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  #1  
Old 09-18-2014, 03:35 PM
cmac2012's Avatar
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Ant abatement

For me and all the rest in the great state of Cahleefornya, it's the tiny Argentine ants that have taken over the ant franchise. I was afraid this would happen - wonder ant killer Terro Liquid Ant Bates is losing effectiveness. Happened a few years ago with Grants Ants - the little ant hotel things with a block of sugared gelatin imbued with arsenic inside. All of a sudden ants quit going for it. Had been super effective for years previous.

The Terro liquid bates are not the big draw they were not long ago. I've gotten a tad lazy as they were so effective and keeping the things away. Now, if I toss an empty cat food can in the recycling bin, the ants find it and go for gravy residue. Like drugs for them.

The Terro baits use boric acid for the death thing. Part of why they're so effective. Not highly toxic for people, it's slow death by dehydration for the ants so they have time to take it back and feed it to the queen.

My big idea now is to make my own ant killer with boric acid and cat food gravy. Will research.
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  #2  
Old 09-18-2014, 03:50 PM
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If you don't have any luck with your borax baits, I've had good luck with Bayer's Maxforce around foundations in these parts. They do recommend one for Argentine ants.
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  #3  
Old 09-18-2014, 04:47 PM
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There is no built up resistance to borates and it kills almost any bug. Good idea. We have at least half a dozen varieties of small ants in addition to the big red suckers. The red ones are the only ones I use commercial (Amdro) bait on. The rest I have to figure out through experimentation if they are sweet feeders or grease feeders. Grease feeders will like the cat food gravy but not be attracted to syrup, for example. I control cockroaches in my poultry houses and outside on the patio with boric acid as well. Don't buy the boric acid in the garden centers, it's mostly filler. Get pure pharmaceutical grade in most pharmacies. An eight ounce bottle cost about 12 bucks and has lasted three years. I mix a teaspoon of the powder with a quarter cup of cheap corn syrup for the roaches. Drizzle it around in likely spots at night. In a matter of minutes you can come out with a flashlight and find the roaches lined up eating. In the morning, the bait is all gone and so will the roaches be until the next hatch in about 2 weeks. For the poultry houses I put the goop on a paper plate and lay it on the ground after dark when the birds are asleep.
I don't worry about ants much unless they come in the house, but the BA gets them every time. No chemicals or toxicity to fret about, no resistance buildup, and it's cheap. Good stuff.
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  #4  
Old 09-18-2014, 05:35 PM
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I live near a wooded area that is overrun with wild animals. Deer, opossums, bigfoot..... They eat dogfood and will chew through a steel bulkhead to get at it. Well, that might be overdoing it, but they do like to eat.

So I started leaving food out for them mixed with some peppers I picked up down in San Antonio. I was told to not let the oil get on my skin as it would leave a burn.

Oddly enough they don't come around anymore. I just have to be sure I pick the wild animal food up in the morning before letting the dogs out of their kennels.
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  #5  
Old 09-18-2014, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elchivito View Post
There is no built up resistance to borates and it kills almost any bug. Good idea. We have at least half a dozen varieties of small ants in addition to the big red suckers. The red ones are the only ones I use commercial (Amdro) bait on. The rest I have to figure out through experimentation if they are sweet feeders or grease feeders.
Could be that's what's going on, that is I've driven out the sugar eaters and grease eaters have moved in.

Good advice, I'll look for some boric acid.
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  #6  
Old 09-18-2014, 07:24 PM
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I live in S. CA and we had the Ant Problem over a Year ago and they are back.

What seems different about these Ants is at least some are apparently living in the Walls of the House.

My 1920 something House with Plaster Walls and Wooden Floors has a million tiny crackes for the Ants to get through.

What makes these Ants different is that the little ones where I grew up never bit Me.
These Ants when they get on you eventually find a place and Bit.

If we have an Earth Quake out here and living People get trapped under the Rubble the Ants are going to feed on them dead or alive.

Right now the Ants have sort of backed off after Spraying where they were getting into the House; when I could find those spots.
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  #7  
Old 09-18-2014, 07:25 PM
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This is the best stuff I've ever used.

AMDRO® : Ant Block Home Perimeter Ant Bait Granules : Overview
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  #8  
Old 09-18-2014, 07:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel911 View Post
I live in S. CA and we had the Ant Problem over a Year ago and they are back.

What seems different about these Ants is at least some are apparently living in the Walls of the House.

My 1920 something House with Plaster Walls and Wooden Floors has a million tiny crackes for the Ants to get through.

What makes these Ants different is that the little ones where I grew up never bit Me.
These Ants when they get on you eventually find a place and Bit.

If we have an Earth Quake out here and living People get trapped under the Rubble the Ants are going to feed on them dead or alive.

Right now the Ants have sort of backed off after Spraying where they were getting into the House; when I could find those spots.
Sounds like carpenter ants to me.
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  #9  
Old 09-19-2014, 07:55 AM
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My biggest worry with any chemical means is that I don't want it hurting any of the birds that may eat the ants (although the birds are doing a lousy job of controling the ants right now). The tree rats and the feral cats are welcome to dine on the poison and go away. I just want to keep the birds. Yes I am even willing to deal with the bird poop on my cars.
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  #10  
Old 09-19-2014, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Can't Know View Post
That's my go-to bait.

Also, USDA has imported a marvelous little fly that attacks fire ants. It also attacks natives but the natives around my region are so outnumbered that fire ants are the main course. I don't know if one can privately buy the little critters, but go watch "decapitator fly" youtubes.
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  #11  
Old 09-19-2014, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Can't Know View Post
I use this stuff too. Works well. Every early summer the ants (small brown critters) come up through the back (unfinished and unfloored) basement beneath the kitchen. I sprinkle Amdro all around the house and in the unfinished basement and along the sill plate there to discourage them from crawling up the "balloon constructed" walls. The house sits on mostly sandy soil, close by the ocean.
I also used a spreader this summer to drop BAYER ant & insect control on a few ant hills sprouting in the yard. Did its job too.

The ants are a nuisance but at least the raccoons haven't encroached ......yet.
Although I had a turkey in the yard this summer.
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  #12  
Old 09-19-2014, 09:07 AM
elchivito's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobK View Post
My biggest worry with any chemical means is that I don't want it hurting any of the birds that may eat the ants (although the birds are doing a lousy job of controling the ants right now). The tree rats and the feral cats are welcome to dine on the poison and go away. I just want to keep the birds. Yes I am even willing to deal with the bird poop on my cars.
Boric acid is practically non-toxic to birds.
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  #13  
Old 09-19-2014, 09:46 AM
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Cool. Working in the driveway (my main car repair area) is a pain with all the ants there. Then they try to migrate into the house in search of warmth or food.
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  #14  
Old 09-19-2014, 11:54 AM
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California resident here..

I noticed more ants inside our house in the last few weeks. I think now due to the drought they are looking for water, since they are not going after any pet food or sugary stuff.

We use diatomaceous earth. It has microscopic razor-sharp spikes that lodge between the plates in the ant's exoskeleton, pierces the connective membranes and causes the ant's internal moisture to dry out, killing them a day or so after they walk through it.

Non toxic, works pretty well.
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Old 09-19-2014, 12:05 PM
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The EPA does not like DE. Has been pushing pools to stop using it for a long time. When we built our new pool we switched over to High velocity sand filters from Vacuum DE filters. I always liked the DE filter. Seemed to "polish" the water. Not good to breathe the stuff.
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