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#1 of 18 Old 12-10-2001, 03:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Help, we've got horrible ants and NOTHING is working!
We live in Northern CA and they just overtake the place when it starts raining in the winter.
It doesn't matter how clean the house is--if they can't find any food scraps they'll eat the house plants, toothpaste, or even the grouting! Last year they ate up the roots of our most beautiful cactus. And worse, I have to pick them off of 11 mo old ds.
Any non-toxic tips?
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#2 of 18 Old 12-10-2001, 09:07 PM
 
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I'm down in Santa Barbara and we've got the same problem. Fortunately, it doesn't rain that much here. If you can find where they are entering the house there are a few barrier tricks that might work. Ants do not like hot chile powder (cayenne, even paprika). So sprinkle a little line across their entry point. Also, I've heard that they dislike peppermint oil, although you say they've been eating toothpaste. Hmmm?? We've also tried to seal small holes to the outside with caulk and that seems to work well.
Good luck!
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#3 of 18 Old 12-10-2001, 09:16 PM
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i am ashamed to admit I had to turn my problem over to a professional as we tried everything. One day ds woke up screaming from his nap. I ran back to see what was wrong and there was a trail coming from the ceiling onto our bed onto his face, apparently finishing off the maple syrup left there from breakfast. i broke at that point. But one trick is to mix 1/2 doc Bronner's peppermint soap w 1/2 hot water and spray. Good luck...
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#4 of 18 Old 12-11-2001, 12:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I did the Doc Bronner's, and any Doc Bronner's works as long as its still wet, one it dries, however, those insidious pets are back. :mad:
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#5 of 18 Old 12-14-2001, 07:49 PM
 
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ground bay leaves & chalk at points of entry and around the house worked for us, as well as soapy water. Try different concentrations of soap.

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#6 of 18 Old 12-14-2001, 09:43 PM
 
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My landlord gave me a chalk. He said I could get it at an Oriental store. The only part of the box I can read says 'MIRACULOUS INSECTICIDE CHALK' The box is orange and yellow. I would tell you what's in it, but it's written in oriental characters. It does say "Harmless to human and animal - Safe to use" I just drew a line across the floorboard where they were coming in and it stopped them. There were so many ants, I have to admit I was playing w/ them. I would draw a box around an ant and watch them go in circles b/c they would NOT cross the chalk line. They've never been back. Sorry I can't be more specific.
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#7 of 18 Old 12-16-2001, 01:16 AM
 
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Well, I have been told just to use normal sidewalk or blackboard chalk. When picknicking, draw a line of it around your table, etc. I imagine it's the same thing in the home. I used bay leaves, ground to a powder in the coffee grinder, then I made a paste of it and put it by the door where they were coming in. It seemed to work, though only for a while, I guess it loses its potency

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#8 of 18 Old 12-16-2001, 05:49 PM
 
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also, check this out:

http://www.dirtdoctor.com/article.asp?id=516

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#9 of 18 Old 12-16-2001, 08:01 PM
 
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I found this information about the Miraculous Chalk. Be careful!


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to warn the public not
to purchase or use an insecticide product sold under various names including
"Miraculous Insecticide Chalk," "Pretty Baby Chalk," and "Chinese Chalk."
A package of Miraculous Insecticide Chalk, manufactured by a cosmetics
firm in the People's Republic of China, looks like a box of blackboard chalk.
The product has been imported into the United States illegally. Between
1992 and 1995, Poison Control Centers nationwide received 668 reports of
poisoning incidents involving insecticide chalk. The packaging also
contains high levels of lead and other heavy metals, increasing the risk to
children.
The chalk is sold illegally for insect control. It is imported illegally from China
and other countries, and advertised as effective against roaches, ants, and
other household pests when a line of chalk is drawn along the floor or
baseboards. Between 1992 and 1995, Poison Control Centers nationwide
received 668 reports of poisoning incidents involving insecticide chalk. EPA is
cooperating with states and tribes in an effort to stop the sale and use of this
hazardous product.

On September 26, 2001, the EPA announced it had 15 businesses in Hawaii,
California, Nevada, and Guam for selling illegal naphthalene and
paradichlorobenzene mothballs, "insecticidal chalk" and other products,
some of which can poison children who may mistake them for toys or food.
Selling unregistered products such as these is a violation of the Federal
Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act.
The chalk is sold at swap meets, flea markets, and urban ethnic grocery and
hardware stores. In recent months it has been advertised in newspapers and
on the Internet. City of Fort Worth Code Compliance officers have found the
chalk in abandoned homes.
The product, which children could easily mistake for common blackboard
chalk, contains deltamethrin and cypermethrin, a class of insecticides
(synthetic pyrethroids) that act on the nervous system. The packaging
contains no list of ingredients or consumer warnings. Overexposure can
produce serious health effects, including vomiting, stomach pains,
convulsions, tremors, coma, and death due to respiratory failure. Serious
allergic reactions are also possible.
There are also high levels of lead and other hazardous metals in the product's
colorful packaging. Thus, the packaging itself is hazardous to children and
adults if they handle the box or place it in their mouth.
If you have purchased this product, please don't use it! Place it in a plastic
bag and drop it off at the City of Fort Worth's Environmental Collection Center,
6400 Bridge Street, (817-871-5257) so that we can make sure it is disposed
of properly. The collection center is for Fort Worth residents and residents of
participating cities.
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#10 of 18 Old 12-16-2001, 08:38 PM
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Hey, mommytoluc, it's me, Dena from APOrange County! Welcome to the boards and I am so glad you checked this out and gave the warning.
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#11 of 18 Old 12-16-2001, 08:42 PM
 
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Hi Dena! Yea...I thought I would do a search to see where I could get this fabulous miricle ant chalk and got a bunch of warning about the stuff. Ughh.....Well, off to go kill some more ants.
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#12 of 18 Old 12-19-2001, 10:24 AM
 
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Did you fix the problem yet?

I too went through quite a struggle with ants just after I moved here to Seattle. I posted on these boards and tried all the suggestions, but nothing worked. Finally someone suggested I try Bioganic. The Bioganic company makes a variety of bug spray deals that are made of essentail oils, etc. We bought a huge spray bottle (I think it was the kind that works for pretty much all bugs indoor and outdoor) by going to www.bioganic.com and following the link to their online retail locations.

Now, the stuff didn't work at first. We sprayed and sprayed and thought nothing (aside from resorting to a toxic product) was going to work for us. Bioganic doesn't smell great, and it just didn't seem to be working, so I was pretty bummed. I would think it was starting to work, and then lo and behold, the aunts would come marching back in a few days later. Then another cycle would begin again. But you know, I just realized that they haven't been back for a good month or two! It must have worked while I wasn't looking LOL. Thank goodness!

Bioganic also seems to have worked on a few other bugs we had some problems with in our new home, including (I hope!) earwigs.

Now, if someone can just tell me how to get rid of these Seattle fruit flies. These bugs are smart stinkers, and they are just not leaving! Urgh!

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#13 of 18 Old 12-20-2001, 01:09 AM
 
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I'm so glad that mommytoluc looked up that chalk considering it's in my home. I just have a tendancy to take everything for face vaue. Even though I have to say it worked and they haven't been back. I guess if they come back next summer then I have some ideas from here to use. Thanks for the help
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#14 of 18 Old 12-20-2001, 08:14 PM
 
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I used to live in Davis, and i had the same problem with ants when there was a lot of rain. We started wiping down all surfaces in the kitchen and all windowsills/doorjams with a rag wiped in pennyroyal and lavender oils mixed with water. We did this daily until the ants disappeared (and they did - it took maybe a week). After that we did it periodically to prevent new infestations.

warning: don't use pennyroyal if you're pregnant, and keep both oils away from children
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#15 of 18 Old 12-21-2001, 12:55 PM
 
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What is pennyroyal?? And where would I get it?
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#16 of 18 Old 12-21-2001, 01:09 PM
 
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We had ants all over our kitchen and living room shortly after we moved into our house. I started by spraying Citra-Solv mixed in water everywhere I saw them and although it worked, the ants would come back a few days later. Then I used water water with a few drops of peppermint oil. I sprayed it everywhere I thought the ants might be coming in, got rid of every ant I could find, and haven't had a problem since. I did use the peppermint spray once a week for a month just to make sure though. Good luck!
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#17 of 18 Old 12-21-2001, 01:52 PM
 
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nj_hipmama, pennyroyal is from the mint family, but you can't make tea from it - it's toxic to ingest. You should be able to find the essential oil at Whole Earth in Princeton, if that's nearby (we used to live in NJ, too). Some co-ops have actually stopped selling it because some women have tried using it to induce abortion and ended up dead or nearly so. Dandelion suggested peppermint, and that probably works just as well and isn't as dangerous to have around the house.
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#18 of 18 Old 12-23-2001, 02:29 PM
 
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Thanks for the advice. Whole Earth is no longer in Priinceton (I think?) , but WIld Oats is there. I'll try them.
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