Ant Invasion Help

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By an edhat reader

The past month I've been battling ants inside my home. Although, they're not the regular ants that I'm used to. These are tiny brown ants that are very hard to see. I'm pretty sure they're Pharoah ants and they're a lot harder to get rid of.

Do readers have tips on how to deal with this specific ant variety? I have little kids and pets so setting off a bug bomb won't do. Or any exterminators that are recommended?

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Golffoxtrotyankee Jul 06, 2022 09:47 AM
Ant Invasion Help

I’d recommend lenz pest control. We had ants they set little globs of ant bait-1000,s of ants came then all gone. Been years since we’ve had any problems.

a-1657206520 Jul 07, 2022 08:08 AM
Ant Invasion Help

The "globs" are just Terro ant bait, you can do it yourself and see the same results. Comes in a tube. Be careful not to put it anywhere pets can access.

chico berkeley Jul 06, 2022 10:04 AM
Ant Invasion Help

Those are Argentinian ants.
They come here in plants brought here from there and are considered one whole colony from the border up the coast past Santa Maria last time I heard anything about them.
I have used a blue liquid that they take back home and it really does the trick.
Just a little in a crevice or crack does the trick and your pets won't get to it.
Takes a couple generations and I haven't had them in my Orchids now for 2 years.
Knock on wood.

John Wiley Jul 06, 2022 10:20 AM
Ant Invasion Help

What do they eat? For the small black Argentine ants that periodically invade our neighborhood, it has always worked to first find out what they like and then mix some of it into Terro liquid ant baits that contain a small amount of relatively non-toxic boric acid. We put the baits on an existing ant trail that's visible to monitor but not in the way or where kids & pets might encounter it. Then we *try* to eliminate all the ants' other food sources. When the bait mix is their favorite thing and other ant delicacies aren't available, every ant within ant miles (neighborhood) joins the wild party for a couple of days. They take it back to the queen(s) and the good times end. For a week or two. Then there's another party season when more ants find the abandoned trail left by the prior invaders. Usually that's the end, but sometimes it takes a few more such surges of hungry visitors. Often the bait will work by itself, but mixing in their fav food always helps and sometimes is the only way to get them interested. Good luck.

sacjon Jul 06, 2022 10:30 AM
Ant Invasion Help

While not super effective, it is SUPER fun..... get a Bug-A-Salt gun! Lots of fun and you can salt your eggs too!

a-1657128666 Jul 06, 2022 10:31 AM
Ant Invasion Help

OP here - should also mention these ants bite. They were all over a toy my kid was playing with and bit him quite a bit.

Don't think they're Argentine ants, the photos don't match what I see.

chico berkeley Jul 06, 2022 01:14 PM
Ant Invasion Help

Well you can post so how about a pic?

justabrain Jul 06, 2022 10:42 AM
Ant Invasion Help

soapy water kills the small ants like a charm. get a spray bottle, put in some dish soap (better with color so that you can tell), mix it with water and spray over ants. they'll stop coming eventually

CoastWatch Jul 06, 2022 10:57 AM
Ant Invasion Help

Best solution is setting bait traps- Anything made by TERRO works awesome. They make an outdoor and indoor trap(s)

pstarSR Jul 06, 2022 11:48 AM
Ant Invasion Help

second this, and I cant say it enough. tried everything under the sun a few years ago. these units, the outside ones in the green case . ONLY ants get into it and dont leak out. they take the bait back to the nest and it takes care of all of them. this was the only ones that worked for us

915films Jul 06, 2022 12:37 PM
Ant Invasion Help

Based on our experience.
Find the entry point and put a "Terro Multi-Surface Liquid Ant Bait" cartridge in the ant's conga line. They'll be gone in 2 days.

ZeroHawk Jul 07, 2022 12:46 PM
Ant Invasion Help

yes Terro is the best, totally agree

ZeroHawk Jul 06, 2022 11:11 AM
Ant Invasion Help

the obvious stuff: clean, wipe down, sweep. find their entry point. Ammonia removes their pheromonal scent trail. Windex. Then any cleaner after. Blue dawn destroys them quickly. Get liquid ant bait/traps. The liquid works the best. No need to spend hundreds on pest control and their sprays. these methods remove them every time, and for a long time. i've got messy kids....i know :)

Humanitarian2003 Jul 06, 2022 12:13 PM
Ant Invasion Help

Advion ant killer kit is the best, used by pest control people. Buy online.

Sail380 Jul 06, 2022 03:17 PM
Ant Invasion Help

I purchased both last year and used them side by side. For our ants, the Optiguard attracted more ants and stayed liquidly longer so they could keep eating. Ants have not been a problem since.

Sail380 Jul 06, 2022 12:17 PM
Ant Invasion Help

Optiguard ant bait gel has worked almost 100% when the TERRO didn't seem to phase them. Gets taken back to the nest and kills the Queens along with the workers.

a-1657137725 Jul 06, 2022 01:02 PM
Ant Invasion Help

OP here again. I've tried several Terro baits to no avail. Some will die but the rest will move on to another location. The Terro baits work great on the ants I'm used to, but these seem smarter?

pstarSR Jul 07, 2022 08:08 AM
Ant Invasion Help

crazy, thats interesting. terro was the magic bullet for us

FondofSB Jul 06, 2022 01:53 PM
Ant Invasion Help

Boric acid (an innocuous white powder for humans) works wonder : "spray" some on where the ants are travelling , they'll be all gone the next day (Amazon has 2 one pound bottles deal : last a long time..))

FernaldPoint93108 Jul 06, 2022 02:10 PM
Ant Invasion Help

Once you kill a colony with bait a new colony takes over the space so I gave up with the bait. I find that using bug spray around the perimeter of the house (and on anything touching the house like a tree branch) works well. Then hit interior room perimeters for a one-two punch.

a-1657148564 Jul 06, 2022 04:02 PM
Ant Invasion Help

"I don't care what I kill, even if it's eventually me."

Persistent insecticides capable of killing ants are generally potent nerve agents.

Sun Jul 06, 2022 05:20 PM
Ant Invasion Help

Factsheet: Least-toxic Control of Indoor and Outdoor Ants, Beyond Picnics: Controlling Ants in your Home

In-depth Information:
Locate and seal outside points of entry. Ants usually follow distinct chemical trails that they have left to easily find their way from their point of entry to their food source

Another option is cornmeal. Ants are attracted to corn meal and treat it as food, but they can't actually digest it, causing them to slowly starve. It won't kill a colony as quickly as poison, but it's incredibly cheap, and completely safe to use in a house with pets or small children.
More info
Pest prevention practices
Remove sources of water/moisture
Remove food sources
Dispose of trash
Place trash in sealed containers
Store food in air-tight, sealed containers
Remove potential habitat
Remove clutter

Non-chemical and mechanical controls
Seal cracks and crevices
Repair holes
Create a barrier
Sticky traps
Remove trash from property
Remove clutter
Boiling water
Remove debris and habitat
Handpick and destroy

Minibeast Jul 06, 2022 05:30 PM
Ant Invasion Help

It's very disappointing to find how many people still think pesticides and bait and otherwise poisoning their environment is the solution. First order of business is to find out what the attractant is. WHY are the ants coming into your home? Remove the attraction. (BTW ants in Santa Barbara bite, be they black, tiny brown, etc.) If you really must spray things, then use:
DIY Ant Spray: Mix 4 oz. (1/2 cup) water, 2 tablespoons vodka along with 15 drops of peppermint essential oil and 5 drops of cinnamon essential oil in a spray bottle. Shake and spray as needed, indoors or out. Doubles as a room freshener.//////////////////////// We haven't had any ant problems this year on our property because we stayed on top of things and when we see the first "scout" ants, we brush them off the counter so they can't lay a trail. We don't leave out food crumbs or any other attractive food items. There are no water leaks in our house. Ants are coming into your home without purpose.

FernaldPoint93108 Jul 06, 2022 06:57 PM
Ant Invasion Help

It's very disappointing to find how many people think they know it all.

Minibeast Jul 06, 2022 11:24 PM
Ant Invasion Help

Self-edit: Meant to write: "Ants are NOT coming into your house without purpose."

pstarSR Jul 07, 2022 08:13 AM
Ant Invasion Help

noted, completely. minibeast

some attractants can not be cleaned up. water in any form attracts them... even frozen water
I had an ant problem one year where they literally went INTO the freezer through a slightly damages seal at the door. they all went in and died.

no poison, no nothing. so I get your point. but yer being a bit dramatic. if you really want to suggest alternative means, try doing it without the condescending attitude

Basicinfo805 Jul 06, 2022 08:03 PM
Ant Invasion Help

I’d call Lenz - they’re good.

sbdude Jul 06, 2022 11:33 PM
Ant Invasion Help

Welcome to Santa Barbara.
Ants? We got 'em!
Termites? In every house in town.
Skeeters? More than you might think.
Plus skunks, rattlesnakes, rats, etc. We are full-service vermin emporium!

Mesarats Jul 07, 2022 06:06 AM
Ant Invasion Help

When the terro traps were ineffective I started using the borax and sugar and it has been working
Use Borax to get rid of ants
Mix 1/2 C sugar, 1 1/2 Tbsp Borax, and 1.5 C warm water.
Soak some cotton balls in the mixture, and put them out near the mess of ants.
The sugar attracts the ants, and they'll take the Borax with it back to their home.
Eating the Borax kills the ants!

swarfmaster Jul 07, 2022 08:26 AM
Ant Invasion Help

It actually kills the symbiotic bacteria in their gut.

a-1657205306 Jul 07, 2022 07:48 AM
Ant Invasion Help

Citrus Magic's 100% organic orange zest spray. That said, everybody please try to coexist with as many insects and 8-legged beasts as you can. They are all in trouble, and when they are in trouble, humans are in trouble, too. Most pollinate something or are part of a vital food chain.

a-1657205414 Jul 07, 2022 07:50 AM
Ant Invasion Help

Call Santa Barbara Pest Control and have them spray around the perimeter of your house - no need tor any spray indoors. We have an annual invasion and this works perfectly without exposing our indoor pets - fish, birds and cats, to the insecticide.

CCHandyMan Jul 07, 2022 08:21 AM
Ant Invasion Help

Sun is correct about the cornmeal. My grandmother taught me this trick 70 years ago and that's all I've ever used. Non-toxic to people, pets and the environment. Takes a few days but the colony just simply disappears.

Sun Jul 07, 2022 10:39 AM
Ant Invasion Help

I agree with a-1657205306 regarding insects are in trouble. While managing pests indoors is fine out
doors they are needed. Ants are decomposers are play a vital role in the composition of soils.
Ants perform many ecological roles that are beneficial to humans, including the suppression of pest populations and aeration of the soil. The use of weaver ants in citrus cultivation in southern China is considered one of the oldest known applications of biological control.

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