ANTS !!! A variety of solutions offered


  • annbeck62
    annbeck62 Posts: 1,024 ✭✭✭✭

    Thank you for posting, this is timely for me. I recently discovered really tiny ants in my kitchen.

  • Melissa Burford
    Melissa Burford Posts: 69 ✭✭✭

    I used to have an ant problem every year, but only in one bedroom. I put cinnamon essential oil around the windows and haven't had a problem with them again.

  • treesong
    treesong Posts: 6 ✭✭✭

    Another perspective and a recent experience with ants over three days.

    Day 1: In the evening, I saw small groups of two ants together on a wall, maybe 5 groups total, here and there - not moving, just head to head together. I got the sense that something was wrong and one was comforting another.

    Day 2: Another few groups coming in under the door. One crawled up my leg and when I brushed it away, the typical 'get rid of a pest' training was instantly replaced by the deepest sense of compassion I've felt in a long time.

    Day 3: All in the timing, I walked by just as an army (about a hundred) of them were marching in under the door. I stopped to take it in and thought 'stop! I pointed at the door like a stern mama and said 'OUT!' -- and they did. They turned around and marched out the door.

    Likely, they turned because they got caught.

    These were larger brownish-red ants, about a 1/4-1/2 inch. They play dead when they're caught alone. Any thoughts?

  • silvertipgrizz
    silvertipgrizz Posts: 1,990 ✭✭✭✭✭

    A species of fire ant perhaps?

  • silvertipgrizz
    silvertipgrizz Posts: 1,990 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @annbeck62 I'm always glad to find and post something that helps even just one person!!!

  • frogvalley
    frogvalley Posts: 675 ✭✭✭✭

    My grandmother would make little marble size balls out of boric acid and place them around her house. The recipes can be found easily on the internet. I made my own boric acid ant balls last year and the little buggers left.

  • Silkiemamuska
    Silkiemamuska Posts: 99 ✭✭✭

    I favor diatomaceous earth lightly spread with a duster indoors for all pests with exoskeletons, down to dust mites. Just use food grade and do not get crazy with it. Yes, there will be a need to wipe down like normal "dusting" but so worth it. I also back the recommendation to use sweetened boric acid if the ants are persistent.

  • Jaylene
    Jaylene Posts: 53 ✭✭✭

    I also use food grade diatomaceous earth and put it around all the baseboards and doorways of my house plus the outside borders. Sometimes I will mix in some ground herbs like yarrow, neem and lavender. We live in San Diego and there are a lot of black ants here

  • Melissa Swartz
    Melissa Swartz Posts: 270 ✭✭✭

    I have found this to be very economical and effective:

    Home Made Ant Killer

    1 cup of water

    2 cups of sugar

    2 T of Borax powder


    Place all ingredients into a saucepan and bring to the boil (while stirring).

    Boil for 3 minutes.

    Using the plastic lids from milk containers place a small amount in the effected room or outside where the ants are.

    They will find the sticky liquid no matter where it is placed. The ants eat this and then take it back to their nest. Before long there will be no more ants as this mixture will kill them.

    Store remainder in clearly labeled container with "Do NOT Eat" so no one mistakes this for syrup as this is poisonous.

    Read more:

  • Jack_Went_Splat
    Jack_Went_Splat Posts: 59 ✭✭✭

    Did not know about the boric acid ball but, have used diatomaceous earth often for all insects and find it to be very effective.

    @Melissa Swartz thank you for the recipe for the times when food grade diatomaceous earth is not available. Borax seems to be available everywhere. :o) Food grade diatomaceous earth, not so much.

  • annflancan
    annflancan Posts: 84 ✭✭✭

    I have been successful in eradicating them with diatomaceous earth or corn meal.

  • Melissa Swartz
    Melissa Swartz Posts: 270 ✭✭✭

    @Jack_Went_Splat You are very welcome!

  • MaryRowe
    MaryRowe Posts: 736 ✭✭✭✭

    These are great ideas for dealing with ants in the house, but has anybody had success with getting ants out of raised beds outside?

    I had a 5-gallon pot of basil growing next to a raised bed last summer, and never got around to dumping the pot after frost got the basil. Yesterday I finally got around to it, and found a big ant colony in the pot--black beasties, about a quarter inch long, minor sting to their bite. I think there were more ants than dirt in the pot! I got rid of that easily enough, but noticed ants in the raised bed next to it as well. I don't think they are well-established there yet, and hope to keep it that way. Diatomaceous earth maybe? Any other ideas?

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,519 admin

    I've just mixed borax with sugar & wet it. No need to boil. It worked well for our oldest daughter with tiny red ants. I just mixed some up this morning.

    The ants really were not interested in getting their winter boots on and so decided to come inside where it was warm instead.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,519 admin

    @MaryRowe I remember having the same problem of ants in raised beds. It was much later that I found a solution that was supposed to work. It is rhubarb leaf tea, if I remember correctly. I think it is boiled. One caution, don't do it in a pot used for food, and I would not boil the leaves inside.

    You might have to do your own research on that solution. I can't remember enough to give you a full answer, but at least I could "plant the seed!"

  • karenjanicki
    karenjanicki Posts: 968 ✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for posting this! We have battled ants several times since we moved here.

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Today's email from the Farmers Almanac recommends putting lemon juice around your entrances to repel ants.

  • Tave
    Tave Posts: 952 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I've always used boric acid and sugar with success.

    Recently, I've had a problem with tiny ants that are not interested in anything sweet. They love the oil or lard that drips and doesn't get cleaned up right away. Does anyone know what works on those little beasties?

  • dottile46
    dottile46 Posts: 437 ✭✭✭
    edited April 2021

    We had a problem with ants in the kitchen right around New Years Day. Hubby had butcher a hog that week. The ants were creating a real problem for us to get the meat packaged without them in it. They flat left the house when he brought in the ham and bacon cure. Not one to be seen.

    About 2 months later they were back. I tried wiping the counters and sink with straight vinegar. They used the wall to bypass the vinegar. I tried a drop of clove oil and they walked right around it. Our daughter left a chocolate milk glass in the sink. They didn't pay a bit of attention to it. I smashed several of them and they smelled bad. Sort of a chemical smell. The ham and bacon cure is too expensive to just put out to chase them off. A couple days later they were gone. About a week later they were back, had to have been the whole colony. I started noticing that when the ants were there, I mean hundreds of them, the GFI outlet would trip and there was no power to the coffee pot. When the ants were gone it didn't trip.

    Not to be outdone, I went to the garden section on a trip to WalMart. On the back of the ant bait boxes it lists "grease ants". I broke down and bought it (Terro multi surface liquid ant bait) even though I didn't want to. So far it has worked. And I have hot coffee again.

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭

    Very timely article for me. Usually I don't have much problem with ants, but this year they are invading my kitchen. Have never tried borax, but I will give it a try. I can't seem to figure out where they are coming in, but then our house is so drafty it could be just about any where or every where.

  • SuperC
    SuperC Posts: 951 ✭✭✭✭

    dishsoap paste mixed with water and then tossed onto the ants in a direction you’d like for them to go, and lucky enough they do just that, take lead from a new soapy trail. Living in rainforests jungles had their downs, and when it was army ant time that’s what we did to deter them to a new direction.

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭

    I made up the borax syrup. The ant love it. I haven't seen any bodies lying around yet, but they act like really drunk and lethargic when they have had a lot of it to drink. Unfortunately a bumble bee got into my house and was drinking the syrup. As soon as I saw it, I shooed her off and put it in a safe place. She flew a ways off and landed on a window. I hope she will be okay. I don't want to do any harm to the bees.