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Killing ants...

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
We have a minor ant problem. Just a few in the front of the house, we never see more then maybe 5 at a time and they're tiny Pavement ants.

So... I want to get rid of the ones in the house as they are starting to range further afield. They haven't made it from the front living room to the next living room yet (we 'dispose' of them by various means, which I feel awful about. I don't like to kill creatures 'just because' but they've invaded my space and I want them out!). I've been using citrus oil to obliterate their scent trails BUT, does anyone know of a way to control ants in the home without killing the colony?

I won't use pesticides and less toxic controls are touted as killing the colony when the roaming ants take the bait back. I don't want to kill the colony. They live harmlessly all around our home, I just don't want them coming to visit indoors!

Is this an impossible proposition?
post #2 of 5
We sprinkle diatomaceous earth around the foundation to keep ants away. It is ground fossilized diatoms, non-toxic, though it can cause eye or lung irritation if you inhale a bunch, and can be found in your local home/garden center. Ants hate it. It gets under the carapace and dessicates them, so they will not risk crossing it. You do have to reapply if it washes away, so in very rainy locations it may not be particularly effective. We put it in a squeezable bottle - one of those picnic ketchup dispenser things - so it shoots a fine line of the stuff and forms a nice barrier without a lot of extra dust flying around. If you are very conscious of toxicity, it is also available in food grade, but you will most likely have to order online. Also make sure you have no tree branches, bushes, or tools leaning against the house, as ants may crawl up and bypass your barrier.
post #3 of 5
Try sprinkling cinnamon on their trails - it confuses them and they don't like walking through the stuff. They will just go elsewhere when scouting. I usually sprinkle and let the cinnamon sit there for a few days.
post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by elsie View Post
Try sprinkling cinnamon on their trails - it confuses them and they don't like walking through the stuff. They will just go elsewhere when scouting. I usually sprinkle and let the cinnamon sit there for a few days.
I just want to say that I have tried this and it didn't work very well. It may have deterred one or two, but the rest of them just walked right over it... UGH... It was so frustrating! I had much more luck using vinegar to mess up their scent trails - at least temporarily, because you need to reapply every so often. Maybe you could wash your door frame w/a vinegar and water solution. There was one time, though, I had to resort to going after the colony using natural/non-toxic ways. At least I think I got the whole colony because they eventually disappeared completely.

gl
hth
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys.

I'll give these suggestions a go. The invaders seemed to have lessened since I've been spraying citrus oil around the floor although we are now living with an 'explosion in an orange grove' smell.

We live in an old house, with a basement, so although I know they're coming from the front of the house, the exact point of entry could be any of a hundred spaces big enough to fit an 1/8th of an inch ant. Doing damage to the colony is the last resort and at least come winter (in ME) I know the issue will end at least temporarily.

Thanks again
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