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Ant Problems
updated: Jul 15, 2014, 11:00 AM

By Edhat Subscriber

I'm wondering if anyone else it having ant problems this year. They have invaded our house to such an extent that almost every area inside has few to swarms of them. They have even clogged traps!

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 535638 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 11:02 AM

I have lived in my home for over 15 years w/o any problem; this year the pismires have really been a challenge; they took over the dog-feeder yesterday.


 COMMENT 535641 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 11:06 AM

Yes. They're been into the cat food, so we put the cat's dishes in a pan of water. After it got really bad I boiled a kettle of water and doused their nest/holes. That seemed to do the trick for now.


 COMMENT 535643 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 11:07 AM



 COMMENT 535648 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 11:16 AM

terrible this year. I have not had much success with those Grant ant traps - anyone else?


 COMMENT 535649 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 11:17 AM

They were in the kitty bowl, and I picked up my cleaner spray, which is two thirds water and one third white vinager, and sprayed them...just because I didn't know what else to do, as I can't use chemicals. They all died! I tried it later on a spider, and it dropped dead right away! Apparently white vinager kills them!


 COMMENT 535653 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 11:25 AM

They were in every room of my house a week ago. Hydrex came out and sprayed the exterior of the house and we haven't had a problem since. Everyone in my neighborhood is having ant problems. We're told it's due to the drought.


 COMMENT 535661P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 11:32 AM

Indeed. Our cat bowl was their target of choice a couple of times so far this year. Now they go for our trash trash (non-recyclables) and we need to be ever vigilant in keeping it emptied. These little buggers are tenacious this year.


 COMMENT 535663 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 11:33 AM

You can try OrangeGuard spray. It always works well for me.
Kills ants and is non-toxic too. Ace downtown has it, not sure if the other stores do.


 COMMENT 535664 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 11:37 AM

The best solution: Terro liquid ant baits - outdoor version (lasts 3 months).


 COMMENT 535666 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 11:40 AM

Major problems this year. Nothing works. They're in the walls and under the floor. We finally get one area under control, then they come in somewhere else. Through outlets, under carpeting, you name it. Today I've found five individuals on the bed at separate times and there is no trail to be found anywhere in the bedroom!


 COMMENT 535668P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 11:47 AM

Serious Aunt problem. Not an ant problem tho..so far!


 COMMENT 535670P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 11:47 AM

We have cats and tried all the "safe" ant remedies, but to no avail. It got so bad last year that we came home from a vacation and found ants in the refrigerator and freezer! We finally broke down and called Lenz. They sprayed around the foundation and left bait traps inside where our cats couldn't get them. That was in September and we haven't seen an ant since.


 COMMENT 535672P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 12:00 PM

Yes, here too. I use what the exterminator used in my house once- Advion bait stations. advion is a sophisticated compound made by DuPont. Can get then from amazon and I recommend you get at least a bag of 30. I also recommend highly that you get the advion gel. The suckers eat it like candy and are gone in hours. The gel is important because you can't stick station on the side of walls easily.

I also have Terra. They really attract the ants but the product takes 24-48 hours and meanwhile the ants keep marching. So I'd say take a four- pronged approach:

1. advion bait stations right where the line originates. Just leave it tree and they'll eventually go in there. 2. You can put a terra bait station there as well for insurance. 3. Look for cracks And squirt the advion gel in there. 4. Spray outside foundation. I like the Grant's spray- big can of instant death and deterrence. 5. Ideally caulk where they've been entering but that can be difficult.


 COMMENT 535673 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 12:01 PM

I'm glad I called the Orkin man a few months ago... I only have a few stragglers in the bathroom seeking moisture.


 COMMENT 535676 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 12:03 PM

@663 -- made me laugh.. !! NON toxic, but it KILLED ants!! Too funny! If it wasn't toxic, it wouldn't have killed anything.


 COMMENT 535678P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 12:05 PM

Nematodes, but it's a long term remedy, as it is micro-organisms that destroy the larvea. www.arbico.com


 COMMENT 535683 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 12:13 PM

So bad this year! It's crazy!


 COMMENT 535684 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 12:13 PM

Yes, and hearing about them from friends all around SB and SoCal. It's the drought.


 COMMENT 535687 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 12:25 PM

Yes, worst year ever.

We're using the Terro traps and I use my handheld Dyson vacuum to get them when they are in the house.

Hopefully this means that their populations are finally suffering and I hope we can wipe out a bunch during the drought.


 COMMENT 535690 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 12:43 PM

I put my cat's food bowl on top of a plate with the edges lined with Vaseline. Just have to redo every week. It works!


 COMMENT 535691 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 12:49 PM

Yes lets do away with all the insects! J/K , yes thirsty just like the rest of us. If you need to exterminate please use something "planet friendly".


 COMMENT 535701 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 01:08 PM



 WOODRUFF agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 01:11 PM

In more than fifty years in SB, I've never seen anything like this year's ant-festation! The little buggers, both black and red, are everywhere.

Grant's Ant Stakes have been quite helpful in keeping them at bay--so far. I'm glad to read all the other suggestions, though.


 COMMENT 535709 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 01:19 PM

I heard that coffee grounds will repel Ants, so I've been tossing the coffee grounds around, and it seems like it's working. Gonna drive those Ants to your house!!!

The Ants do serve a purpose in Nature... they help aerate the soil and remove organic debris. But, I don't like them in my house!!!.


 COMMENT 535718 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 01:46 PM

I read from a local writer that ants eat termite eggs!


 COMMENT 535719 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 01:47 PM

I use talcum powder (baby powder) at my thresholds -- they don't cross it. White vinegar mixed with water in a spray bottle and wiped around corners and on linoleum flooring. A good cleaner too. It'll also kill weeds in the garden!

Also, mixing cheap vodka with water (1:10 ratio) and spraying works well too.


 COMMENT 535724P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 01:53 PM

Another vote for Terro.


 COMMENT 535726P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 01:55 PM

Orange Guard is made from the oil of oranges. It is toxic to bugs, but not to humans or pets. It can even be used safely in the kitchen. Smells nice too. No, I don't work for them, but I have used it for a few years.


 COMMENT 535727 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 02:00 PM

I haven't had any problems (event though I have three cats and a water fountain) but I do the following:

Put all food in the refrigerator/freezer or in glass canning jars.

Feed the cats twice a day for an hour. After that, the dishes are taken up and washed and the floor is washed with undiluted white vinegar.

Put in the dishwasher only dishes that have been rinsed in HOT water so no food particles remain.

Run citrus peels down the garbage disposal regularly.

Keep all dry cat food in a scent-free container (one that does not allow smells out),.

Keep all garbage in a trash bag-lined scent free container. Freeze excess garbage until shortly before pick-up.

No food is allowed anywhere but in the kitchen and dining room--and it is cleaned up within one hour, including a final spray of vinegar on all counters.

The idea is to encourage ants to look for easier pickings elsewhere.


 COMMENT 535728 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 02:03 PM

Putting the dog food bowls in water... that's brilliant. That or I guess I could create a talcum powder or cinnamon barrier around the bowls. Now if I could get the dogs to not push their bowls around when they think they don't have anything good in them!


 COMMENT 535729 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 02:05 PM

This works: Purchase liquid dog flea treatment containing 10% fipronil. Petarmor brand is the cheapest, but you can buy Frontline at Costco. Wearing gloves, dilute the contents of one tube into a large 1 liter spray bottle of water and shake vigorously. Spray the ants along their entire trail with a fine mist of the solution. I only use this treatment outside, but would use it in the house away from food. The ants will carry the fipronil back to nest and destroy the colony within a day or two.

Argentine ants are foreign invaders and disrupt native insects. They protect aphids in your garden and attack beneficial lady bugs.


 COMMENT 535731P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 02:08 PM

727, they've been coming into our bathroom looking (I assume) for water. Funny, my kids leave crumbs everywhere in the kitchen & dining room and I'm a horrid housekeeper, but I've yet to see any ants anywhere besides my bathroom. Just another affect of this rotten drought.


 COMMENT 535734 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 02:24 PM

+1 for the Terro liquid bates! I've had ants in the house every year..they come in this time of year and when it rains. I heard about the Terro baits and they work great! Put it in the trail and they take it back home..and poof..no more ants. I've left soda cans next to the Terros' and the ants go for the bait! No ants this year at all!


 COMMENT 535735P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 02:25 PM

I have seen a LOT this year. We have had some problems in years past, but this year they are showing up in places they never have before.

I started using a product called "Andro" a couple of years ago. I use the granules. I was really surprised how effective it is. It takes a couple of days, but the ants take it back to the nest and they all die.


 COMMENT 535736 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 02:32 PM

My sister just told me about tea tree oil...here's a recipe if anyone wants to try it.

Tea Tree Oil as a Household Insect Repellent Tired of ants, cockroaches, or other insects inside your home? Tea tree oil also can help fight against household insects. Simply mix ¼ cup tea tree oil, ¼ cup vinegar, and 2 cups water together. Pour into a large spray bottle. Spray the tea tree oil spray solution into cupboards, on counters, and other surfaces and wipe clean. The tea tree oil repels the insects and the combination of vinegar and tea tree oil acts as a powerful disinfectant. Do this regularly to keep away ants, roaches, and other household insects.


 COMMENT 535738P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 02:35 PM

Terro ant baits are good, but they are sugar-based and you have to put them where pets cannot get to them. Windex spray with ammonia kills them on contact. I'm going to try vinegar, though - less toxic. And yes, the ants are awful this year.


 COMMENT 535750 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 03:24 PM

Not yet. We don't usually have a problem with them unless there is heavy rains. So it's been a while.


 COMMENT 535753P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 03:46 PM

We had constant ant troubles a few months ago. Went on vacation, and when we came back they had finally given up. No ants for a couple months now. We didn't use any pesticides or anything.


 COMMENT 535754P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 03:49 PM

Ants at my house are wonderful! They've only come in 2 times over the past 50+ years. I don't know why that is since they are abundant outside, but only visible when it rains and they get a huge work party going to rescue the babies. We're just lucky.

A friend swears by boric acid mixed in apple mint jelly. This was told to her by an exterminator who tries less toxic methods first.


 COMMENT 535758 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 04:08 PM

I make my own ant bait using boric acid powder, sugar and water. Works like magic and works very quickly. Here is a link to the instructions: http://www.food.com/recipe/get-rid-of-ants-ants-ants-203233


 COMMENT 535760 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 04:20 PM

@729 Fipronil is a dangerous chemical. If you want to use it, it would be easier to buy Raid Ant Control Gel. The gel base ensure it stays where its supposed to, and the ants suck it up, greedily.

Do NOT spray fipronil around, willy nilly. It is dangerous to lizards and fish.


 COMMENT 535772 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 05:00 PM

For those using vinegar--I heard that it etches/takes the shine off of marble, granite and the like. True?

Yes we are having an ant problem and it's a change. The dog food is their first choice and like an earlier poster, I have to put it down for a short time and then take it up and wash the dish and floor.


 COMMENT 535781 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 05:22 PM

Up here in the hills they are carrying off children and small adults...


 COMMENT 535783 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 05:27 PM

In other news, just saw the coolest thing.

check out bugasalt dot com

No poison.

No smooshed insects.


 COMMENT 535789P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 05:38 PM

They are everywhere at my house. I've tried and tried cloves, baby powder, salt, chalk, dish soap, Windex, vacuuming, peppermint oil, raid traps, swearing, vinegar, cinnamon, (powder & sticks), and they laugh at me. I opened the cabinet only to find them crawling all over it! Their equivalent to giving me the finger I suppose. I would not have any way to spray outside since I'm in a mobile home with plants and weeds all over the place.


 COMMENT 535808 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 05:56 PM

Pet anteater might do the trick.


 COMMENT 535841 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-15 07:05 PM

760- Fipronil is pumped by the gallons around foundations by professional applicators (trade name Termidor). Ant movement is anything but willy nilly. Their orderly marching lines make them easy to target with minimal pesticide application. I would argue that a few milliliters of a 0.01% solution sprayed directly on the ants is preferable to trenching and drenching.


 COMMENT 535877P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-16 03:12 AM

So disheartening to see how many people still rely on poisoning their environment as a solution for combating ants.

727 has it right. Keep your areas clean and the ants won't bother you.

If ants are able to access the inside of your refrigerator and freezer, then you need better seals on both. Not only are you inviting ants, when you have such units, you are leaking a goodly amount of cold air and really adding to your energy bill.

Stick a dollar bill 1/2 way in each door of fridge and freezer. Close the doors on the bill. If you can pull out the bills easily, then you need new seals. (Same goes for dishwashers.)

We don't use pesticides here and never will. The ants come in, look around, see there's no food, and they leave. If you're having problems with ants in your bathrooms, try leaving a shallow pan of water at ground level outside; see if that helps slake the ants' thirst.

It may sound crazy, but if you eat watermelon or any other kind of melon, then leave the shells/rinds outside your kitchen, in the dirt. The ants will feed on those rinds (sugar and liquid source) and leave your kitchen alone.


 COMMENT 535881 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-16 06:25 AM

yes! OrangeGuard sprayed on them and in the area they are emerging from finally worked!! It is supposedly non toxic to pets and kids...found it at Whole Foods


 COMMENT 535898 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-16 07:23 AM

Ants kick ass! The only solution is to watch the old 1940s cartoon "ants in the plants". Or maybe an anteater?


 COMMENT 535910P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-16 07:49 AM

781 :-)


 COMMENT 535913 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-16 07:53 AM

Forgot one. Lure the whole nest out with some sugar on a clean ungreased surface then melt 72% dark chocolate and carefully pour over the ants so that you just cover them. A turkey baster or anything that can control the pour will help focus on just the ants. I also find an organic raspberry syrup mixed in really enhances the flavor. Great source of protein.

Eat well my Edhat friends.


 COMMENT 535925P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-16 08:15 AM

Just a little Citrus Magic, what's the fuss.


 COMMENT 535928P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-16 08:20 AM

Ants are creatures. They have heads, they have legs, they walk, they colonize, they live.

Be Humane! Don’t Kill Ants: Relocate Them! Follow the ants to see where they are entering the house. Lure them out of their nest with a teaspoon of honey dribbled into an empty jar. Then simply move the jar somewhere near your local democratic representative’s office.

NP Op-Ed


 COMMENT 535938 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-16 08:32 AM

I've had my share of ant problems over the years. I've found a combination of things work. 1. Ant stakes around perimeter of house. 2. Ant killer pellets spread evenly around perimeter of house. 3. Spray bottle of white vinegar for immediate extermination. 4. Cayenne pepper sprinkled near entry points if can be determined. 5 Seal any small cracks you see them coming out of in wall like electrical outlets.


 COMMENT 535954 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-16 08:57 AM

Ants come inside: "WHEN IT'S HOT AND WHEN IT RAINS". ....... Think about that, they look for shelter when the ground is getting flooded and they look for water when it's hot (and we're in a drought).

Or else you're doing something to attract them into your house, like leaving greasy or sweet crumbs around.


 COMMENT 535961 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-16 09:11 AM

We always have some ant problems this time of year. The warmer weather produces a hatching and the young set out on their perenial food search.


 COMMENT 535966 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-16 09:19 AM

Think of them as PETS! It really changes your attitude towards them; after all they're just looking for water as we all are in this time of drought. Also, the cleaner you are, the fewer discoveries they'll find to bring their buddies to! They are quite amazing cirtters!


 COMMENT 535983 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-16 09:40 AM

Our little ants have ignored three different bait boxes. They climb right over them!

How they know where something to their taste is beats me. Are they hiding under the floor boards just waiting? Usually a very long wait. How do the scouts know where to go. Fascinating creatures.


 COMMENT 536023 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-16 11:15 AM

I don't have any ant problems, only problems with my uncles! [drum roll followed by cymbals]


 ELAZ agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-16 11:44 AM

We have had major ant invasions in our Goleta home over the years, and they were plaguing us daily for the last two months. Hundreds in the kitchen.

On a recommendation we tried the following homemade solution (pun intended) and it worked quickly and thoroughly. It's been 6 days without any ants!

Dissolve 1.5 Tablespoons of Borax (boric acid) and 1/2 cup of sugar in 1 1/2 cups of warm water. Soak cotton balls in this solution and place it where the ants are. Leave it out for a day or two. The ants will drink hungrily from the sugary liquid and will take it back to their nests. ANT PROBLEM GONE. My husband and i are amazed by how well it worked!

There is some concern about toxicity of borax for household pets. We have an indoor cat and felt okay about using it. She didn't display any interest, and after reading that it is used in many anti-flea products, we felt alright going ahead. Would definitely use this again if need be.

In truth, we admire ants a great deal. Their systems of communication and cooperation are quite impressive, and if feels somewhat like perpetrating ant genocide, wiping them out like this. If they'd just stay outside....


 ELAZ agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-16 11:47 AM

DOGMOM - I just saw your post. It really does work quickly and thoroughly, doesn't it?


 COMMENT 536102 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-16 02:52 PM

I've had an ant problem since the 4th of July! Its a pain!


 COMMENT 536106 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-16 03:07 PM

I have looked everywhere for boric acid. Where is it available please!!!!!


 COMMENT 536111 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-16 03:24 PM

106 Got mine at the 99 cent store.


 COMMENT 536160P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-16 06:51 PM

Mine are NOT in the food, even the cat food, but in my bed! They crawl over my face at night and move around in my hair. Driving me crazy. They're also in the upstairs bathroom but not in the downstairs one. They are tiny little guys and all seem to be wandering around with nothing better to do than be pests. One day they disappeared and I was so relieved. Next day they were back with a vengeance.


 COMMENT 536165P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-16 06:55 PM

No ant invasions in the house yet but they are out there waiting for an invitation. I spy one or two ants in the kitchen now and then and I escort them outside before they can go get the rest of the hunting party. Light bulb goes on over my head..... I'm bringing them in on the newspaper! (Not the NewsPress). Got to be more vigilant!


 COMMENT 536519 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-17 08:38 PM

877 and others saying just keep things clean, you clearly haven't been inundated. We've had them for months now and are fastidious about cleaning everything! They go after things you'd have no idea would interest them. Sometimes they just wander around searching.

They are also already in the walls and foundation, so anything done outside is useless.

Terro is ok but takes too long. They seem to come back eventually. Going to try the borax/sugar mix since it is the same as Terro but cheaper.

As for the "don't harm nature's little critters" folks, how about if I bring several thousand of them over and put them in your walls? I'm nuking them with whatever I can that won't harm us or the pets.


 COMMENT 540778 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-30 02:57 PM



 COMMENT 548470 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-27 04:49 PM

We have had a ton of ants coming into our house this year. I tried everything from sprays--mostly organic compounds like cedar oil, to baits--terro. Nothing worked for very long. Finally when the ants invaded the kitchen on the day we were leaving for a long vacation, I called Riviera Pest Control. Gabe called me back within half an hour and even though he was swamped that day he was able to make room in his schedule to come out between other appointments. He sprayed a low toxicity spray around the house and for the past month we have not seen a single ant inside the house. Gabe is a great guy to work with and explains everything well. Very reasonable for the great service they provide. I have used them once more since then for some yellow jacket/wasps that were doing a number on our oak trees and again Gabe did an excellent job!


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