Invasion!

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  • #728347
    Allison
    Participant

    I’m wondering if any of you folks have any tips for this situation. Here’s the story so far:

    All summer long there have been ants in our house. Not very many, and not the kind that chew through wooden houses like ours…just regular black garden ants. We made sure there were no food scraps left in the kitchen to attract them and set out a couple poison baits in case, but mostly it was like any other year: an ant here and there, but no big problem. Then tonight my Mom goes into the kitchen and there are hundreds of the damn things swarming out of a couple cracks around a window above the sink! 😯

    The wall was black, with workers, winged ants and nurse ants carrying larva with them. Looks like they want to set up shop in our house now. Any ideas on how to keep them out? We don’t want to seal up around the window, because they’re in the walls now and they’d likely just find a new way in somewhere else. We also don’t want to use a lot of sprays and poisons, because this is in the kitchen and we have dogs, one of whom loves to eat ants. We managed to suck a ton of the little critters into a small hand-vac and kill them off, but we don’t want this to keep happening! Any help would be greatly appreciated πŸ˜€

    #496433
    Allison
    Participant

    #728348

    If you can dump Diatomaceous earth http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diatomaceous_earth

    where they are nesting it will kill them, but wont hurt your pets, but it may be tricky if they are in your walls. I would dump a crap load on their old nest as well if you can find it, it almost sounds like they are setting up a second colony.

    #728349
    Allison
    Participant

    I’ve heard of it before, but I’d forgotten all about it. Thanks for reminding me! I may be able to get some of the earth into the cracks around the window and into the wall itself, hopefully that will discourage them from sticking around and finding new ways in. We’re also going to go poke around outside in the morning to see if we can find where they’re all coming from.

    It’s just starting to get cooler around here, leaves are changing and fall is on the way. I think they were hoping to start a new colony here where it’s warm and safe. First mice, now ants…everything wants to spend winter in my house!

    #728350
    BDW
    Participant

    We have used some liquid that the ants carry to the nest and that kills them all but I put it away from pets just in case. Also what ever you use you have to put it where you see the route they take. That way they will find it right away aand it will act faster that way.

    We have the carpenter ants and the liquid doesn’t work on those unfortunutly. It kills them before they have a chance to get to the nest. πŸ˜•

    #728351
    dragonmedley
    Participant

    Ants are the one bug that bothers me. When I was a kid, we had an infestation in the house like you. I don’t remember how my parents got rid of them, but the sight of ants crawling out of the jam jar just stuck with me and grossed me out for life.

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    #728352
    Jennifer
    Keymaster

    Diatomaceous earth! As BDW said. It works great and is totally non-toxic so even if your pets eat the ants or the Diatomaceous earth, it can’t hurt them. It is actually in some of our foods (mostly grains) to kill off any mealy moths and larvae. πŸ™‚

    Sprinkle it anywhere where the ants may travel.

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    #728353
    Allison
    Participant

    I just got back from the store with the diatomaceous earth, which my parents are now spreading around the kitchen. I was up until 4 am last night making sure that there still weren’t hundreds of ants coming out of the walls at once. Woke up this morning and there were only about a hundred or so in the kitchen, mostly dead from some drops Dad put out. We got rid of them all before we loosed the dogs. Unfortunately there were carpenter ants in with the other ants…my house is 160 years old, built by a lumber yard, not a good sign!

    I’m going to go outside on that side of the house and start looking for ants to follow, see if I can find their first nest somewhere. Dad is also going to try and seal up a small leak on the roof that drips down to that window, being as moisture attracts ants into a house. Luckily this happened before my sisters and I headed back to university and college, at least there are extra hands around to help out.

    Thanks for all the help guys, I’ll keep you posted if the invasion continues

    #728354

    I don’t remember what my grandmother did when she got invaded… the buggers chewed a hole through her wall. So I will say follow everyone else’s directions.

    #728355
    purpledragonclaw
    Participant

    I will have to remember that earth solution. We’ve never had ants that bad! 😯 I’m glad you’re able to drive them out of your house!

    #728356
    Allison
    Participant

    So far so good. Never found the original nest, but we’ve only seen maybe a dozen ants all afternoon. The interesting thing is that I started talking to our neighbors while I was ant-hunting…turns out they were invaded last week, and that they know of three other families in town (tiny town, under 800 people) who have the same problem right now. I wonder why this year the ants are so determined to get into our houses? Maybe they know something about the coming winter that we don’t…I should check the fuzz levels on the local caterpillars 😯

    #728357
    twindragonsmum
    Participant

    Diatomaceous earth is an excellent suggestion. The other thing we use is Tobasco Sauce. Sprinkle it across the ant path or anywhere they have access to the house and it keeps ’em out. I guess they don’t like the hot peppers in it. Good luck!

    tdm

    #728358
    Allison
    Participant

    twindragonsmum wrote:

    Diatomaceous earth is an excellent suggestion. The other thing we use is Tobasco Sauce. Sprinkle it across the ant path or anywhere they have access to the house and it keeps ’em out. I guess they don’t like the hot peppers in it. Good luck!

    Really? Never would have thought of that, and we have extra bottles around here too. That might actually come in handy with keeping the little critters away from the dishwasher and trash can. And thanks for the luck! Hopefully we won’t have a repeat incident tonight.

    #728359
    Jennifer
    Keymaster

    Arya wrote:

    So far so good. Never found the original nest, but we’ve only seen maybe a dozen ants all afternoon. The interesting thing is that I started talking to our neighbors while I was ant-hunting…turns out they were invaded last week, and that they know of three other families in town (tiny town, under 800 people) who have the same problem right now. I wonder why this year the ants are so determined to get into our houses? Maybe they know something about the coming winter that we don’t…I should check the fuzz levels on the local caterpillars 😯

    A lot of the problem we’re having just south of the border from you is that it has been a much wetter summer than normal, and many ants are being driven from their earthen homes by water!

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    #728360

    I’m not sure what the reason here in NJ is, but this year we have had many times that I’ve seen ant colonies swarm–so many little brown ants, it looks like someone dumped coffee grounds on the ground in like a 6 inch across spot. And those little buggers BITE!

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