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Teeny Tiny Sugar Ant Infestation Need safe ways to get rid of them — The Grow Network Community
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Teeny Tiny Sugar Ant Infestation Need safe ways to get rid of them

andrea745andrea745 Posts: 89 ✭✭✭

Dear Community, I live in SW FLorida and we have had so much rain and this is the first time in 12 years here that sugar ants I believe are causing great problems on my cooking counter. I have a center counter with a stove and I believe they are coming up through the cavity alongside the stove. The minute I prepare any food on the counter, I am inundated with the ants. We have tried many natural remedies -- spreading cloves all over the counter, spraying a homemade spray with peppermint, eucalyptus, melaleuca, putting traps everywhere. I am really trying to avoid calling in an exterminator because I am so chemically sensitive. I would welcome all suggestions that have had so success. I am cleaning constantly, but I love cooking.


  • monica197monica197 Posts: 881 ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2020

    Aren't they a PAIN? All but getting carted away with them here in SW Orlando. Have you tried Borax sprinkled in the area? I do have info for a more natural pest guy out of Melbourne if you are interested. I have worked with him for a while now over the years as needed. Message me if interested.

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 4,092 admin

    @andrea745 You sound like you know the basics, keeping foods closed up & keeping things clean.

    Borax (not to be confused with boric acid) didn't work for two situations our daughter encountered, but borax mixed with water did an excellent job. In both cases, these ants took the laced water back to their nest, of course, after telling all of their buddies.

    She enjoys watching all insects. As much as she was glad they were gone, she missed watching them busily coming for their...um, treat. Yep, that's our daughter!

  • Lisa KLisa K Posts: 672 ✭✭✭✭✭

    You might try spraying them with white vinegar I found this gets rid of their scent. I also heard a remedy for keeping spiders out which might work for ants and that is to put peppermint essential oil in water and spray around doors, window frames and any where they may come in. I have not tried this the peppermint spray yet but with the hot weather we are having I may need to.

  • andrea745andrea745 Posts: 89 ✭✭✭

    Thank you all for your great suggestions. It was horrible today. They got inside a package of dried apricots before we even opened it. Argh.... 😣

  • kbmbillups1kbmbillups1 Posts: 573 ✭✭✭✭

    Look up youtube videos for Borax, sugar, and water mixture. It has worked great in my garden and inside my house. Ants found my table where I dry my rinsed kombucha bottles before I wash them and were having a field day. Apparently my daughter didn't think getting all of the fruit out of a bottle was a big deal. I mixed borax, water, and sugar (not sure of the measurements without watching a video again) and put some on the table and a some on the window sill near the table. It didn't take very long before the ants found it. I came back a few hours later and no more ants. I cleaned up the mixture and washed the bottles and haven't seen any ants since.

  • AngelaOstonAngelaOston Posts: 217 ✭✭✭
    edited September 2020

    borax & sugar in equal amounts. And some lemon juice. Put on trails. Beware. Very hard to scrap off once drys. But it was the only thing i found that worked.

  • blevinandwombablevinandwomba Central PaPosts: 776 ✭✭✭✭

    I don't know if it would work for this kind of ants or not, but plain uncooked grits can kill ants. Just sprinkle the area where they are coming in.

    Have you tried Diatomaceous Earth?

  • andrea745andrea745 Posts: 89 ✭✭✭

    I am about to pick it up Diatmocaceous Earth at the local health food store. Do you know how to use it @blevinandwomba . I do have two small dogs that run around my kitchen everwhere.

  • dipat2005dipat2005 Posts: 419 ✭✭✭

    @andrea745 You can make something like diatomaceous earth by using dried egg shells. I wash them and then crush them and mix them with the soil. It has worked well for me over the years.

  • @andrea745 food grade diatomaceous earth will not hurt them, the main thing to avoid though is inhaling it. It is rough on the lungs but fine for the digestive system. If it is in an area where your dogs like to "hoover" then you might need a way to block their access.

  • blevinandwombablevinandwomba Central PaPosts: 776 ✭✭✭✭

    @andrea745 DE kills bugs by cutting them at a microscopic level and dehydrating them. It's quite safe for bigger animals, as long as its food grade. As @seeker.nancy - Central Texas mentioned it can be irritating if inhaled, but as long as they are not , say, putting their head in the bag of DE, they should be fine.

  • CorneliusCornelius Posts: 371 ✭✭✭

    @andrea745 I feel your pain. When I was a kid in California we had a infestation that would not go away. Unfortunately my solution would probably not work for you as we had a abnormally cold winter that wiped them out for us. I have read about mint repelling bugs especially using lemon-balm tea for this and spraying it around the house.

  • We had a bout with ghost ants in SW FL following a heavy raining season many years ago and we used DE in our window sils and around the perimeter of the home (refreshed yearly) and boric acid ant traps on the counter along their path. Viola!

    If you have no experience with DE you need to understand that it's uses are broad and wide but that doesn't come without caution. As DE is microscopic particulate you DO NOT want to inhale nor do you want your pets to inhale it as it can do the same thing inside your lungs that it does to bugs. It is used in animal feed to keep bugs away but it is not in powder form.

  • andrea745andrea745 Posts: 89 ✭✭✭

    Thank you for explaining @SeekingKnowledge . We bought food grade DE, but I think I might just use it outside. We live in SW FL too. Are you still here? I live in Fort Myers.

  • andrea745andrea745 Posts: 89 ✭✭✭

    That is so cool @dipat2005 ... so clever.

  • gardneto76gardneto76 Posts: 325 ✭✭✭

    We mix either borax or baking soda into sugar, regular or powdered, and place it where there is activity. I use this combination by my aquaponics system and no issues for the fish, ants die and go away.

    Back home in Michigan we placed crumpled Bay leaves all around any entrance points of the house about once a year. Ants hate the smell and won’t cross it. This of course needs to be done before ant season.

  • andrea745andrea745 Posts: 89 ✭✭✭

    That is so cool to hear about the Basil. @gardneto76 . I will definitely try that.

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 4,092 admin

    @SeekingKnowledge Welcome to the forum!

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