Author Topic: Sugar Ants!  (Read 6849 times)

Nubs

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Sugar Ants!
« on: June 24, 2014, 08:30:35 AM »
We keep our counters & kitchen extremely clean, but still seem to get a handful of sugar ants exploring the countertops every day.  No large groups or anything, just one at a time. 

It isn't a huge problem, as I have had real ant problems before in other houses -- but I'm looking for simple ways to solve the problem.  This is in a rental townhouse, it is very well kept up but was built in the 1970's. 

arebelspy

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Re: Sugar Ants!
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2014, 09:12:55 AM »
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
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Nords

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Re: Sugar Ants!
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2014, 09:54:43 AM »
No large groups or anything, just one at a time. 
Scouts.  The problem is that the nest is still full of growing & exploring ants, so they're always looking around no matter how clean hour kitchen is.  The trick is to kill enough of the nest that the scouts don't get over to your part of the territory for a while.

You could set out a tasty snack for them-- a mix of 5% boric acid in sugary water.  It's also sold in Wal-Mart and some convenience stores as Terro ant bait.

You could even have the house sprayed for termites with Termidor, which also knocks down the ant population for several months.

geekette

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Re: Sugar Ants!
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2014, 09:57:17 AM »
We've had off and on problems with tiny ants for decades.  I've had them swarm food I was reheating in the microwave - while it was running!  :: shudders ::

We tried an exterminator (expensive and didn't work) and sprays (HATE the smell, didn't work to keep them away).  What seems to work best is ant bait.

The first time I see one, I put out the ant bait, preferably the kind with both sweet and fat.  They take the poison home and within days, that bunch is gone.  It has greatly diminished the frequency and severity of their forays.  I was told way back that they come in looking for water, so we're braced for the usual summer drought.

Nubs

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Re: Sugar Ants!
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2014, 12:29:41 PM »
Thanks for the replies!  It's good to see what other people do.  I've had almost no success with ant traps -- but I'll try again with all of the above.   

swick

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Re: Sugar Ants!
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2014, 12:06:21 AM »
We use a mixture of borax and icing sugar wherever they come in (careful if you have pets) seems to work pretty well.

Also, laying down a line of peppermint essential oils where they are coming in works well too. I haven't tried it, but worked for my parents.

MayDay

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Re: Sugar Ants!
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2014, 06:18:18 AM »
We've had off and on problems with tiny ants for decades.  I've had them swarm food I was reheating in the microwave - while it was running!  :: shudders ::

We tried an exterminator (expensive and didn't work) and sprays (HATE the smell, didn't work to keep them away).  What seems to work best is ant bait.

The first time I see one, I put out the ant bait, preferably the kind with both sweet and fat.  They take the poison home and within days, that bunch is gone.  It has greatly diminished the frequency and severity of their forays.  I was told way back that they come in looking for water, so we're braced for the usual summer drought.

Regular old ant traps work for us too. 

I tried the sweet borax bate, which they love to eat, but apparently didn't kill them.  Plus I made a sticky mess all over the place.  The regular ant traps work for us.  As soon as I see one in the spring, I put two traps by each door (which is where they come in at our house) and change them out every month maybe.  Whenever I start eyeing them come in again.  Works for us. 

GuitarStv

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Re: Sugar Ants!
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2014, 11:32:41 AM »
If you feed them sugar water with food colouring, they can be a colourful decorative house feature!







arebelspy

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Re: Sugar Ants!
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2014, 11:37:29 AM »
Neat!
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

Nords

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Re: Sugar Ants!
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2014, 03:40:54 PM »
If you feed them sugar water with food colouring, they can be a colourful decorative house feature!
Whaddya do all day indeed!

darkk2b2

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Re: Sugar Ants!
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2014, 03:50:43 PM »
Yeah the ant traps would not work for me either, because they just would not be attracted to it. What ended up working for me was to open up the trap and mix the bait with syrup, then they go after it eagerly. 

TreeTired

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Re: Sugar Ants!
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2014, 06:05:54 PM »
20 mile team borax mixed with honey or jam as bait was incredibly effective. Ants disappeared so quickly and completely I wasn't quite sure it was the borax, but it was.   I use a small plate on a kitchen counter. If you put it on the floor you can poke holes in a used plastic cream cheese container to keep pets out. Wouldn't want kitty to eat it but it's not toxic.

Rural

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Re: Sugar Ants!
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2014, 09:58:55 PM »
I saw boric acid for cheap ($1) at Dollar Tree yesterday if you have those where you live.

TheRedGinger

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Re: Sugar Ants!
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2014, 04:19:19 AM »
We got rid of ants by using food grade diatomaceous earth.  Sprinkle a little around your door frames and inside the cupboard cracks or wherever else they are getting in and it kills them pretty quickly.  We use food grade because we have pets.

SingleMomDebt

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Re: Sugar Ants!
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2014, 01:15:47 PM »
If you feed them sugar water with food colouring, they can be a colourful decorative house feature!


Oy! That is pretty cool though. Just not in my house, please. haha.

We always picked up Chinese chalk at the swap meet. Cheap and was totally effective. Lined the cabinets an inside the cupboards where food items did not touch. Looks like Amazon has it.

Shropskr

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Re: Sugar Ants!
« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2014, 12:42:51 AM »
I feed them maple brown sugar malt o meal.

Sprinkle a bit where you see them outside.  They take it home eat it. It swells.  No more ant problem.

deborah

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Re: Sugar Ants!
« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2014, 12:52:29 AM »
Well I never! Actually, the food colouring wouldn't work here, as the ants don't have transparent backs like little light globes. Pity! It would be a fun thing to try. Can you get them to have all the colours of the rainbow, by just putting out the primary colours, and getting them to drink more than one?

Fantastic!

GuitarStv

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Re: Sugar Ants!
« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2014, 06:01:14 AM »
Judging by my experiments finger painting at the age of two, when you mix all the colours together you invariably get a shade I refer to as 'poo brown'.  :P   YMMV.