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joeyboy 01-01-2008 04:51 PM

Ants and avoidance of baits - what am I doing wrong!?
Alrighty, I was under the impression that boric acid is fine to repeatedly use in traps, although ants will avoid the traps if you keep using the same vehicle to carry the boric acid - they'll eventually avoid whatever you were using to get them to eat the boric acid.

Now I'm wondering if they're avoiding boric acid period. I had another infestation on my cat's vomit (yup, woke up, cat puke on floor, SWARM of ants all over it).

So I make some traps, change the formula up a little bit (peanut butter only last time, this time peanut butter plus chocolate quik powder). They barely touched it, but I figured it's because of the peanut butter.

Anyways I make a new mix figuring it'll be great, and they are barely touching it. Why?

((Newest mix has none of the original ingredients except the boric powder. It's :
table sugar
gatorade powder
psyllium husk (soluble fiber, for powders to congeal properly)
boric acid powder (5% potency in the mix)
a little bit of water to mix it all up)

Doesn't make any sense why they'd avoid this sugary sludge unless they're directly avoiding the boric acid powder, but I didn't think they'd do that. ((also, baits are placed all over the place, large surface area of poison for them to smell/attract/eat, so I dunno what is wrong here!!))

ocoee 01-02-2008 06:47 AM

Are they the same species of ant some ants don't take bait well

Some ants will take bait one day and not the next

Depending on the life cycle of the nest a colony will be looking for carbs or protein
My usual practice was to use what they were eating at the time as the bait base

Also don't go to heavy on the boric, the other ruleof thumb is if you can see dead ants the bait isn't working

joeyboy 01-03-2008 12:12 PM

Good stuff!!

in all honesty I had considered doing just that, using my cat's food as their bait, but didn't want him obsessing over the traps lol!!

Any specific % you'd recommend? I was just doing a 5% like the store baits had.

Also, any tips on making the mix? Best 'tips' I've learned from making a bunch are it's soo much easier to use powders to start to get uniformity in the mix, then water it - and using psyllium husk powder helped to congeal powders into a solid, but got hard too quickly, needed more water/fine tuning lol. Say you were going to use dried cat food, would you just crush it up, mix the boric, moisten, then leave out? I've just been cutting CD's into slices, putting the bait on it, then covering/weighting something over them so the cat can't access.

kgphoto 01-03-2008 02:14 PM

Just sprinkle some on the swarmed cat vomit. Wait a while, (keep cat & dogs away) and then clean it up.

joeyboy 01-03-2008 02:31 PM

? won't that just kill pretty much on contact and waaay too fast? I thought the idea was a slow approach, as to ensure the queen gets to eat some too, otherwise it's just a band-aid.

kgphoto 01-03-2008 02:44 PM

No they walk in it and it sticks to them and when they preen at the colony, that is what starts the killing process

joeyboy 01-03-2008 06:28 PM

Preen? Could you elaborate a bit more? Are you saying that in addition to, or in place of, a boric mixed bait (with regurgitated catfood, probably just catfood+boric, mix up, add water to consistency and put out)?

kgphoto 01-03-2008 06:31 PM

just put powder down and make them walk through it.

bofusmosby 01-05-2008 07:29 AM

From my understanding, the boric acid does not actually kill the ants, but what it does is to kill the bacteria in the ants stomach, and it is this bacteria that digests the food the ants eat. When they eat something with boric acid in it, the ants actually will starve to death. Same for termites.

ocoee 01-09-2008 08:51 AM

Boric acid is a salt it kills by shutting down the nervous system and dehydration

Boric can be used as a tracking powder but it must be put out at the same consistency as household dust, if not they will simply walk around it
To do it correctly you need a Getz duster or one of those picnic type ketchet squeeze bottles
If you just sprinkle it on the cat barf the ants will eat it, if it is to strong they will die before they get home

I usually take the 5% store mixture ,such as Terro, and mix that with another bait base

If you just lightly dust the cat food base
I would not feed it to the cat but I also would not worry too much about them getting into it

Boric acid is used in emergency eyewashes, baby powder, and laundry soaps
There used to be and may still be a treatment for fleas that involved treating the entire carpeted areas of the home with BA and then working it into the carpet

joeyboy 01-11-2008 10:03 AM

wow right in the carpet?! I knew the stuff was pretty damn safe, but that's cool!

Thanks for the tips as always!! They haven't come back since the puke pile, I dunno why, I've tried 2 boric baits (homemade) and a different poison store-bought cartridges, they never came back for either, weird!! Haven't seen them eating poison or present at all, but I didn't think they got enough boric to die!

ocoee 01-14-2008 09:09 PM

Depending on the ants you have there is also a very good product made by Combat
I don't know the name but it looks like freeze dried coffe and smells like a baby diaper

The active ingredient is Hydramethylnon and the bait is fish based

Antother product that has had good results according to friends is Over and Out
The active is Fipronil which is the same active as in Termidor which I have had good luck with

I believe that the Bayor products for ants used Imdicloprid as the active

Those insecticides are much safer than those used in my day
They're more of a medicine than a poison and are specific to insect biology

Dursban and Diazinon used the same type of active ingredient that I was training to drop on Russian military troops back in the 80's
I was always a little scared of them

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