ANTS! What's safe to use for kids and dog? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 12-11-2008, 04:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We just moved into this house about 2 mos ago. A few weeks ago we had some ants in the dog's dish. I sprayed around the area a bit and made sure that the dog's food was always in a container after that. Then maybe a week after that there was a bunch of them coming out from under the wall near our kitchen table. I sprayed again and have been sure to sweep and swiffer every day. Then a week ago they were in my bathroom, around the toliet mostly but seeming to come out of the wall. Now again, they're in the kitchen. I think I am fighting a losing battle.

We clean up spills asap. All the eating in this house is done at the table due to dd's food allergies.

The walls in this house are weird and poorly done. Basically there is a gap where the wall should meet the floor. I think maybe food gets under there but I have no way of cleaning it.

What can we use to get rid of these ants? They haven't found my counter tops yet and I'd like to keep it that way. They are small. Definitely not carpenter ants.

I need something that will be safe for the kids and the dog. Our bathroom is very very VERY small. Wherever I spray something, eventually little feet will walk on it.

Rachel, mom to Jake (5/04) and Alexia (7/07) a surprise UC thanks to hypnobabies!
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#2 of 14 Old 12-11-2008, 05:26 PM
 
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Diatomaceous earth (food grade) is very safe as long as it's not breathed in. You can even mix it in the dog food and it's good for the dog to eat. (supposed to help with internal parasites too) Some sources say not to use it in the garden since it kills benificial bugs too, but using it around the house (especially under edges and in cracks) will be fine just make sure it doesn't get wet, it only works while it's dry. Orange oil also kills them but it definetly needs to be wiped up right away. It also needs to be diluted well with water, other then that it's a pretty good cleaner.
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#3 of 14 Old 12-11-2008, 09:36 PM
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They hate lavender.

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#4 of 14 Old 12-11-2008, 10:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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They hate lavender.
interesting. I read that out loud to my dh and he said, "lavender? I like lavender. Don't tell anyone I like lavender." How would you go about using it?

We were going to go out and get the diatomaceous earth tomorrow but I like the idea of lavender just because it would make our house smell pretty too

Rachel, mom to Jake (5/04) and Alexia (7/07) a surprise UC thanks to hypnobabies!
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#5 of 14 Old 12-12-2008, 03:05 PM
 
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We get those little ants sometimes as well. I use peppermint essential oil dropped along the edges of the walls and anywhere else I think they might be coming in. It works really well!

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#6 of 14 Old 12-12-2008, 03:08 PM
 
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If the ants are getting in through a crack between the wall and floor, the best, least toxic, long term solution would be to fill in that gap somehow. Maybe caulk it with the stuff meant for bathtubs? Maybe spackle and repaint?

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19 (in Israel for another school year), Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 12(homeschooled)
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#7 of 14 Old 12-12-2008, 04:11 PM
 
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I've put tea tree oil on a cotton ball and wiped it along the borders of countertops and doorways and it worked well.

Orange Guard is a premade mixture. You can usually get it at Natural food stores or garden supply. It works wonderfully.
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#8 of 14 Old 12-12-2008, 04:28 PM
 
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I forgot, there's also a cedar oil spray made by victor that's not too bad, and not poisoness. They also make a peppermint one for wasp that I love. http://www.birdfeeders.com/store/sis...t-control/M631
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#9 of 14 Old 12-12-2008, 06:57 PM
 
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As far as the dog dish goes, we have our cat bowl sitting in a pan with shallow water. The cats can easily eat their food and the ants can't swim across to get a bite.
I've tried all kinds of things and eliminating any possible food sources has been by far the most successful...
Good Luck!
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#10 of 14 Old 12-15-2008, 11:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We'd love to caulk and fill in the gaps but they are in every room and this is not our house, we are renting. The landlord of course doesn't care about the ants or the gaps in the walls.

We went all over this weekend trying to find diatamaceous earth and couldn't find it anywhere. Someone said to try a feed store and we could only find one feed store in the whole area? That's so odd to me. We just moved here though and I really couldn't find anything in the phone book. Weird.

I've got some TTO on hand so I'll try some of that. I think we have a colony though and I need something to kill the entire queen.

Oh and the water around the dog dish thing is a great idea! Thanks!

Rachel, mom to Jake (5/04) and Alexia (7/07) a surprise UC thanks to hypnobabies!
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#11 of 14 Old 12-15-2008, 02:18 PM
 
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My friend had a problem with ants...they weren't little black ants, they were reddish. Her husband found out the name of them but I don't remember. Anyway, they were in every room, not just looking for food but of course they would go to left out food in the kitchen. One time they even chewed a large hole in the carpeting! They came out of any crack....after trying so many different methods, they called in an exterminator.

The exterminator said they needed to pull up all the flooring and caulk all the cracks in the foundation because they are under the house and there wasn't a way to get to them because they had a slab foundation.
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#12 of 14 Old 12-15-2008, 03:46 PM
 
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Borax works to get rid of carpenter ants ... I wonder if it'd work for your little pest?

dust.gifFour-eyed tattooed fairy godmother queer, mama to my lucky star (5) and little bird (2.5). Resident storyteller at www.thestoryforest.com. Enchanting audiostories for curious kids. Come play in the forest!
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#13 of 14 Old 12-17-2008, 02:48 PM
 
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We had problems with ants (esp. after heavy rains) for ages and I finally discovered the best solution (since we could never locate where they were coming in, and block it off) was to give them what they wanted: FOOD, but outside!

So I got some hummingbird feeders and a low-to-the-ground iron hanger stake thing. I put sugar water in the feeders, and hung them on the hanger thing and put it about 10 feet from our porch. The ants were all over it within days, and anytime now that I see an ant in the house, I know it's time to refill the feeders. Sure enough, it works.

I tried everything else you can think of and that is the only thing that has worked.

SAHM to Guinevere (04/05/06) and Eowyn (02/13/09)
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#14 of 14 Old 12-17-2008, 03:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starling&diesel View Post
Borax works to get rid of carpenter ants ... I wonder if it'd work for your little pest?
Yep I've used a mixture of one part Borax to one part white sugar. They are attracted to the sugar so they bring it back to the nest and it is inevitably mixed with the Borax. When they eat the Borax it somehow causes their exoskeleton to crack open and they die...

I have used this method on two different kind of ants and it worked great however, I used it outdoors. I think you could probably sprinkle it around your foundation where they are coming in and it may help. I know it is pet safe.

Mama of one with one on the way 12/10
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