Ants ... should we keep going or change tactics

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URSnshn
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Ants ... should we keep going or change tactics

Post by URSnshn » Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:19 pm

We saw ants at our fireplace hearth (no wood stored there) about 6 weeks ago. We used cornstarch however it was not effective. Because of our delay in using cornstarch we ended up with them in 4 rooms. We baited with Terro and over the past weeks (about 3 - 4 weeks) have noticed:

First: an increase of ants going to bait

Then: numbers radically dwindled with one or two here or there and a few dead ones. We kept the baits up and didn't disturb trails.

Finally: yesterday - no ants - we were thrilled and were planning on keeping up the baits for another 3 to 4 days and if no more ants we would take them down HOWEVER this morning we have regular activity back where they initially began, around our fireplace, to the ant bait there.

Question: Do we keep going? Anyone have experience in this?

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windaar
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Re: Ants ... should we keep going or change tactics

Post by windaar » Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:32 pm

TERRO baits have worked best for me many times; sometimes it can take a while to exhaust the supply of ants. Don't kill them; let them stagger around back to their nest. Good luck! P.S. Check outside if you haven't to see where they may be coming in - off of a tree branch over the roof, into a hole or in the masonry... They sell outdoor TERRO as well or you can spray with one of the many brands of instant ant killer to stop the outside invasion.
Last edited by windaar on Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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livesoft
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Re: Ants ... should we keep going or change tactics

Post by livesoft » Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:34 pm

What kind of ants? I'd keep it up AND put some baits outside the house.
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jebmke
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Re: Ants ... should we keep going or change tactics

Post by jebmke » Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:35 pm

Terro; let them take the bait, it takes a while
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RetiredAL
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Re: Ants ... should we keep going or change tactics

Post by RetiredAL » Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:47 pm

windaar wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:32 pm
TERRO baits have worked best for me many times; sometimes it can take a while to exhaust the supply of ants. Don't kill them; let them stagger around back to their nest. Good luck! P.S. Check outside if you haven't to see where they may be coming in - off of a tree branch over the roof, into a hole or in the masonry... They sell outdoor TERRO as well or you can spray with one of the many brands of instant ant killer to stop the outside invasion.
+1 for TERRO and be patient. It not an instant killer like Raid, they drag is back to the nest and it kills the nest over time.

I've used both the "drops" and the "bait traps". With the drops, you get the satisfaction of seeing the bait disappear, but you have to re-apply often.

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lthenderson
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Re: Ants ... should we keep going or change tactics

Post by lthenderson » Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:51 pm

I used to use Terro baiting but it is a temporary solution. These days I hire a pest control company to spray a perimeter around my house which lasts for two years. They also spot treat any ant mounds in my yard if I flag them ahead of time.

dak
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Re: Ants ... should we keep going or change tactics

Post by dak » Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:56 pm

We used to have terrible ant problems - to the extent that we hired a pest control company. They started using a product called Demand CS. Did the trick very rapidly. Low/no odor. Eventually got rid of the company and went the DIY approach with the same product. Our frequency of use tapered rapidly and now only do spot applications < 1 time per year. Guess we won the game!

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Cyclesafe
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Re: Ants ... should we keep going or change tactics

Post by Cyclesafe » Tue Mar 24, 2020 3:32 pm

Now spray the periphery of your home dousing 2 ft of soil and two feet of foundation now that you've killed the ants in your house. Use Ortho Home Defense. Repeat every spring.
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Re: Ants ... should we keep going or change tactics

Post by Doom&Gloom » Tue Mar 24, 2020 3:41 pm

I have used Borax + sugar water as bait--I think Borax is the active ingredient in Terro. I'm certain someone will correct me if I'm wrong.

But a couple of times I have had similar experiences as OP. My theory is that the original colony was killed, but a subsequent colony hatched. Whether that is correct or not, continuing the same bait had the same effect on the second attack as it did the first. No further attacks.

At least not for a few years. Rinsed & repeated. Usually only one wave of ants though.

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Re: Ants ... should we keep going or change tactics

Post by Sandtrap » Tue Mar 24, 2020 3:48 pm

DW and I have always used this thing that looks like "Ant Chalk". You can draw a line across where the ants enter such as a long crack next to the countertop or floor, and so forth. The ant's track that stuff back to the nest and that's that. They also do not want to cross the chalk line. This is good if one has pet's like dogs or cats because the chalk line of insectacide powder can be drawn in an obscure place out of reach of curious paw.

They had this at City Mill Store in Hawaii for many years. Ant Chalk. I have no idea if it is available elsewhere or what's in it. The ants die on contact. There was an Ant and Cockroach Chalk stick made overseas that's toxic and not allowed in the USA by the EPA. Not sure if this is the same thing.

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Re: Ants ... should we keep going or change tactics

Post by TeacherLady » Tue Mar 24, 2020 4:02 pm

We live on a hill in SoCal. It is actually an ant hill, which we discovered shortly after moving in 19 years ago. I am not joking. :P We had multiple never-ending streams of ants which our large Norwegian Forest Cat would ecstatically "kill" by rolling over repeatedly - gross! Here's how we eventually eliminated the mass-invasion: 1) We doggedly followed each line of ants to its source then sprayed "ant-be-gone" poison at the entry-point; 2) The following day we sealed the entry point with a line of clear silicone caulk.
This meant that pretty much all edges where all cabinets join to outer walls eventually were completely sealed with silicone. As well as window frames. And edges where carpet meets slab. The process was tedious but after about 7 years we really didn't have ants anymore, while neighbors continue to bemoan their ant invasions.

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Re: Ants ... should we keep going or change tactics

Post by Carpenterant » Tue Mar 24, 2020 4:07 pm

I work in the pest control field. I could write out tons info on ant control if was useful, but as a general rule if the ants are eating the bait they will die. It’s very useful if you can identify the ant but if not keep baiting. In SoCal there’s a ton of Argentine ants and they can be difficult to control.

Interesting side note on argentine ants: some people theorize in California that all of the argentine ants from San Diego to San Francisco are part of one giant colony

123
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Re: Ants ... should we keep going or change tactics

Post by 123 » Tue Mar 24, 2020 5:06 pm

We deal with ants by using a mix of 50% Borax (Boraxo) and 50% sugar mixed as a paste with a small amount of water. (Pure Boraxo is available at your grocery or Target (maybe $6 for a big box), you can also add it to your laundry to improve the action of detergent.) You can mix a teaspoon or less, you don't need much. We smear it on jar lids and place them on the ant trail. You can also smear the paste directly on the trail. Usually stops ants within 12 hours. Note that the newly born ants may return in a couple of days as they follow old trails. Moistening the old mix slightly with a drop of water will help the (new) ants to be attracted to it by the sugar and consume the borax. It could run through a couple of cycles.

An advantage of the home made paste is that you can dab it directly on the ant trail, even if it's going up a wall or cabinet. After the ants are gone the paste can be removed with a rag made wet with hot water.

If you have a kitchen compost container that can be an ant magnet, especially if it contains any sugar/grease residue or meat trimmings.
Last edited by 123 on Tue Mar 24, 2020 5:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ants ... should we keep going or change tactics

Post by Mudpuppy » Tue Mar 24, 2020 5:08 pm

My personal approach with ants is to trace where they are coming in on the inside wall, then go outside and look all along the walls to see where they are outside. I'll treat the inside point of entrance with a pet-safe spray and vacuum up all the ants I can see inside. Outside, I'll put Terro bait periodically along the trail, and try to follow the trails back to the nest. If I can find the nest, I put Amdro around it. I'll also touch up the Ortho Home Defense spray along the outside point of entry.

For fire ants, I'll repeat the Amdro application every week until the nest is dead, because I do not want those ants anywhere in my yard. For Argentine ants or other small, non-biting ants, I'm okay if they're out in the yard, as long as they're not in the house. The end result is I usually only get an incursion after the winter/spring rains have made a dent in my Ortho Home Defense perimeter spray and otherwise they stay out in the yard.

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Re: Ants ... should we keep going or change tactics

Post by Housedoc » Tue Mar 24, 2020 5:40 pm

Cyclesafe wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 3:32 pm
Now spray the periphery of your home dousing 2 ft of soil and two feet of foundation now that you've killed the ants in your house. Use Ortho Home Defense. Repeat every spring.
Ortho Home Defense is the real deal.

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Re: Ants ... should we keep going or change tactics

Post by unclescrooge » Tue Mar 24, 2020 5:43 pm

windaar wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:32 pm
TERRO baits have worked best for me many times; sometimes it can take a while to exhaust the supply of ants. Don't kill them; let them stagger around back to their nest. Good luck! P.S. Check outside if you haven't to see where they may be coming in - off of a tree branch over the roof, into a hole or in the masonry... They sell outdoor TERRO as well or you can spray with one of the many brands of instant ant killer to stop the outside invasion.
+1
Get outdoor terro.

mortfree
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Re: Ants ... should we keep going or change tactics

Post by mortfree » Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:03 pm

Diatomaceous earth is also another choice. Tears apart the exoskeleton.

I like terro as well for inside/outside.

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runner26
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Re: Ants ... should we keep going or change tactics

Post by runner26 » Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:16 pm

I quit using terro as it never completely illuminated the problem. I researched and found that it is sugar based which the workers eat, and it kills them, but the queens dont eat it. The queens are grease and protein eaters. I switched to amdro which is a combination of ingredients and have had more luck.

I have had the most luck with amdro spikes around yard parameter but away from the foundation, ortho home defense outside on the foundation, and diatomaceous earth in cracks, behind cabinets, in walls, etc.

Mr. Rumples
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Re: Ants ... should we keep going or change tactics

Post by Mr. Rumples » Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:28 pm

Quite a lot of good luck with Terro and the small ants. Ant populations pick up this time of year as it warms up and is moist, they are not so prevalent in the summer. Just be sure your pets can't get to it.

(Its been a mild winter here, see lots of termites in the yard.)

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Re: Ants ... should we keep going or change tactics

Post by jjface » Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:31 pm

Advion ant gel works wonders. They love it and you let the little guys take it home and the nest dies out.

TheGiantess
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Re: Ants ... should we keep going or change tactics

Post by TheGiantess » Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:32 pm

We sprinkle diatomaceous earth along the window sills where they come in and stops them very quickly. Diatomaceous earth is not poisonous so no harm to pets, children or you. Works great.
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Re: Ants ... should we keep going or change tactics

Post by fundseeker » Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:52 pm

Terro from Home Depot!!! It solved all of our ant problems. I like the drops better than the traps, and you can see them at work on Youtube. You have to be patient as more ants come in to eat the poison, but eventually (within hours) they're gone.

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Re: Ants ... should we keep going or change tactics

Post by Summit111 » Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:56 pm

Talstar...Follow directions...No ants...

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Re: Ants ... should we keep going or change tactics

Post by Cubicle » Tue Mar 24, 2020 10:23 pm

Borax & sugar

Ortho Home Defense

Diatomaceous Earth

Have had good luck with all 3.
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criticalmass
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Re: Ants ... should we keep going or change tactics

Post by criticalmass » Tue Mar 24, 2020 10:26 pm

Look outside. See if there are ant nests near the house. Then you can remove them without spreading chemicals around inside. I've found that ants inside usually are exploring new territory from their outdoor base.

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Re: Ants ... should we keep going or change tactics

Post by zagyzebra » Tue Mar 24, 2020 10:36 pm

I had what I thought was a flea problem this past summer (it turned out to be a new vicious breed of mosquito in SoCal). I set off flea bombs in my kitchen and living room in an attempt to get rid of them. The mosquitoes came back but by golly the ants left and haven't returned, now 8 months later.

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Re: Ants ... should we keep going or change tactics

Post by F150HD » Tue Mar 24, 2020 11:04 pm

when you said fireplace and ants, I immediately thought of carpenter ants as they like old decaying wood (if fireplace is wood).

Would be useful to identify the kind of ant to determine if its just a nuisance or something more serious.

Carpenter ants feed at dusk. Often a good idea to creep around outside w/ a flashlight to see where they're coming from.

Borax mixed w/ cheap honey on waxpaper or in a bottlecap works well for carpenter. Keep that up for awhile, not just 1 day. They need to take it back to the nest.

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Re: Ants ... should we keep going or change tactics

Post by cogito » Tue Mar 24, 2020 11:08 pm

You should sell now, NOW, NOW before everything you own disap, oh, wait, sorry, wrong thread!

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Re: Ants ... should we keep going or change tactics

Post by random_walker_77 » Tue Mar 24, 2020 11:22 pm

I've also had good luck w/ Borax. Half a spoon of (creamy) peanut butter, half a spoon of sugar and then increase the volume by 10% w/ borax. Mix thoroughly, put on a piece of cardboard or a jar lid and place near the line of ants.

Ants are attracted to either protein or sugar. This has both. Be sure the borax is a low percentage, not more than 25%. You don't want them to die too quickly. It's important that they live long enough to bring it back to the nest and share it w/ the rest of the colony.

For a typical infestation, we see the ants start tailing off after 3 days, and they're mostly gone after a week.

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Re: Ants ... should we keep going or change tactics

Post by Mudpuppy » Wed Mar 25, 2020 2:45 am

zagyzebra wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 10:36 pm
I had what I thought was a flea problem this past summer (it turned out to be a new vicious breed of mosquito in SoCal). I set off flea bombs in my kitchen and living room in an attempt to get rid of them. The mosquitoes came back but by golly the ants left and haven't returned, now 8 months later.
Those mosquitoes are all over California now and they are awful, particularly since they're active during daylight. I was eaten alive outside any time I wore shorts last summer. Several of my co-workers also had the same issue. I spent so much time last summer chasing down all the places in my yard where standing water could accumulate, including repotting some patio plants into pots without built-in water trays so it would be easier to empty the trays of standing water. If only the mosquitoes were as easy to control as the ants.

And to add to your observation, some flea sprays also work well on ants. I use a veterinary flea spray as my pet-safe indoor ant treatment to spray where the ants are coming in. Any ants touched by the spray stagger over dead a short time later, and the residual also kills them if they try to pass over it.

mancich
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Re: Ants ... should we keep going or change tactics

Post by mancich » Wed Mar 25, 2020 3:38 am

Keep going with Terro, they'll probably all die eventually. You may also want to check out:

https://www.doyourownpestcontrol.com/

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Re: Ants ... should we keep going or change tactics

Post by mrspock » Wed Mar 25, 2020 3:41 am

At first I thought this was a clever commentary on market happenings. Carry on.

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Re: Ants ... should we keep going or change tactics

Post by ironman » Wed Mar 25, 2020 6:11 am

Termidor or Taurus both contain Fipronil as the active ingredient. You can buy it from the Do My Own website. Fipronil is incredibly effective against most ant species.

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Re: Ants ... should we keep going or change tactics

Post by Luke Duke » Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:01 am

URSnshn wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:19 pm
We saw ants at our fireplace hearth (no wood stored there) about 6 weeks ago. We used cornstarch however it was not effective. Because of our delay in using cornstarch we ended up with them in 4 rooms. We baited with Terro and over the past weeks (about 3 - 4 weeks) have noticed:

First: an increase of ants going to bait

Then: numbers radically dwindled with one or two here or there and a few dead ones. We kept the baits up and didn't disturb trails.

Finally: yesterday - no ants - we were thrilled and were planning on keeping up the baits for another 3 to 4 days and if no more ants we would take them down HOWEVER this morning we have regular activity back where they initially began, around our fireplace, to the ant bait there.

Question: Do we keep going? Anyone have experience in this?
I've used Terro with great success in the past. I also experienced the increase followed by the decrease. I would guess that perhaps another colony caught the scent of the Terro as the old one was dying off, so you may have one more cycle to go through.

DaftInvestor
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Re: Ants ... should we keep going or change tactics

Post by DaftInvestor » Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:05 am

We had a problem one year and decided to hire a professional. Exterminators (In many states) have access to chemicals you and I can't get - one treatment and we didn't see another ant for several years.

TBillT
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Re: Ants ... should we keep going or change tactics

Post by TBillT » Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:17 am

Terro is fine for small ants.
Last year we had bad attack from big Carpenter Ants and had to go nuclear with Fipronil (Termidor, Taurus).
But that was last resort as I am very concerned about homeowners improperly using these types of chemicals which in trace amounts devastate bees, etc. Less nuclear way to use that would be ant traps with fipronil, and I would still be careful to protect inadvertent exposure to good bugs. I am not expecting to see any Carp Ants this year, so powerful is the fipronil. It was a multi year fight.

I also ended up doing a lot of mortar repair around my chimney bricks to fix any holes.

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Re: Ants ... should we keep going or change tactics

Post by InMyDreams » Wed Mar 25, 2020 10:01 am

URSnshn wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:19 pm
HOWEVER this morning we have regular activity back where they initially began, around our fireplace, to the ant bait there.
Every spring (should happen soon now) I have outdoor ants who think they should forage in my house.

And I put out Terro traps on their two paths (front door and side door).

And in a few days, they stop coming.

One year, a few came back in a week or so. They seemed to be smaller versions of the previous workers. My assumption was that they had hatched after the previous workers had stopped working. They too went for the Terro. They too stopped visiting. Done for that year.

A lot of it depends on your tolerance. I have low tolerance for the nuclear chemical approach, but Terro is acceptable to me.

That and boiling water - if you can find the nest and nothing else around it would be badly affected by boiling water.

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