I am about ready to just go get some freakin poison and kill these ants, I am so frustrated!! There are these tiny ants that get on my counter, and if they find any animal product, tiny spot of grease, etc, they are all over it! I cant leave unwashed dishes on my counter, and I have to clean up after cooking dinner before I even eat dinner or there will be ants all over it!! RRRGGGGHHH I am at my wits end. I have seen these ants every summer since I've lived here, but they are never near this bad, they've always gone away quickly before, not this time. PLEASE help me find an alternative to conventional poison!! Sorry, this is such an embarassing problem :(
Well, for the immediate time, I'd keep a minty or citrus soap spray around the kitchen (and paper towels), and just spray them dead when you see them (the mint/citrus helps deter others too).
I've heard (but haven't tried myself) that you can sprinkle cornmeal around where you find them, they carry it home, can't digest it, and it will help kill them.
If you can find where they're getting into your house, use diatomaceous earth throughout the area. You can also use a small jar with honey water to lure them in the opposite direction of where they're currently getting in (just a spoon of honey and some water). That's actually been pretty effective for us in the past, combined with using de where we don't want them.
I was having a problem with these ants too!! Super annoying little things. I haven't had any problems with them since I starting using a steam mop. Before, I would clean their ant trails with vinegar, and anything else I could imagine, but it was no use. I set out bay leaves, cinnamon, and everything else I read about. They would just walk over or around it. They leave a scent trail for other ants to follow them...it was impressive how they would march along in a straight little line, one after the other.
I'm thinking the steam cleaning finally cleaned their smell well enough that I don't have the problem. No ants! I have wood floors, btw--not sure what I would do for carpet!
I also second the suggestion to set some honey or other treat outside for them. My ants liked raisins and when I set that outside it did help a bit from them coming inside.
I have no idea where they are getting in, but they crawl up from the crack between my stove and counter. It could be anywhere because my kitchen is an addition to the house that was not done right, and air leaks in like crazy, my windows all need replaced, etc. I havent tried honey, but other sweet things they wont touch unless it contains an animal product (milk, meat, egg,). I know they wouldnt touch cornmeal! Stupid things completely ignore anything plant-based on the counter.
I've killed so many of the things, that I keep thinking, how many more could there be?! Lots apparently
When I sweep my floors, there are usually a few in my dustpan, so I think they are probably getting in somewhere behind my stove and cupboards. I will go outside and pick some mint and leave it by the crack they always crawl up through! I'll rub some lemon on it too :)
Ugh, me too! I feel like half my day is spent fighting an evil ant empire :( What we've been doing worked really well for several months, but then it rained non-stop for days, and we've got them back again :( So, we are in the midst of re-doing our steps. The first thing, is I would look to see if you can see where they live and pour boiling water on the hill. Lots of boiling water, as you want it to get down and kill the queen. We have lots of tiny hills, I've never been able to find a "central" one, so, that hasn't really worked for us here, but I've had great success with it in the past. However, de works really really well on the outside perimeter of our house (until it rains). And when they come in, spraying them with a mixture of Dr. Bronner's peppermint and water works well, and spraying it along the inside walls and into crevices works if I do it every day. I try to make that my last thing I do before I leave the kitchen at night. I spray it so everything is dripping. Once you get rid of the over-run of them, if you see any single ants around, do whatever you can to kill them, as you don't want them to go back and say where you are. I hope they leave you alone soon.
Well, the night after I posted this, an egg was left broken on the floor. I got up in the morning to find an army of ants all over it and a HUGE line going to and from that egg (there were none on my counters tho!)
I was so upset that I immediatly, before I even fed anyone, cleaned up the egg of course, then got out my steam mop, mopped my entire floor, and anything I could reach with it really lol, then took my kids Bubble and Bee organic bug repellant and sprayed it all around my stove (from under which they seem to originate) and around where they had been crawling in that huge disgusting line. I have not seen an ant since!! My hopes arent up too much yet tho :( Hope you all get rid of them too!
Starting this winter we had ants coming in under our front door. (We found out the wood under the threshold is rotten. We were unable to have someone remove the door and the stucco from the front of the house and fix the damage until this month.) So, in the mean time to keep the ants out of the inside of the house I did the following...first I sprinkled ground cloves all along the base where the floor meets the door and the baseboard trim on each side of the door. It worked great but was sort of messy. And if if got wet it stained the grout. So...after a month or two of that, I cleaned up the cloves and sprayed pure peppermint oil along the same area...that also kept them at bay and was much neater. It was strange...they would not cross the clove/peppermint line at all. If I swept up the cloves or washed the peppermint oil away they were back within a day.
In our case, both of these things are temporary fixes until the problem is fixed.
So...you could spray peppermint oil along the edge of your counter and behind your stove until you figure out why they are getting in.
eta..I sprayed the peppermint oil weeks ago and it is still working...no need to do it often.
Good thing my hopes wernt up. They were gone for 2 days, but this morning I came to the kitchen to find a bunch of them gathered around an invisible spot on my counter Must have been a dot of grease or something. So I cleaned it all up, sprayed the insect repellant (which does contain peppermint oil!), and they havent been back all day. But, who knows how long that will last. Thanks everyone for the tips! I need to have someone pull out my stove and I can look behind there, I am just afraid of what I might find :(
I got this link from the post below yours: http://mothering.com/all-things-mothering/uncategorized/using-herbs-for-customized-pest-control
I live in student housing and once we had little tiny ants in our kitchen. The maintenance people came and put peppermint cream all along the crevasses and places we suspected they may be entering. That did the trick. The maintenance guy said that next time, all I need to do is spread some peppermint jelly anywhere I see they might be coming in and that'll do it.
I once dripped peppermint dish soap I had along where I saw some coming into the kitchen and they were gone.
This thread is a few weeks old so I hope you've solved your problem, but I thought I'd chime in anyway.
Orange oil (Orange Glo cleaner) works like a dream.
Once per summer, the first time I see an ant, I spray the entire perimeter of the kitchen; along to baseboards and toe kicks, inside window sills, where cabinets meet walls, in the exterior threshold, etc. It's worked for the whole season for the last 3 summers. It kills on contact *and* deters them, and it works for every type of ant I've seen in our house.
The first year we lived here we kept finding carpenter ants in the bedrooms upstairs. One even bit and held onto the back of DH's ear for dear life while he was sleeping one night. We finally realized they were coming in from a neighbor's tree that was touching the house but we didn't have the money to do anything permanent yet. We sprayed all around all of the window frames on that side of the house and never saw another after that.