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 12:54AM
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What is fascinating is to see the LONG single ant line trail of the teeny ?sugar ants! They come down the sidewalk in a long single trail for blocks & all seem to be programmed for a single destination... nary a single one out of line!! If I move a few out of line, they go right back in formation!
And yes, those little things do sting!! I get a special kind of drops for the sugar ants as the other ant sprays seem to have no effect on them tiny critters: TERRO .. a thick liquid with borax. I drop a drop in each of the tiny hole in the hills & (with persistence!) they seem to go away! For the horrible red ants, Hubby pours some kerosene or gasoline down the holes & later lights it! I went crazy with a red ant bite on my toe & calls to the ERs, Urgent care, etc. was no help ("soak foot in a pail of ice cubes", etc.!) except to say I had to somehow get the stinger out of the flesh! After digging out a sizable amount of my toe flesh (!), I must have gotten the stinger out as IMMEDIATELY the awful pain was gone! No, I have no sympathy for those red fire ants!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 7:42PM
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Hi, everyone. I always thought ants would be found in the kitchen, on the first floor. However, the only room we are finding ants is in the bathroom on the 3rd floor. They don't seem to be coming in from outside. And they are at their worst in the winter time (very cold, Canada). Does anyone know why this would be?

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 9:45PM
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WInter is cold in Canada, they come in for the warm temps. And heat rises, and they also LOVE moisture, so the bathroom makes sense.
Ants move in walls.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 10:15AM
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lagomorphmom(z10Coastal and z8Mtn CA)

Regarding Diatomaceous Earth as an oral "preventative"...

- There is no mechanism for DE to "clean the gut" of bacteria or yeast. Some bacteria may adhere to the diatoms, but it is strictly a random event.
- Thus, there is also no mechanism for DE to preferentially "clean the gut" of pathogenic bacteria vs "good" bacteria.
- Oral DE is effective for parasites in some breeds of chickens in the same way we have been talking about it in the environment with ants. Basically the microscopic sharp edges of the diatoms cut the worms and eggs up and kill them.
-- Note that the chicken/bird gut is evolutionarily designed to eat dirt and "scratch". The mammal gut is not.
- Given the latter, I would be reluctant to subject the gut of any mammal that I want to live longer than a chicken to multitudes of micro-abrasions of DE. I suspect that the intestinal walls of those people that have done it without ill effect are somewhat protected by food, especially fiber, in the gut. Be that as it may, I would never eat it, nor give my dog or cat DE as a substitute for a wormer.

Sorry to sound so sharp on this one, the folks on the rose forums where I hang out when I have time know that I don't like to be that way. However, I'm a microbiologist and find it really disturbing when potentially harmful folk(lore) medicine gets lumped into beneficial herbal, holistic, natural, take your pick medicine. Western medicine doesn't have all the answers, but basic science umbrellas both modalities by the necessity of proving cause and effect. There is absolutely no mechanism for DE to be antibacterial in the way suggested above.

Rant over, I appreciate the helpful hints about ants. We have what I think are red pavement ants that bite very bit as hard as what it sounds like fire ants do and I need to find some better alternatives. Thanks to all.
Best, Kerin

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 8:18PM
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I have tried cornmeal borax bleach and lots of
recommended remedys although tanzy does work as long as its fresh picked but no luck for 10 years with anything else ..the war has gone on in bathroom kitchen bedroom and living room.this year my chickens free range in my yard..coincidence idk but not one ant anyplace all spring and sumner. We did have a
terribly snowy and extremely cold winter too.Lots of zero days One of the 2 obliterated them totally. Yey!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 8:25PM
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I have tried cornmeal borax bleach and lots of
recommended remedys although tanzy does work as long as its fresh picked but no luck for 10 years with anything else ..the war has gone on in bathroom kitchen bedroom and living room.this year my chickens free range in my yard..coincidence idk but not one ant anyplace all spring and sumner. We did have a
terribly snowy and extremely cold winter too.Lots of zero days One of the 2 obliterated them totally. Yey!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 8:59PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

seem to be more ways to eliminate ants than there are types of ants!! lol IME a truce is about all you can hope for lol goodluck gary

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 3:58AM
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My newly remodeled kitchen has attracted these teeny ants, mainly around the sink run. They were coming from 2 diff directions - on the counter and traveling up from the floor(?) by the dishwasher. I tried a couple of things that I found on this thread. Tried (1) mint jelly and boric acid mix. I couldn't take the number of ants this concoction attracted. (2) cornmeal and boric acid mix. It was fascinating watching them take chunks of acid and continue to come back for more. Watching them, I did find out how they were getting onto sink area, but they just kept returning for more. I couldn't handle seeing lots of ants in the sink first thing in the morning before having coffee. (3) ground cinnamon - ding, ding, ding! WINNER! Working with a toothpick I filled a very small gap with the cinnamon and haven't seen an ant since. It was immediate. Thanks GW!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2014 at 12:39PM
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I'm glad you found something fast to alleviate your ant problem. While the cinnamon will repel them in the short term, their taking chunks of the Boric Acid back to the nest where they share it with everyone else will actually kill the nest, preventing those ants return. I agree with you, I hate the blamed things, but I put up with them a while longer, feeding them the Boric Acid because I wanted that nest to collapse. No ants, no possibility of their return. Repelling them from one entry point still allows the possibility of them finding a second, or more. Kim

    Bookmark   September 5, 2014 at 1:38PM
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DE (Diatomaceous Earth) works great! It has the ability to cut through their exoskeletons so they tend to stay away.

Look under pest control.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2014 at 4:43PM
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Hmmm…Deep Thoughts. I wonder if those who are spiritual about not killing ants because of karma are supporters of abortion.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2014 at 5:52PM
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rredbbeard(SE CT USA/zone 6)

You gotta be kidding....

    Bookmark   October 13, 2014 at 6:08AM
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All you have to do to stop ants is use a wet rag and wipe away their scent trail. I did that twice at my last home and it worked like a charm. Luckily I don't have them at this home.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2014 at 10:45AM
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We had some Allegheny Mound Ants on our deck and porch although we did not know what they were at first. We called our local pest control company, PestFree and they took care of the ants for us. There is even an interesting blog on their site if anyone is interested.

Here is a link that might be useful: PestFree Blog

    Bookmark   October 17, 2014 at 1:57PM
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