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getting rid of ants safely - how?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Not sure if this is the right forum.... we have a rapidly getting worse ant problem in our house. DH wants to buy those little boxes where the ant goes in, gets covered in poison and takes it back to the nest to kill all the others. We have a baby and a four year old in the house. Are those poison things evil? Are any better than others? Is there a better way that isn't a ton of work? We have no idea what their point of entry is and we have a big house.

thanks!!
post #2 of 10
We had ant problems when we first moved in, but they quickly realized there would be no food for them because we keep our food closed and we clean up crumbs after each meal. It only took a few days. If that doesn't work vinegar in water (or straight vinegar may) if you spray it at them. I have also heard that lemon works. Try spraying it around all of the door ways, the vents, and any place where there may be a gap in the wall.
post #3 of 10
We've had lots of fire ant issues and we've had to use a combination of things to get rid of them. I've had to use poisons because nothing else would work and I had to weigh the risk of the chemicals against the risk of having the kids (including the baby) being bitten and having allergic reactions to the bites and being miserable all the time.

To keep the ants away we use:

-the little white raid traps, the ants usually don't come back out after they come in but sometimes they do; we only have them up on high windowsills (where the ants seem to be coming in) and in other out of reach places

-terro brand baits, they come in an orange box and are liquid and have to be out of reach of the kids as well (like behind heavy furniture); they work really well but have to be changed out every month or so and have to be bought at target (at least around here)

-ortho home defense spray, we spray outside and in the garage, the most important places to spray for us are around the windows and doors where the ants seem to come in, we don't use it inside the house

-professional services, we live on a military base to luckily this is paid for by them so I'm not sure what it would cost but we have had them come a few times to spray around the outside of the house and in the yard (they yard is mostly sand with lots of bugs and it's so hot that the kids never go on the lawn), it helps a lot for several weeks but I don't think what they use is more potent than the ortho spray so I prefer to spot treat with that than have them come in and cover everything with chemicals
post #4 of 10
Find the mound and pour hot water over it. Repeat each time you see the mound re-form.

Keep disrupting the line they follow with vinegar someone lese mentioned.

Clean, clean, clean. They are coming in for your food.
post #5 of 10
Cayenne pepper works for us. We could see right where they were entering the kitchen and we put a little mound of cayenne pepper to block their pathway. Haven't seen an ant since.

I think I also remember hearing that peppermint oil spray works too.
post #6 of 10
Quote:
they quickly realized there would be no food for them because we keep our food closed and we clean up crumbs after each meal
Ants also may come into your house seeking water. In my old house this seemed to be primarily what they were after. The little amount that's probably in your kitchen sink 24/7 is perfect.

We used pepper to mixed results. My roommate also sprayed some non toxic herbal something that he formulated (I have no idea where he got the idea and what was in it) that worked well. It was probably some variant of the peppermint and/or vinegar. I think the idea is to put down an irritant.
post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaesun's Dad View Post
Ants also may come into your house seeking water. In my old house this seemed to be primarily what they were after. The little amount that's probably in your kitchen sink 24/7 is perfect.

We used pepper to mixed results. My roommate also sprayed some non toxic herbal something that he formulated (I have no idea where he got the idea and what was in it) that worked well. It was probably some variant of the peppermint and/or vinegar. I think the idea is to put down an irritant.
Yes, around here they come in for water. A couple years ago, we went out of town for the weekend and when we came back, they were all over the bathroom shower and tub. There was no food in there! Sometimes no matter how clean your house is, the ants will come anyway. I always use the Terro liquid baits now. They work best IMO.
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caneel View Post
Cayenne pepper works for us. We could see right where they were entering the kitchen and we put a little mound of cayenne pepper to block their pathway. Haven't seen an ant since.

I think I also remember hearing that peppermint oil spray works too.
Cayenne totally worked for us too! I tried peppermint EO and didn't have much luck with it.
post #9 of 10
If you can find where they are coming in from, put baking soda over it. They don't go through/over it. I've had to do this just recently and it worked great.
I've also read (in quite a few places) that a mixture of one part Borax and nineteen parts jelly on a dish will do the same thing as ant bait, they'll take it back to the rest of them and it will kill them. I would only do this if you can be *sure* the kids won't get it.
post #10 of 10
Here's some info on natural ant repellents that I've been using.

Unfortunately, we have resorted to the traps b/c we have a huge tree with a ton of ants. There are millions of them.

We put the traps outside and then inside. With kids around, I just put them under furniture and on counters as well as in cupboards where kids won't see them/reach them.

V
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