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Ants Ants and yet more ants

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
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by topcat on July 18, 2005 01:12 PM
And they aren't on my plants either, but I thought someone could help me get rid of these pests and keep them gone! I have put out ant traps in child/animal safe areas in my house but still every time I turn around there are more of them. They have taken to hiding on my desk and launching themselves at me when I am not looking.

[shocked]
by MaryReboakly on July 18, 2005 11:42 PM
Topcat - I feel your pain. I've been battling them for at least a month now - My problem is I can't get to the colony. Can you follow them to see where they're going? I know there are several different things you can do then - including dumping boiling water on the nest. As far as getting rid of them if you can't get to their nest...well...I'll sit here with you while we wait for someone to answer! [Wink]

I've been organic in my garden - with this one exception. I tried granuals that are supposed to stop fleas/ticks/ants. Well, I haven't had any fleas or ticks but the ants march right over this stuff - I wouldn't mind if they werent marching right up my foundation and under my siding...of course I'm bug phobic and I'm so sure they're eating me out of house and home -- literally!

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by topcat on July 19, 2005 12:45 AM
Thanks I am bug phobic too. Having said that I see the ants coming in but I don't see them going out. I did find a nest outside under my fence, my son sprayed the heck out of it, but there are still ants in the house.

One of the members pmd me a site that will help you identify the type of ant and actions to manage them I will post it at the bottom.

One of my problems is that I have guinea pigs so there is always some food out(pellets, hay), I can't put it away at nite because they need to have food available or there stomach starts to shut down.

anyway here is the link
http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7411.html

hope that works, it is a great site
by ktoad on July 19, 2005 07:56 AM
My suggestion isn't exactly organic-friendly, but I agree the ants have been worse than usual this year and I've had to take tough measures. It's all due to the soil being too moist, I believe. They are being drowned from 3 yrs. of rain so they come UP to us more prevalently.

Mind you - before you hear my solution, keep in mind that I am a novice gardener, but I work in the contruction trade so I know insects and molds are thriving. Plus, my veterinarian says many animals are now getting skin allergies as a result of the mosses in the soil.

So, inside my house I used the ant traps you mentioned. Didn't perform like they normally would. So I sprinkled Sevin all around the foundation of my house - but just before a heavy rain so the dogs don't get sick. Also, when I saw a line of ants outside, I zapped them with WD-40. Zap the whole line. They haven't been in here in weeks.

Kelley
by MaryReboakly on July 19, 2005 10:13 AM
Wow Kelley - you mentioned animals having skin allergies because of the dampness this year. I have a cat we have been calling bald @ss because he's licked himself almost bald! The vet chalked it up to nerves back in the spring. Interesting...

But anyway, on your ant solutions...I'm organic as long as I can be...I mean, I really want to be...but once I get freaked about something eating my house, I kinda lose it and will go chemical. We put out about 10 ant baits on the kitchen counter - we still get them in the kitchen. This is separate from the ant trail going under the siding...though that is also outside the kitchen...but there are hundreds there, and only about 20 or so make it to the kitchen counter. I don't know where the others are going, or what they're eating.

topcat - my ants are going in and out...and they're going out with something...just can't tell what it is they have. It's white-ish, so I'm thinking its not wood...I just can't imagine what it is - unless they will eat drywall? hmm... Thanks for the link, it was helpful and I've got it bookmarked. The guinea pig thing is a problem...wish I could think of something you could do with that.

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by topcat on July 19, 2005 02:32 PM
If its whiteish then it is probably sugar, which they are attracted to, I seem to have fewer ants tonite but that may be because I have gotten heavy handed with my daughter about cleaning up when she spills juice and food.

We shall see.
by RugbyHukr on July 19, 2005 09:49 PM
The white could be larvae if they are moving their nest.

ant larvae

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by MaryReboakly on July 20, 2005 06:56 AM
Hmm...could be - do they carry it out in their mouths (or mandibles or whatever they're called)? They're pretty small - hard to see if they're round-ish like larvae. They look more like bread crumbs to me - kind of irregularly shaped...though I can't imagine that there are bread crumbs under my siding [Frown] I really wouldnt mind them - if I knew they weren't hurting the house, yaknow? I wish I knew for sure if they were sugar ants - I think they are - they're not huge like (I think) carpenter ants.

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by ktoad on July 20, 2005 10:27 AM
Mary, I feel for your cat's baldness. Does the cat go out? If so, I would put stock in the grass molds. 'Course, even still, as contractors we are seeing molds invade the home do to the outside soil. I know I found some in mine that was never there before.

Regardless, if your cat is still uncomfortable, I would recommend asking your vet what an appropriate dose of Benadryl would be for that particular feline (if cats can even take it?). My affected pet is a 65 lb. lab mix, so the dosage I was told would not apply to you. Steroids are another option, but who wants that? If the case is severe, however, that's where one has to start to apply relief.

Kelley
by MaryReboakly on July 20, 2005 11:14 AM
Kelley, Yes, he's an outdoor cat - he drives us nuts until we let him out..and then he lays in the darnedest places. I probably should take him back to the vet - it's been a few months now, and he's still licking like crazy. I had chiggers twice already this summer - and I feel so bad for him now. I know that itching was enough to drive me insane(er)! They gave us amitriptelyne (anti-anxiety) but it didn't seem to help on those few occasions I could actually get him to take it...and he was just lethargic all the time. I wish we could keep him in-but he refuses to allow that to happen!

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by topcat on July 20, 2005 12:44 PM
My dd spilt some sugar today and didn't clean it up properly so now the ants are in the bathroom/sewing room, she will be doing lots of floor washing tomorrow.

Mary I take Amitriptyline, for my fibro, it helps me sleep. Here in Canada it is marketed as an Anti Depressant. Nice to know pets can take it as well.
by MaryReboakly on July 20, 2005 01:18 PM
Yep - at one time I took it too. These are very low dosage pills - I believe they're .5 mg or so. I thought it was interesting too that cats can also take it - as well as dogs. I did some research when we got it.

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by ktoad on July 21, 2005 09:09 AM
Steroids certainly work - There's pretty much NO question in the medical community that they do the trick. But they are such a double edged sword - for all the good they do, they are not without bad side effects either. I can't imagine anyone WANTING them unless seriously necessary.

Personally I've never taken any, but as a LONG time pet owner I've had to administer them to 3 dogs over time. Once was to heal from being hit by a car, once was used seasonally due to allergies that would not respond to Benadryl, And lastly was just a quick dose to get my current lab some relief so he could finish out his allergy attack on a maintenance dose of benadryl.

I also belong to a pets bulletin board and sometimes we get off topic, but I don't think that talking about grass molds is off topic on a gardening board. I think the same hazzards that affect our plants are the same one's that affect he pets. Maybe all of us.

Kelley
by MaryReboakly on July 21, 2005 09:38 AM
I agree that grass molds would certainly fit on a gardening forum [Wink] I know I've been affected by what I believe to be allergies this year - though I've never had them before. I did recently relocate to S. Il from NY, but was here for the summer last year and wasn't affected. Anyway, my point was what affects our pets can definitely also have an effect on us.

Ants seem to be going nuts this year for me - though I don't have anything to compare it to - so I was glad to read here that there seemed to be a larger ant population for others as well. Started to wonder if that was just how it was in 'the country'!

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by The Plant Doc on July 30, 2005 09:50 PM
Ortho has a great product call Home Pest Control it is fantastic on ants. Just follow the directions.

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Mike Maier
aka
The Plant Doc
by topcat on July 31, 2005 12:44 AM
Ok can you give me a little more info on that, I am in Canada and it may be different name here.

I have discovered another problem with them, can anyone plleasse telly me why they cogregate inside my washing machine? Everytime I go to do laundry which is usually every day or two my machine is full of them, so before I can do laundry I have to spend 10mins trying to kill the ones that arent' low enough to get with the hot water, then rinse it out with hot water and then do laundry and if I have to leave a load of laundry in the machine over nite it has to be re rinsed.

Help please I have most of the rest of the house just about ant free, except for this!!
by LSRidgeCrandall on August 05, 2005 11:58 AM
I just skimmed what had already been posted so if your trouble with ants is keeping them away sprinkle cinnamon around whatever you want them away from. We've used it along the patio door at my daughter's apt. and it's kept them away.
by MaryReboakly on August 05, 2005 02:15 PM
I'll try cinnamon - I've tried just about everything else it seems - They disappeared while it was really hot but they're back now, and they're coming with more and more of a fury! [tears] Frustrating!

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by topcat on August 05, 2005 02:33 PM
as fast as I get rid of them in one part of the house they come in from somewhere else!! I will try the cinnamon too and see if it will work.

I have cleaned my washer every day before doing laundry and rinse it with vinegar afterwards and still it is crawling with them.

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