tamar(z9b FL)October 20, 2001

This year has been the worst I have ever seen for ants. I don't like to use alot of chemicals but I always use Amdro for fire ants. This year I've also got, I guess, sugar ants. Lines and lines of them are climbing up my house. I put boric acid around the perimeter and they just went right through. This morning I found them in one of my kitchen cabinets coming down from the attic, hundreds and hundreds of them. Help!

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Those ants are just looking for food so you need to divert their attention by supplying something outside to attract them, honey (real honey not the processed stuff sold in most stores) or black strap molasses will work. Next find out where they are entering the house and after placing something inside to force them back out put barriers in place to keep them out. Real peppermint oils or lemon juice does a good job of keeping them confined but you don't want to put it someplace there the ants will be trapped in the house until you have them out.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2001 at 8:15AM
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Orthene dusted liberally over the nest will get rid of them. I don`t care if they were here first!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2002 at 3:49PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

I had the same problem. I mixed equal parts, 1/4 cup each, of table sugar and molasses, with a tablespoon of baking yeast. Stirred that up and slathered a gob of it onto cardboard patches. Then I put the patches into the ant lines. They went for it beautifully! It was very satisfying to see them surround the messy goo and clean the cardboard off. It took about a week and the ants were gone. Apparently the yeast blows up in their little tummies??

    Bookmark   February 2, 2002 at 1:12AM
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Speaking of blowing up their tummies.........any one confirm the story of Grits doing the same?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2002 at 5:01AM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Sorry. Neither yeast nor grits blow up ants' tummies.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2002 at 12:40PM
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Aegis(z9 CA)

I'm telling everyone of my applied chemistry success.....(all those years of education finally doing something).

Right...anyway. We have sugar ants (Argentines) taking over in CA. They go for one product called "Tero II" or something like is a mix of 5% borax and "inert ingredients". Stuff works great, but a ~1 once bottle is $3.50, so I tried to make my own:

Boric acid (roach powder) 5g
Water 60-70 g
Add baking soda to make it slightly basic (I used a pool test strip to check) This turns the boric acid into "borax".
sugar 30 g.

I don't think the formulation needs to be exact, and more sugar might be better, but it draws the ants to it, and they lap it all up.

BTW...why is boron/borax so toxic to ants and roaches?

    Bookmark   August 24, 2002 at 12:06AM
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On the subject of ants...I am soooo sick of them. They will invade the interior walls of the house and find some tiny pinhole to squeeze through and in the mornings, we get up to get coffee and the pantry or bathroom, kitchen counters, cat food, dog food, laundry are covered with these things. I declared war and used Diazanon all around the perimeter of the house and up 3 ft. I sprinkled it throughout the yards and the ants will walk right over the granuals healthy as can be. I have nearly killed myself off spraying and respraying several times in the pantry covering their trails and yet they continued to come in. I would love a foolproof solution. I also don't want to use a ton of chemicals as I have dogs and cats. Has anyone found an answer? And these ants also DO harm plants which also makes me very angry.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2002 at 1:53AM
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I have Argentine ants all over my backyard. They are near impossible to kill off and push the limits of frustration because they aren't colony specific ants. If a colony is disturbed, the ants just migrate to another colony and are problem. What I have found about ants are if you have termites in your soil (I do), the ants control the problem. Did an experiment with termites in a season old invaded sunflower stump: extracted several termites; dumped them onto a path of busy ants and within several seconds all the termites had become meals. Just stay outta the house!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2002 at 10:11AM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

I just found this site. I don't mind using Ant Traps inside, but ants are everywhere in my garden. I bought some Borax -- it's cheap. Boron is very toxic. Can anyone tell me how to use Borax? Do I place it in a container and move the containers? Or do I put it directly into the ground? Does it hurt flowers.

Diazinon has been banned in the next year or so because it is so toxic to humans and causes problems with the nervous system. Even Michael J. Fox was talking about whether the use of pesticides caused his condition.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2002 at 9:31PM
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Depending on the weather each year, my house can get infested with those stupid little ants. The worst is when they get in my closet and into my clothes!!! During bad years, I would have to keep sugar in the freezer and all cereals and things like that in the fridge. Anyway, I am pleased to announce, that I have beaten these little spawns of satan. Even with bad infestation already afoot, this worked for me. I bought something in a large white plastic syringe called "Outsmart". I bought it at a local pest control company. Normally, I wouldn't be caught dead in a place like this, a "kill the bugs and poison your family" type establishment, but I was desperate. However, I don't think this stuff is even remotely toxic. Just handy. It's ingredients are listed as 6.25% boric acid and 93.75% inert ingredients (something sweet, I'm sure) It is expensive - $10 a syringe but I have had it for two years and still have lots left. It doesn't drip so it's not messy. I used it in conjunction with ant hotels. I put ant hotels everywhere, especially anywhere associated with water. Under the kitchen and bathroom sinks, on the countertops, in the utility room, etc. Then whenever I had a big infestation - this year it was my bedside table - I would squeeze a little "outsmart" and within a few days they would be gone and I would never see them again! I haven't had to freeze the sugar since I found this stuff. It is made by a company called BioSmart Ideas, Inc. and their web address is: I'm sure you could order it or find a distributor. No, I have no stock or benefits derived from this company. I'm just an ant free, happy customer.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2002 at 10:42AM
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farmersam(z5 NE)


Just curious, where did you find the info on 'diazinon'?

This interests me and I'd like to check it out.



    Bookmark   October 1, 2002 at 9:43AM
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I use boric acid mixed with a sweetner to get rid of ants that invade my home and have always had good luck with it until this episode. I've used 2 different store bought baits, my boric acid mix and a store bought home spray for inside the perimeter of our house, including treating every ant hill I can find in our yard with Amdro and I STILL can't get rid of them. I've had them in my kitchen for nearly 3 months!

    Bookmark   October 14, 2002 at 6:03PM
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Sam, there is an enormous amount of information on the web about the problems with diazinon. Depending upon which key words you use, you'll find all sorts of stuff in seconds. Here's a quick little link that gives a bit of information for you. If you want any further info, just let me know.

Here is a link that might be useful: diazinon

    Bookmark   October 17, 2002 at 10:21AM
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farmersam(z5 NE)

This is site bashing 'chemicals' to promote their own products.

However, since my last post, I've done some research on the web and with my relatives and friends who on the ground with this type of stuff.

It turns out that most insects were becoming resistant to this chemical anyway and most pests are already being controled with new generations of products. The industry was phasing this one out anyway. The anti-chemical lobby saw this as a chance to claim yet another victory (keep those donations coming in). My two brother-in-laws haven't used a diazinon product in years.

Just a case of going beyond the obvious.

Best regards,


    Bookmark   October 17, 2002 at 11:21AM
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Farmersam, the EPA after much pressure and adequate research found that both Diazanon and Dursban adversly affect the health of children, even when properly applied to the lawn. There are reports that major pest control companies have used these products in homes to control pests for which they are not prescribed, but the main issue is the adverse health affects to children. I have news articles dating back at least two years about the EPA banning these products for retail sale effective December 31, 2003, but they will still be available to Licensed Pesticide Applicators, the same group that mostly misuses them, for years to come.
What is here is not about "chemical bashing" but genuine concern about what this stuff is doing to us. Most of these organophosphate pesticides are based on the poisonous gases used in WWI to give you some small idea of what they might do to humans, unless of course since you were born after that time and think that is acient history that has no bearing on us today.
Sorry tamar, for dumping more stuff on you.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2002 at 8:10AM
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farmersam(z5 NE)

As a forester I have been involved with chemicals for over 30 years and I get my information from reliable sources. I know of no professional using this particular chemical in any of the areas I've been in. It simply does not work anymore. Almost every species of insect has built resistance so adequate control is no longer possible.

My remarks about chemical bashing is not directed to the good folks who are concerned about their families health and the environment. It is directed to those people who exaggerate and use things out of context to promote their concept, solicit donations, or sell products.

It seems to me that just the concept of alternative methods and another option that is chemical free would be enough of a selling point without the bashing.

I have friends and family involved in big agriculture and they haven't used this product in years because it simply does not do the job anymore. As a matter of fact, they use less chemicals every year because the products and application equipment is getting more sophisicated allowing targeted releases for specific pests. Better control with fewer and safer chemicals. With the narrow margins in agriculture they simply cannot afford to blanket release like the old days. So the concept put forth that big agriculture is poisoning our land and water is simply a myth.

Unfortunately it is still available at the retail outlets for home use until, as you stated Dec. 2003. My local stores actually do not have it anymore. I think that date is allow retailers to sell their stocks.

Yes, some of the 'organophosphates' were used as nerve gasses in WW1 but this is a big family of chemicals and the one used in this product has none of the characteristics of nerve gas. Another myth.

BTW, You need to go a long way to find someone who is a bigger history buff than I.

I know that you are an organic gardener and I applaud and support your efforts. I am 90% organic myself but because of the size of my truck garden I occasionally do use chemicals, but very sparingly and only on hot spots. Prior to this when we didn't need to make a profit I was entirely organic. So I am not trying to convert anyone and I certainly do not represent the chemical industry, but realize that science does need to play a role if we are going to continue to feed ourselves and a lot of the rest of the world.

In my lifetime I have seen a lot of progess made. In the last 30 years we've made great strides in safety. We are safer and cleaner now than we were a hundred years ago. But some groups would have you believe that we are going to hell in a hand basket. In the 70's they told us the whole ecosystem would collapse in 10 years and 30 years later we're still here. They need a crisis to solicit donations.

Best regards,


    Bookmark   October 18, 2002 at 9:16AM
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Read in a Rodale book that ants hate bonemeal.. Whenever we find an ant nest we fill it with bone meal.. It always works for us.. good luck.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2002 at 4:00PM
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I live in Tucson, have ants on top of ants. So I set out to get rid of them. Having a pet, I didn't want to use toxic chemicals, so I made up some non-toxic ant killer and spread it around the base of the cactus where the ants had numerous colonies. I'm happy to report it worked fine. 1/4 cup sugar...1/4 cup molasses...2 tablespoons dry yeast...mix well...set out in tuna cans or spread on ground on ant trails. Works for fire ants too. Animals will probably not eat it, if they do, they may suffer a tummy ache. yeast swells when wet, ants explode,kids and pets don't. Good Luck!

    Bookmark   October 31, 2002 at 12:05AM
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spambdamn_rich(Sunset 16.5)

I dust the foundation vents with boric acid, which works very well to control ants, but I am careful not to use it in the garden. It will raise boron levels and some plants are very sensitive to boron - and in sufficient concentrations most plants will die from exposure.

Another technique I happened upon by chance is to set out a five gallon flower pot with nice potting soil in an area where ants congregate. If it's rainy a lot, cover it. The ants may migrate into the pot, and then after they move all their queens in there (yes, they have muliple queens), you can simply immerse the pot into a large tub and drown the lot. A little non-toxic mint or cedar oil ant spray will finish off the survivors. It sounds mean but ... it does keep the ant population down for a bit.

Which reminds me, I need to dust some attic vents (!) with boric acid.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2002 at 1:19AM
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Ants are a major concern to us as we live in a white pine log home and the last thing we want is ants boring through the wood beams! This happened to my sister a couple of years ago and, well, their house doesn't exist anymore and a new one has been built.
Last year we noticed ants starting to make their way through the basement. Took a leave of absence from work, and began to tackle the problem - missing a couple of paychecks was not as serious as losing the house!!! Remembered a friend saying that a solution of 1/2 boric acid and 1/2 sugar could work, but to get the boric acid from a pharmacy. Got the stuff and sprinkled it around the foundation, going heavy in the apparent affected areas. Within 2 days we were seeing no signs of ants in the vapour barrier of the basement, and within one week, an anthill which had been active a couple of feet away from the foundation of the house was no longer active. We used the treatment again one month later just to be sure.
Now the snow is here, and Christmas is coming. I hope Santa brings me those three bottles of boric acid that I asked for!!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2002 at 10:05AM
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Bonemeal around the perimeter of the house always kept the ants out when I was a child.

"Cedarcide Rid Ants" is a cedar-based product that's a good pet- and plant-safe repellant.

There is an organic orange-oil spray (can't remember the name now) that I succesfully used to eradicate several fireant beds. You have to use a bunch, follow the directions on the bottle. Also, be warned that it will burn plants, (something none of us gardeners like to here) but I was able to plant there a week later without any adverse effects to the baby plants, so it must breakdown or dissipate quickly.

Those are the only things I've used myself that I know work. By the way, mothballs and borax are both poisonous.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2003 at 3:46PM
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I too have ants in my (new) house. I am searching for ways to erdicate them. I have either sugar ants or gray ants-can't tell for sure, but they are of the kind that like sweet things.

I've read all the messages here about boric acid etc. I haven't tried it yet, but plan too. Some questions though-

1. Do I absolutely need to set bait traps? I know where they are coming into my house. It's IN the house that I'm trying to control right now. (The outside hills we're still looking for)

2. Is boric acid, even if mixed with a sweetner, safe with indoor cats? I know someone asked this question before,but none of the replies directly address this. There is no way I can keep my cats away from the infested area for a long time.

3. I've done a lot of reading on Terro. Have others found it to be very effective? I've read the package directions and seen the warnings about keep away from children and small pets. I don't have children, no problem there. If I put the Terro out, what happens (in the worst case scenerio) if one of my cats decides to sniff it? Does it burn the nose?

Any replies to the questions would be appreicated.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2003 at 9:29PM
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Sheila_GeorgiaPeach(Lincolnton GA)

barnumandbailey: In order to use boric acid and to make it safe for you cats or for children, this is what I did last year in my garden, (don't know why it wouldn't work in the house)--mix 1/2 boric acid and 1/2 sugar together add water and mix well. Then place some cotton balls in this solution and soak. Take some old jars with lids, such as old mayo jars or etc, put big holes in the lid and place on jars tightly. This lets the ants crawl in but keeps noisy cats and children out. It only takes about 2 or 3 cotton balls per jar. I placed several of the jars around in my garden (lying on their sides)and each day I checked, it was full of dying ants. We have 8 outdoor cats and small grandchildren and none have been harmed by this method. Know this was a long time for you to get an answer, but just found your question when reading this forum. Hope you get to read this and that it helps.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2003 at 1:37AM
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I mentioned on another thread that I bought a cabin in Seattle. Small but lovely with huge yard full of dead wood, blackberry and ivy, old crumbling garage, and big big 80 year old cedar tree that is 5 feet from the house. Old owner kind of lied about pest management but one has to assume we are living in ant nest...about two weeks ago ants starting coming in and the three big ones we saw had wings. We also started cleaning around the house and found evidence of bait traps, the kind with arsenic. So, we had cedar trimmed, started cleaning up the yard and garage. I bought ant bait. Ants LOVED Terro stuff, I made mixture of borax and karo syrup as recommended but ants seem to go for Terro, I might need to add more sugar. I also ordered boric acid from pharmacy. I read that you can mix boric acid with vaseline to put around vents, I am thinking about sprinkling borax around perimeter of the house. Please give more tips. I cleaned out base of cedar tree and put terro bait in lids at base where dogs could not get it just to see what happens. I have big dog, small child and 4 bunnies. I am an organic gardener in general. Glad that most folks are avoid chemicals. I do volunteer work for Washington Toxics Coaltion in Seattle. These chemicals are very scary and most homeowners over use them. It is the city people we worry about...not so much the farmers like SAM! But Sam, glad to hear you are 90% organic!!!!!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2003 at 10:42PM
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Borax sprinkled around my house prevented ants from taking over my house last year, but now schrubs around the foundation are dying. Does anyone have any suggestions on neutralizing the negative impact the boron appears to have on the plantings?

    Bookmark   April 6, 2003 at 7:28PM
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Texas_Gal(8b STX)

Hi all, I just wanted to say I've been looking all over gardenweb trying to find something non-toxic to kill ants in my potted plants which are helping aphids colonize. I was happy to hear from the Plumeria posters that quick-cook grits would do the trick (the swelling up theroy), but after seeing jean001's post that it doesn't work...I went investigating. Here's what I found on the University of Georgia's Aggie Website:

Sprinkling grits or other solid food substances onto fire ant mounds is ineffective. In theory, the ants eat the grits, which then swell and rupture the ants stomachs. In fact, only the last stage of the developing fire ant is known to digest solid food. All other life stages feed only on liquids or greasy materials. Some natural substances found in crushed or grated citrus peels are toxic to fire ants. Effective formulations and application techniques for these naturally-occurring chemicals (e.g., CitrexTM containing d-limonene) have been and are being developed.

I am including a link to this site because it's very informative...kind of an "everything you wanted to know about fire ants but were afraid to ask"!

I also found a recipe for Roach and Ant Biscoti from the Orchid posters:
1 T sugar, 1 T flour, 1 T boric acid mixed with 1 egg white to a paste. Spread on aluminum foil and bake until rubbery @ 200 degrees F. Cut into pieces and leave in obvious places for roaches and ants.

Anyone know if that recipe works? I'm wondering if the bait will just attract more unwanted guests.


Here is a link that might be useful: Managing Imported Fire Ants in Urban Areas

    Bookmark   April 19, 2003 at 9:12PM
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Sheila, thanks for your post. I live in Texas, and fire ant mounds are usually very identifiable. However, this year, we are being invaded, and not a mound in sight. We are discovering the fire ants by suffering attacks. And they are numerous! I am going to try your formula. I have new river birches planted only last year which are being invaded by ants, and there was no sign until I deep-watered and the ants attacked my feet. Thank you, Sheila.

Does anyone else have any suggestions? I, too, would prefer to not use chemicals, however if it comes down to a choice between my feet and ankles and the ants -- guess who's gonna prevail?

I seldom wear shoes outside, so I know I expose myself, but I'm mostly concerned for my plants and trees. I scattered some fire ant bait tonight only to save a tree, but I would prefer a better method, because I'm sure the chemicals in the bait will not exactly nourish my birch tree.

Suggestions, anyone?

    Bookmark   May 2, 2003 at 8:45PM
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Cmonster(z7 GA)

I have similar ant problems as mentioned by other forum members. My problem is also in the garden. Ants climb up my corn and eat out the kernals, they swipe my seeds before they can sprout, and harvest my food before I can get to it. Any tips for managing ants around garden plants? I've heard Irish Springs handsoap sprayed around the base of plants will keep away pests--Has anyone tried this?

For those with home invasions of ants, peppermint extract rubbed on my countertops in the kitchen lets me cook ant free. It has to be re-applied every day or so however.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2003 at 7:06PM
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We have been told that we have carpenter ants in the house foundation.

The only thing I would like to know is if carpenter ants like suger water. We have a hummingbird feeder on our kitchen window and see ants going for a drink.

They don't look like carpenter ants to me, just big black ants and they fill their bellies with the water and become almost transparent. I've looked at pictures of carpenter ants and they really don't look like the ones in the pictures.

It is the only place we see them. Any thoughts?

    Bookmark   June 26, 2003 at 11:23AM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

This year we have been invaded with carpenter ants. We have never had them come into the house before. I think it is because of all the rain that we have had this spring. They don't like water. I use home made ant moats filled with water to keep them out of my hummingbird feeders. It is amazing to watch them try to reach the feeder when they discover the water in the moat the scramble in the other direction to get away from it.

Anyway, we started noticing them all over the kitchen. First it was only one or two here or there then I opened the pantry door and they were scrambling everywhere. I immediately emptied out the entire pantry. Washed everything down with Lysol. Anything that was in a box was immediately put in glass containers, or tupperware or freezer bags. If a package had already been opened such as cereal, I through it away. By the end of the day there were no more ants in the house. It took me the whole afternoon to wash, and repackage and kill the little critters but they are gone. When it is hot and humid, you have to make sure EVERYTHING is out of their reach.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2003 at 1:01PM
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AdamM321(MA z5/6)


I am not currently having problems with ants in the house here in New England, although we have had some years and used ant traps. This year I am finding tons of ant holes all over a bark mulched sitting area. Trying to ignore them but now after reading your stories, wondering if I should do more about them.

Has anyone tried tea tree oil? It is supposed to repel lots of things, including mosquitos. If anyone wants to experiment it might be worth a try and is non toxic.

Why is there such an increase in ants lately? What are their natural predators?


    Bookmark   June 29, 2003 at 1:53AM
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The first step is to find out what kind of ants are present. Control will vary based on the species. The entomology department in the local university (or) your local extension agent can help. Be sure to send at least a dozen of these critters. You can send them in rubbing alcohol. That preserves them well enough for identificaiton.

Once you get the ant identified it is fairly easy to figure out what they feed on. Some exclusively feed on sweet stuff. In this case, there might be another food source in your gardent that you might have to get rid off viz. aphids, mealy bugs or scales. These ants primarily use them as a food source. But they will also go for the sweets and sugar in your pantry. There are baits available that have a sweet base.

Some ants like protein and carbohydrates, also. You can get specific baits for these kind of ants. Some pest control companies chop up mealworms (the one's used as fish bait) and mix some boric acid with them. Carpenter ants just love these. So do some other ants.

There are liquid baits (works well in hot conditions) or granular baits that can be sprinkled. Worker ants cannot digest solid food. They have to take it back to the nest and feed it to the larva. The larva digests the solid bait and feeds it back to the workers. So the entire colony gets a dose of the bait. This is more eco-friendly than using residual sprays.

Good luck.


    Bookmark   June 29, 2003 at 1:17PM
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I don't browse this forum very often, but saw this thread on ants and thought I'd offer my solution. Ground cinnamon. I've used it successfully for different types of ants in different houses I've lived in and it's always worked well. It doesn't kill them, but persuades them to move someplace else. Just sprinkle ground cinnamon liberally around the problem areas. If you buy cinnamon in bulk (our Sam's Club has one pound containers for less than $5), it's not too expensive and safe for pets and kids : )

    Bookmark   July 9, 2003 at 5:24PM
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kiahjk, Tried the cinnamon a couple days ago. sprinkled it on the kitchen floor by the baseboard. I squashed whatever ants I would see. The next day all the ants were gone. Swept up the floor making sure some of the cinnomon got under the baseboard. Thanks!!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2003 at 10:05AM
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So what is the best solution to kill and get ripe of them ? I am really tire of dealing with them every single summer. No matter how clean I keep the house, they still come in. They really drives me crazy. So much that I even dreamed about those ant invasion in my kitchen, and they were all over! What a nightmare! I really wish someone will have a good and safe solution to this. I have 2 young kids in the I will need something safe and non-toxic indoor!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2003 at 2:43AM
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caseyb(north of Boston)

My husband and I are re-building an old house in Massachusetts, and I have recently been battling the trillions of ants (several varieties) that had taken up residence in a large pile of dirt in our little yard that I was finally able to get around to leveling. I needed to put it alongside the house, but was not interested in transplaning colonies to the sides of my foundation!

My first attack involved opening up the colonies and spreading the ants and their eggs around the yard on a hot sunny day - hoping I could at least confuse them and help them loose track of at least some of their eggs. And maybe the eggs would even dry out a die in the sun, I thought... who knows if it worked, because I next, with great trepidation, used some nasty chemical stuff that my husband bought for me - a white liquid mixed with water to spray around. Round one got all apparent ant life. However, I found more colonies when I came back a day later to move the remainder of the pile. I tried the unearthing and spreading method again, but there were several groups of really big and angry looking ants in there, and I was grossed out enough to go back and get the chemical stuff again. God I hate that stuff.

So now, I would like to come up with something that I can start doing around our foundation to keep ants from getting interested, as the weather gets cooler, and the house gets more hospitable to life. Perhaps a spray of something to deter them? I'd like to keep them from ever finding out there is a house there! Any thoughts? Something non-toxic, preferably? I will clearly also want to seal the place up well, and in designing wet spaces like kitchen and bath, think of ways to keep usually hidden areas dry and clean, and fill up usually 'blank' spaces.

Any thoughts on starting out right will be thoroughly appreciated! Thanks a million.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2003 at 2:05PM
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We have an easy solution for the destruction of colonies that you have disturbed. Boiling water. We even use this on large activity its cheep, safe, fast, and easy for us since we got an instant hot water heater. Now when I spot vigorous activity I throw a kettle on to boil get another pitcher from instant hot and start a rotation pouring down holes and along the runs. Love gettin all those eggs.


    Bookmark   August 10, 2003 at 12:39PM
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caseyb(north of Boston)

I'll try that! As soon as we get water, and a stove...

    Bookmark   August 22, 2003 at 3:25PM
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Our backyard is alive with ants, makes me nuts! If I see a bit of spurge beginning to grow, I know for a fact there is an ant colony under. These ants are very clever at moving weed seeds around and setting up house keeping. I did not reliaze that aphids were a near yr. round pest. My birch trees have ants running up and down branches, also found aphids. Same with photina, daylilies, lily of the nile, roses, just about everything. I've used Diazonon but it really is just a quick kill and the ants are back almost immediately. I know I read that red chili powder was effective but I don't know how it is applied. Anyone know? This battle really does wear me down especially because these darn things keep weeds popping up. It's getting to the point that I'll need to make the decision to either keep up the yard or the house but it is very hard to do both and have them both look really good. I'm not enjoying this yard as I should, what a shame.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2003 at 4:35AM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

It was interesting for me to read that Diazinon became ineffective before it was banned. I heard how dangerous it was years ago, and in the past 2 or 3 years, it had been linked to Parkinson's Disease. I heard and read about this, but cannot offer proof. I did hear a brief interview from Michael J. Fox who was talking about a possible exposure during the filming of a movie.
I wish I had been as concerned about the use of chemicals years ago as I am today. I appreciate all the good suggestions to control ants since I have them in epidemic proportions. But I would not use the sprays anymore to keep from getting them, and am anxious to use baits after perhaps an initial spraying.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2003 at 12:41PM
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If you need help with ant control, I might be able to help:
John Warner, PhD candidate, Entomology
University of Florida
Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center, Ant Lab
3205 College Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314

    Bookmark   June 20, 2004 at 9:46AM
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I'm in southern california and have been invaded with argentine ants. I have sprayed gallons of insecticide and spead pounds of granuals and still they come back the next day. Grant ant stakes did not work at all. Some of the nests like the the Enforcer bait, but most don't. I have found they love Terro liquid bait, but after 5 days, they have emptied most of the traps and are still swarming. How long will it take before the colony dies? Does the home made boric acid and corn syrup bait work better? It would be a lot cheaper. Any and all advice would be great.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2004 at 12:51AM
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Some people mix 1% boric acid (or borax)and 40% table sugar in an aqueous solution and let Argentine ants drink their fill (which could be gallons if you have ants coming to your place from 'out there'). Probably best to make sure they always have a fresh supply. Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Ant Research

    Bookmark   July 18, 2004 at 10:02PM
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Also: Borax + Corn syrup can be used instead of sugarwater! Comments?

    Bookmark   September 10, 2004 at 10:52PM
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think7(Z10 FL)

We had the same problem. From my experience it is likely Argentines as they love heat and have been found in roof areas in 120F + temps. We also had them dropping out of pot lights onto counter tops and desks.

From my experience straight boric can only be used as a dust in crevices, behind outlets etc as when it is used in volume the ants just avoid it.

For more than a year I used a system developed by a guy in West Florida.

Bait stations that look like little domes. The station has a little cup at the bottom and a stress duct that adds more bait by gravity when the cup level is reduced. The ants actually can be seen eating at the trough as if they were farm animals. I have watches 4 differnt species feeding at the same time. It is amazing.

You can fill them with a pre-bought bait (honey/or sweetened water/boric acid) or make your own. I had tremendous success with them but on an acre property it is a huge amount of work to keep the staions filled and make the bait. It is only .5 to 1% boric acid / 69% orange blossom honey (raw) and distilled water.
The low boric concentration doesn't cause a pheremone reaction in the ant colony so they keep feeding but still kills them in a few days. Higher concentrations of boric don't have the same success over the long term although that may kill some ants more quickly. The raw orange blossom honey / water combo attracts every single kind of ant and other insects including roaches. This bait provides protein, carbs and water. If there is anyone out there really in need (legitimate hardship case or a charitable org) I will be glad to donate all of mine. As much as I love the organic concept the amount of work for my property was too much. I had to go back to a professional (Nozzle Nolen) albeit one who uses the least noxious products possible (chrysanthemum and boric based).
Eventually I was making 5 gallons at a time and having to store it in our 2nd fridge. The product also has a tendency to mold in the stations here in FL because of the heat and humidity. Might do better in another climate.

If anyone wants to know more or purchase them directly you can email the inventor - Ken Kupfer through his website

Truly a product that works without poison.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2004 at 9:15PM
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Ants came into my house yesterday. I heard on a different forum , to use 409 household cleaner. I did and I found that it killed them quicker than the ant and roach spray I had bought.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2004 at 8:55PM
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Is this the same as borax?

I get a couple of ants every nite at the dishwasher. I can't find the trail. I really don't want to spray the area since it is the food preparation area. Argh!!

    Bookmark   November 2, 2004 at 11:42AM
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NEW...........ANT CONTROL Google below

Here is a link that might be useful: ANT CONTROL Google Group

    Bookmark   January 15, 2005 at 12:16AM
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Ant baiting is the ideal way to eliminate your ant infestation. When baits are used properly they will kill the entire colony, not just foraging workers. They are unobtrusive, ready-to-use, and take less time to apply than conventional insecticides. No sprayers are required to apply bait. Ant baits eliminate chemical drift, will not harm plants, and are odorless.
Place ant bait stations by ant trails and where ants have been seen. Use three bait stations in an average size room, or approximately one bait station per 100 square feet. (Increase for heavy infestations.) Do not spray any chemicals or disturb trails between ant nests and bait stations. Killing ants or disturbing trails will prevent ants from carrying the bait back to the colony. On follow-up visits, replace bait stations that are empty and relocate stations that show little or no ant activity. Accurate records of any activity and bait placements will allow for more efficient and effective follow-up visits. Try several different ant baits as the ants feeding preferences are constantly changing.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2005 at 1:55PM
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i have a cat that eats the ants that i am trying to get rid of. if i put an ant house out and he eats them isn't he getting that poison in his system? i live on the third floor of an apartment complex. is there something that is safe for him to have in his system that won't hurt him he has FIV and he can't get sick cause it could kill him.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2005 at 9:20PM
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I improved my page showing: TOXICITIES OF SOME COMMONLY USED PESTICIDES COMPARED TO A FEW HOUSEHOLD CHEMICALS. You can view it by clicking on the link below.

John Warner, entomologist
University of Florida


    Bookmark   April 30, 2005 at 7:53PM
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Vikk(8b sunset 10)

That was most informative John. Thanks for your work and for posting it.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2005 at 4:17PM
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Ron_and_Patty(z7 GA)

We've found that the "Zep" brand ant bait works better than anything. No mess, no fuss. A few of them are permanently placed in strategic areas in the house (like behind the coffee machine, and near the catfood dish) as a preventive measure. I can even put them outside in an area that gets rained on as long as they are not going to get flooded. I just smudge the trail a bit so they go into forage mode and put the 1.5" round bait station right on that spot in the middle of their trail. The sweet peanut butter mixture doesn't melt or dry up either so when they ants stop coming to it, you can move it somewhere else. Fortunately our cats don't eat the ants.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 9:06AM
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My problem is little black ants. The hills are underneath the driveway and sidewalks. The enterances are in the cracks and seams of the concrete. I want to kill the little suckers, but I don't want to do anything that will drive them into my lawn and flowers. (where they are not). Thanks!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2005 at 6:36PM
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i find that when weeding tons and tons of ants come up with the is it right that more weeding will keep them away? they are in my home as well and I need a good, cheap solution that won't hurt the dog.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2006 at 7:43PM
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What kind of ants are they?

Here is a link that might be useful: Borates and other stuff

    Bookmark   July 24, 2006 at 5:31PM
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I'm trying this mixture -- its supposed to be really effective according to a couple fo sources. I've just started to have problems outside the house, and now I'm finding them inside as well. Again, its been recommended to me..... In an old cat food can, put some cat food, boric acid and grape jelly. They take the food back to the nest and it kills them all.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 8:27PM
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Leaving cat food outside is a great way to attract cats, rodents, raccoons, etc., with their fleas. Why not just try sugarwater with some boric acid?

Here is a link that might be useful: Borates and other stuff

    Bookmark   July 30, 2006 at 4:56PM
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I use home defense. I know all of you are looking for a chemical free way to rid yourselves of ants, but Home Denfense doesn't hurt anything.
Just spray the perimeter of your house and also your windows and doorways. Also inside under the counters and fridge. Keep your pets away until it dries and then they can come back. Since it has no odor, dogs and cats can't smell it, so they have no temptation to sniff or lick it. I have two chihuahuas and a cat, and they have had no problems so far. You can also get it in granuals. It doesn't hurt plants, but it can hurt fish and lizards, so keep it away from those.
And not only does it kill all types of ants, but it kills roaches, beetles, earwigs, mosquitos, fire ants, crickets, centipedes, flies, pantry pests, scorpions, spiders, sliverfish, and ticks.

Here is a link that might be useful: Go here for more information.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 1:44PM
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Here is a list of ingredients for "Ortho Home Defense" products.

It should be noted that an odorless chemical can be toxic e.g. carbon monoxide. I am informed (reliably so) that the domestic gas piped into homes is odorless but an odor has been added to enable us to detect it when there is a leak.

Chemical CAS No / Unique ID Percent
Propane 000074-98-6 .
Isobutane 000075-28-5
Bioallethrin 000584-79-2 0.3
Sumithrin 026002-80-2 0.2
Coconut diethanolamide 061790-63-4 99.49
Naphtha, petroleum, hydrotreated heavy 064742-48-9
Aromatic petroleum distillates (unspecified) 999999-64-2

    Bookmark   July 21, 2007 at 4:40AM
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    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 3:00PM
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While ants do not belong in your house much of the stuff sold today to "control" them can cause more heatlh problems then the ants ever will. If ants are in your house they are there because they are either searching for of have found a food and/or moisture source. Ants will not cross barriers of lemon or mint oil and those can be used to move them back outside so the points of entry they use can be sealed.
Treating the symptoms of the problem, ants in the house, is not a good, long term, solution.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 7:14AM
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