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Discussion Starter #1
Notice some ants around the house. Not overwhelming number of them, but they were definitely not around before.

After observing them for some time, still unable to determine where they came in from. These are not carpenter ants, thankfully. They are just really small and black. Saw about a total of 10 of them at a given time. After removing them, another 10 shows up in a day or two.

I read that white vinegar works well to get rid of them. Is that true? Also, do those ultra-sonic repellers work? From my reading on the net, some say they do and some say they don't.

Any ideas to get rid of the ants without insecticide so they don't come back would be appreciated!
 

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Learning by Doing
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Save your money on anything that 'plugs in' and purports to drive away pests.

All vinegar really does is eliminate the ant's chemical trails, making it harder for them to find their way back inside. This doesn't eliminate or deter them. It just slows them down.

They have to be getting in somewhere... If you insist on going a chem-free route your only effective option is to plug up whatever minute and hard to find ingress they are using.

Also, if there is nothing for them to eat, they won't hang around as long. But I mean NOTHING. not one crumb. Not one spill. Drains perfectly clean. All food in impermeable containers. No dirty dishes at any time on the counter. Dishwasher always clean or empty (when the ants march in my house they always end up in the dishwasher). ALL trash sealed up or out of the house.
 

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They will always come back.



That's why exterminators stay in business.
 

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pest control operator
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Use liquid ant bait-it comes in plastic stations; you peel off a cellophane cover and place them where you see ant activity. It is boric acid based (an insecticide) and has the consistency of honey. The smaller species of ants accept it readily, but not carpenter ants. Still no effective bait for the big guys.
Liquid ant bait can be bought anywhere that over the counter insecticides are sold.

The sonic repellers are good for nothing.
 

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I'm with sixeightten. Borax (boric acid) is the main ingredient in ant bait. Just mix 1/2 parts white sugar. Pour a small mound right on the floor where you see the next ones. Let them feed all they want. They will march back to the nest with some for the queen. Problem over. Then you can find a lot of uses for the rest of the box.
 

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NACE Coating Inspector
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grits work on fire ants to an extent. eat, expand, explode. that doesnt kill the remaining eggs. we get the black ants in florida after long heavy rains and they look for higher ground. they go away after the ground drys out some.
 

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I can't believe no one's mentioned diatomaceous earth yet - it's completely non-toxic, just crushed diatom shells.

That said, I use ant bait for random indoor ants.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, we found why the ants are here. There is a bottle of not perfectly sealed honey, and lots of ants died in there...

It's a huge bottle and my wife wants to basically dump half of the bottle with ants and keep the other bottom half of the honey as she feels the honey is still edible and good.

Is that a good idea? I am uncomfortable with the idea but she is pretty insistant on it as it is quite expensive.
 

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Well, we found why the ants are here. There is a bottle of not perfectly sealed honey, and lots of ants died in there...

It's a huge bottle and my wife wants to basically dump half of the bottle with ants and keep the other bottom half of the honey as she feels the honey is still edible and good.

Is that a good idea? I am uncomfortable with the idea but she is pretty insistant on it as it is quite expensive.
It's perfectly safe to eat the rest of the honey.

In fact, it would be perfectly safe to eat the honey with the drowned ants in it - honey is a great preservative so absolutely no risk of the ants "going off", and ants are an excellent source of lean protein (mind you, you need to eat quite a lot of them to get any nutritional benefit). :wink:

If it was my honey I'd just warm it up to get it flowing well and then filter the ants out using a fine strainer and keep all the honey.
 

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Too Short? Cut it Again!
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Borax/boron is a natural mineral and not classified as an insectiside. It is great stuff and lots of us use it before we seal up walls to help against future insect problems. In large amounts it will render soil sterile for years.

Diatamaceous earth used for swimming pools is another cheap mineral sort of approach to crawling insects. The glass like shards in the stuff get caught in ant and cockroach feet and end up kind of carving them to pieces back in the nest if not before.

Cinnamon is a great deterent for those nasty little black ants that invade kitchens once a year. Obviously at $4 a bottle for grocery store stuff it is unaffordable but if you have a Mexican or Indian store near you can buy it in bulk for a fraction of that.

Be a bit careful. Those little black ants that invade kitchens and are a total nuisance do know real harm and just go away on their own in about a month. If they really bother you a spritz bottle with water and a bit of lemon, or vinegar as mentioned, will do as much good as anything.

Flowers like peonies have hard coatings that have to come off in the hands of florists with chemicals or ants that appear once a year to chew them off. Please don't kill all the ants.
 

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Safe with pets around?.
Completely pet safe unless your pets have exoskeletons (so for god's sake don't use this stuff around your beloved pet Madagascar hissing cockroach!).

Pools? For what purpose?
As filter media - truly awesome stuff for polishing water (it's often used with aquariums for the same reason).
 

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I just moved and notice random little black ants wandering around. There's not a WHOLE lot of food for them, but I do have a dish of food for my pet rodents. At one point I did get a big trail.

What I'm wondering is if diatomaceous earth, sprinkled around all the borders of my room, would be effective against random wandering ants. Or can they get a trail going anyway? If they don't die before they have notified the colony, I could still get a bunch of ants marching in.

I prefer to use a long-lasting solution. I could spray vinegar or lemon, but my bedroom is packed with desks and shelves and I can't get at the borders normally without moving furniture.

Thanks,
Mike
 

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Well, we found why the ants are here. There is a bottle of not perfectly sealed honey, and lots of ants died in there...

It's a huge bottle and my wife wants to basically dump half of the bottle with ants and keep the other bottom half of the honey as she feels the honey is still edible and good.

Is that a good idea? I am uncomfortable with the idea but she is pretty insistant on it as it is quite expensive.
It won't hurt you; whether or not you want to eat it is up to you.

Personally I couldn't, purely because I wou'dnt be able to get the thought of ants out my head!
 

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They have to be getting in somewhere... If you insist on going a chem-free route your only effective option is to plug up whatever minute and hard to find ingress they are using.

Also, if there is nothing for them to eat, they won't hang around as long. But I mean NOTHING. not one crumb. Not one spill. Drains perfectly clean. All food in impermeable containers. No dirty dishes at any time on the counter. Dishwasher always clean or empty (when the ants march in my house they always end up in the dishwasher). ALL trash sealed up or out of the house.
The above quotation hits the nail on the head, I believe.

I had this exact same problem last summer. If my wife and I cleaned the kitchen absolutely thoroughly they wouldn't come in, but if anything was left out they would be back and in high numbers. They didn't bother anything that wasn't in the kitchen, though.

The trail they used led back to my back balcony door, so I caulked around the base of the door (forgive my not knowing the technical term for the board there; lower door jamb maybe?). To be honest, I was caulking it as a water preventative because we have had a lot of water blown against that door during storms. However, after I caulked up that area, they haven't been back, and it's been over a year.

I think your best bet, avoiding pesticides, is to track the origin of the ants and block it. Check weather stripping on doors, caulk gaps, etc. Hopefully after that's done you won't even have to worry about keeping your house.
 

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Use liquid ant bait-it comes in plastic stations; you peel off a cellophane cover and place them where you see ant activity. It is boric acid based (an insecticide) and has the consistency of honey. The smaller species of ants accept it readily, but not carpenter ants. Still no effective bait for the big guys.
Liquid ant bait can be bought anywhere that over the counter insecticides are sold.

The sonic repellers are good for nothing.
So what can you use on the big guys as you put it? I do occassionally find them in my place.

Mark
 

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Do NOT use pool-grade diatomaceous earth. That stuff is toxic to humans. Use food-grade diatomaceous earth. It is harmless to mammals, but deadly to bugs.

After trying several methods, I have found the best method to stop ants is to plug their entrance holes with vaseline. They refuse to pass through or over vaseline.
 
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