Ants in my kitchen - help me get rid of 'em! - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-17-2007, 11:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not the world's best housekeeper, but I don't think I'm too bad!

That being said, a family of ants has taken up residence under my kitchen sink. I know that I can encourage them to move on with vinegar, but how exactly do I do that? Just pour vinegar in small puddles under the cabinet? Or put it in a spray bottle and hit the cabinet walls? How frequently should I reapply?

TIA!!

SAHM to my and and due in summer 2010, married to my best friend.
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Old 04-18-2007, 01:37 AM
 
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I dont know about the vinegar, but when I had ants I had success putting boric acid around the edges of cabinets, windows, etc....I think it's safe for everyone except the ants, and I recall that they bring it home to their nests and it kills them all. Sorry all you ant lovers, I just had enough at a certain point!
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Old 04-18-2007, 04:19 AM
 
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Do people really love ants?

My MIL used a product called Terro which had borax in it. It was only 5% borax and didn't say what else was in it. I looked up the MSDS and it didn't give much info either.
I wonder if you could make a simple sugar with borax in it. That would attract some ants to eat it and take it back to the nest for sure! One thing you have to be careful of is that you dont' put too much out, though. The way MIL used it was to put out a few drops and once it was gone give it a while to kill them off. If she saw more ants a week or two later she'd put out a few more drops.

Good luck and if you find any great secrets please share!
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Old 04-18-2007, 03:46 PM
 
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Sprinkling cinnamon around the area they live in will drive ants away. The scent throws them off. Google it
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Old 04-18-2007, 04:10 PM
 
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when i researched how to get rid of anthills outside i read that you can put out cups with vinegar (not sure if it was deluted or not). it is supposed to attract ants and kill them when they get in contact with it.
it was written that you could also pour boiling water or boiling water with vinegar on the anthill to kill off ants.
im not sure how practical solution that is for a kitchen kabinet, but im sure there is a way to try it out. maybe spraying or something.

lemon, cinnamon etc can be used as making borders the ants will not cross.
usually people put them on the ants trails, along doors etc, to keep ants out of the house.

cleaning the kitchen with vinegarsolution or lemonsolutions might help to keep them from spreading.

when i had flies in my kitchen i put out jars with diluted applecider-vinegar and sugar. it attracted flies bigtime, but i had to put soap in to make them stick and die. maybe the same will work on ants.


good luck!

[edit]
found this:

Trace a line of ants to find out where they are entering the house and then seal it off. You can also try pouring a barrier of any of the following at the place where ants enter the house: cinnamon, cream of tartar, red chili pepper, salt, dried mint or sage, or cucumber peelings. Also try that old gift perfume you don?t like. Some perfumes may kill or repel ants.
For heavy ant infestations, mix a tablespoon of sugar and a tablespoon of borax with 2 tablespoons of water to make a thick syrup. Soak cotton balls in mixture and place the cotton balls on something flat so that ants can get to it. Place it in the middle of the ant infestation. Ants will eat it and take it back to the nest. Slowly but surely, the numbers will diminish. Have patience. Keep well out of reach of children and pets.
Attach bands of sticky, adhesive materials around base of plants and trees to deter ants, which can carry and colonize aphids. Ants like the sweet secretion of aphids and protect them from natural enemies.
Border gardens with bone meal.
Mix 2 tablespoons boric acid, 2 tablespoons sugar and a cup of water. Soak paper towels, place on dishes, and set out for ants. Keep away from children and pets.
Mix 4 ounces of mint jelly with 2 level tablespoons of powdered boric acid. Cut small squares of masking tape and dab mixture on tape. Stick on floors behind cabinets and appliances. Take precautions for children and pets.
http://www.msu.mcmaster.ca/macgreen/greencleaning.php
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Old 04-19-2007, 09:48 PM
 
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I had success using bay leaves. I just broke them in half and placed them in areas where the ants seemed to be coming from and/or congregating. Kept them away all season.
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Old 04-19-2007, 10:16 PM
 
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I used to manage an Environmental Medicine practice. Most of our patients had allergies and sensitivities to chemicals so could not use your traditional mass produced "safe" products. What we used to recommend to patients was put apple jelly in a small saucer and mix boric acid in with it. They will come to get the jelly and carry it back to the nests which will kill the queen ant, and with no queen there are no workers! I hope this helps.
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Old 04-20-2007, 02:13 PM
 
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similar to pp, I've heard that this works:

peanut butter (two tablespoons), jelly (two tablespoons) and boric acid (one teaspoon). You can place these baits where roaches or ants are foraging, making sure to keep out of the reach of kids and pets.

I haven't tried it yet, but plan to the next time we have ants.

hth
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Old 04-20-2007, 03:46 PM
 
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I used an equal mixture of sugar and borax sprinkled in the area, and had good results.

Good Luck!
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Old 04-20-2007, 03:49 PM
 
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Are they sugar ants or fire ants?
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Old 04-20-2007, 03:52 PM
 
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I wouldn't have thought to use sugar in the borax! The ants in my bathroom are driving me crazy. Good suggestion.

Can't give up actin' tough, it's all that I'm made of. Can't scrape together quite enough to ride the bus to the outskirts of the fact that I need love. ~ Neko Case

 
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Old 04-20-2007, 04:52 PM
 
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Sometimes boiling water poured into the nest can decrease the numbers.

What worked well for us was to religiously keep our kitchen clean (that's where they went most). We watched where they walked - what path they used - and made sure to clean that area with our typical spray cleaner. We use a mix of borax, Dr. Bronner's soap, tea tree oil, vinegar and water.

I made sure there weren't crumbs left on countertops, cleaned up all spills right away, etc. We checked to see that our food was well sealed in containers in the pantry, that sort of thing.

It took a few weeks, but eventually they went off to find easier food sources.
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Old 04-20-2007, 10:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone! I'm off to find some borax.

I have no idea if they are fire ants or sugar ants... and I'm not sure that I really want to know I guess they are sugar ants, since they haven't really stung me. They are small, black critters if that helps.

SAHM to my and and due in summer 2010, married to my best friend.
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Old 04-20-2007, 11:04 PM
 
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Those are sugar ants.

If it were fire ants... well.. you might have just had to raise the white flag. They eat through pipes and scoff at death.
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Old 04-21-2007, 04:18 PM
 
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My ant update: The borax 'n' sugar has sent several ants into their death throes, and I feel good.

Can't give up actin' tough, it's all that I'm made of. Can't scrape together quite enough to ride the bus to the outskirts of the fact that I need love. ~ Neko Case

 
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Old 04-21-2007, 05:16 PM
 
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lemon juice...in a spray bottle mixed w/water...keeps all animals and insects away...even works on trash for racoons and dogs...and it's dirt CHEAP...
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Old 04-22-2007, 12:27 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penelope View Post
My ant update: The borax 'n' sugar has sent several ants into their death throes, and I feel good.
Wait, this is a problem actually. If they're dying as you watch, they're not taking the poison back to the queen. Other workers will just keep following their scent trails. You need to make a weaker liquid solution so they can carry it back.

Unfortunately, our ant problem is so monstrous that we have to use chemicals (outside the house seems to work, at least). I've tried every damn natural solution I could find, and those little b*&%*&^$ outwit us every summer :

Also, if your ants are not going for the sugar bait, you can make the same solution using peanut butter as your bait--some ants like protein and some like sugar. Some change by the season :

One thing that worked for us the very first summer we lived here was sprinkling dry rolled oats around. I sprinkled oats around the patio, and within an hour, it was all gone. We didn't see a single ant the rest of the summer, it was awesome. However, I must have successfully killed off the first colony, because when the ants showed up the next summer, they didn't go near the oatmeal, and the problem kept getting worse and worse. Ugh. Today is day three of our annual infestation, and I'm inches away from a minor breakdown

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Old 04-22-2007, 08:25 PM
 
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I had sugar ants in every room but the kitchen and bath in the house I bought. The home inspector told me to cut back the bushes, which I did. If the bushes (or other vegetation) are near/touching the house, then the ants get in more often.

And, I use Torro when they still get in, but cutting back the bushes helped a lot.

DS, 10/07. Allergies: peanut, egg, wheat. We've added dairy back in. And taken it back out again. It causes sandpaper skin with itchy patches and thrashing during sleep. Due w/ #2 late April, 2012.

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Old 04-22-2007, 08:38 PM
 
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You can also mix borax with honey.

I haven't used borax yet-I have a little one, so I'd only be able to put it out while we are away. But I do have an ant problem, and it drives me nuts! You have mey sympathy.
There are some very effective chemical ant killers out there. Dont' think the good ones are available except to licenced exterminator though. I'd try other stuff first. I worked for pst control company, and I always advised borax forst for indoor ant problems. (we did very little interior wok, and none when I first started there, so it was ok with the boss for me to suggest it)
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Old 04-22-2007, 09:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by melissel View Post
Wait, this is a problem actually. If they're dying as you watch, they're not taking the poison back to the queen. Other workers will just keep following their scent trails. You need to make a weaker liquid solution so they can carry it back.

Dang. I was feeling so smug! *Some* of the ants are doing fine. We just flushed 10 of them down the toilet. Maybe I'm just seeing the reallly unlucky ones?

Sigh. I hate ants.

Can't give up actin' tough, it's all that I'm made of. Can't scrape together quite enough to ride the bus to the outskirts of the fact that I need love. ~ Neko Case

 
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Old 04-23-2007, 08:50 AM
 
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We have carpenter ants and I have been killing them off with the boric acid(have found at dollar stores in summer).I have also had success with sprinkling the laundry borax(walmart if you can't get it elsewhere) at baseboards and around house.
I have seen the ants eat the jelly/BA mix. I have not had problems with the pets getting into the acid,though I don't leave the jelly mix out!No irriation with the borax along the base boards either.

I bought granules online.Advance.Smells like fish.My ants seem to prefer the sweet stuff right now.You can try grease with BA too,and see what gets more traffic.

Good to see them die,but even better to see them get their fill and carry home a huge batch of poison
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Old 04-24-2007, 03:48 PM
 
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PLEASE WAIT - Don't use the Borax. I almost used this stuff when I had an entire ant colony coming in my back door one day (even under the brand new door!) Yikes!!! I have a clean house and no open food - why they wanted in I have no idea.

To be sure the Borax was safe and found out it is not recommended for areas where the dust might get in your house and especially where animals and little kids would come into contact with it. They also said not for use near food. Well, being at the back door (heavy traffic) and in my kitchen -- there's no way. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borax

Then I tried the yeast and molasses thing outside to attract them and kill them. That did not work. They kept on coming in.

Instead I read somewhere that they hate peppermint. I washed the whole area Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Liquid Soap, even sprinkled it full strength by the door opening where they were coming in. They HATED it and never came back!! I was shocked!! WAYYYY COOOL! ...and a lot less toxic.
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Old 04-24-2007, 04:09 PM
 
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I was going to right this very thread when I saw there was one already LOL
I have big black ants in my kitchen and small black ants in my bedroom...really freaking my little one out. He won't walk on the floor if he sees one. He gets real upset. I don't want to use anything that could hurt him,my nephew or my foster kitty though. We've been here for about three years and this is the worst ever. Though I do remember my downstairs neighbor saying she gets them bad every year...maybe she did something new this year and now their retreating up here: I've tried spraying vinegar and put out bay leaves..not working. I wash my kitchen with vinegar and tea tree oil, but I will be buying some lemon jiuce and Dr. Bronners and see if that can help. I don't necessarily like the idea of "killing" them BUT....I do not like/want them in my house!! Here's hoping that everyone here with this problem can get rid of these guys asap

RayRAy~

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Old 04-27-2007, 10:30 PM
 
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1/2 boric acid, 1/2 sugar, with some hot water to dissolve it all into a paste. Put it into bottle caps (like milk bottles or soda bottles) and leave them in the pathways of the ants. But you can tuck them where children can't reach them, like down the side of the fridge. Use the boric acid, though, not borax. It works slower so they bring it back to the rest of the "family" This will keep them away for a few weeks, then they may come back & you need to repeat. The peppermint Dr. Bronner's works well as a back-up for us, but won't do the whole job. good luck with the critters!
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Old 05-01-2007, 02:08 AM
 
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I feel bad for the ants.

But I'm not comfortable with them walking along the wall where my head is. Why they are there, I have no idea. We have no food in the bedroom. What do ants eat again?

I decided to let them be. There is no food where they are and they've stopped coming into the kitchen after I really made a point of cleaning everything for a few weeks. I think I was messing up their pheromone trails with frequent wiping down of the counters.

So they come in at the bedroom and by the fireplace. Don't know why but since there is no food, my hope is that they'll just give up.

Ants don't bite, do they?
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Old 05-01-2007, 11:36 AM
 
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Some ants bite, it depends on what kind you have.
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Old 05-02-2007, 05:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AuntRayRay View Post
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I was going to right this very thread when I saw there was one already LOL

RayRAy~
Me, too.

I have tried vinegar. It worked last year for me, but no success this year. So I will be looking for some Dr. Bronners Peppermint soap. Has anyone tried any of the orange oil solutions? I think they sell one at Whole Foods.
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Old 05-02-2007, 05:18 PM
 
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we have ants around our sink, and I know where they're coming from...I have some peppermint EO, I'm going to try that plus some cinnamon and see if it stops them. I don't know what the buggers are after anymore, I've been a clean freak in the kitchen so there's nothing for them to snack on anymore...

I'm so glad I found this thread to try out these fixes!

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Old 05-02-2007, 06:59 PM
 
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I have some TJ's castile peppermint soap and used it around the door where the ants were coming in as well as the dog food bowl (their favorite food) and NO ANTS today!

I kind of feel like the dog food bowl needs to be filled because said dog is now 15 and getting skinnier.

I hope this works long term because it is cheap and easy! I just rubbed it on full strength with a damp cloth You could see the ants running form the smell!
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Old 05-03-2007, 08:18 PM
 
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I mopped and wiped all the counters down with TJ's peppermint, and DH still saw one on the counter: . I will try again with a stronger solution.
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