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Getting rid of ants without harsh chemicals

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Joshua Dorkin Verified Donor

BiggerPockets Founder from Denver, Colorado

Apr 06 '10, 12:49 AM


Hey guys -
I've got a small ant problem and want to get rid of them without all the chemicals, sprays, etc. Does anyone have any effective techniques that work to get rid of them?


Edited Jun 26 2010, 12:22


Medium_bp-squareJoshua Dorkin, BiggerPockets
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Preston Guyton

Residential Real Estate Agent from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Apr 06 '10, 01:19 AM


Seems like I heard over the years from my grandmother that rice will work. Not sure if it is true or not. It might be one of those old wives tales...


Edited Jun 26 2010, 12:22


Christopher Davis Donor

Real Estate Investor from St. Louis, Missouri

Apr 06 '10, 05:53 AM


My aunt ..(.seriously no pun intended) was just telling my sister on Easter about using cinnamon. She said they won't cross it or somethinglike that .
You could probably google it I guess.


Edited Jun 26 2010, 12:22


P NW

OR

Apr 06 '10, 06:06 AM
1 vote


The only thing I've ever found that works is powdered sugar mixed with boric acid (not boraxo) about 2/3 sugar to 1/3 boric acid.

It's poison, so place where pets and kids can't get it.

The ants carry it away, so it isn't there very long. I place it on the ant hill and put an excercise pen around it so my dogs don't get it. The dogs aren't attracted to eat it, but can get it on their feet and lick their feet.

For the kitchen, you can place it under the sink and under the stove and fridge so kids can't get into it.

It takes a couple of weeks to kill all the ants, but it will wipe them out.

Spectracide Bug Stop is a long term control, so if you get desperate, spray it where the ants are getting in and it stops them long term. They claim up to 9 months control. The stuff works on ants and flour weevils, might work on spiders.

It does not stain paint, or any flooring that I've put it on so far. Just spray it where your kids aren't going to be touching.


Edited Jun 26 2010, 12:22


Steven Horvath

Real Estate Investor from houston, Texas

Apr 11 '10, 12:00 PM
1 vote


I just throw a cup of sugar in my neighboors yard.


Edited Jun 26 2010, 12:26


Dave Grosse

Wholesaler from Belleville, Illinois

Apr 11 '10, 12:04 PM


peppermint essential oil - just rub it around where they are entering the house if you can find it.

its very strong and will burn your eyes if you don't wash them after handling it so be careful. its also a great digestive tonic and great for sore muscles.


Edited Jun 26 2010, 12:26


Joshua Dorkin Verified Donor

BiggerPockets Founder from Denver, Colorado

Apr 11 '10, 02:05 PM


Have you tried the peppermint oil, Dave? I'm assuming it is pretty effective . . . is it just a barrier that they won't cross?


Edited Jun 26 2010, 12:26


Medium_bp-squareJoshua Dorkin, BiggerPockets
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Amber P.

Property Manager from Zionsville, Indiana

Apr 11 '10, 09:27 PM


My mom has used borax laundry detergent for years. It kills them. She will line the edges of the walls and counters with the powder and they walk through it and carry it back to their hills and it kills them out. It takes a week or so, but is effective.


Edited Jun 26 2010, 12:26


Bill Gulley

Real Estate Investor from Springfield, Missouri

Apr 11 '10, 10:20 PM


Hi, Amber my mom used that and it took awhile but worked! Now here is another issue, fire ants. If you have those critters, take a shovel and pick up some and put them on another pile of them. They are seperate nests and they will kill each other off! Bill


Edited Jun 26 2010, 12:26


Tim W. Donor

Inspector from Tampa, FL

Apr 12 '10, 07:35 AM


Originally posted by Financexaminer:
If you have those critters, take a shovel and pick up some and put them on another pile of them. They are seperate nests and they will kill each other off! Bill


That actually sounds like a lot of fun. Like applying Saul Alinsky tactics to pest control


Edited Jun 26 2010, 12:27


Jim Wineinger

Real Estate Investor from ten mile, Tennessee

Apr 12 '10, 12:59 PM
2 votes


Originally posted by Financexaminer:
Hi, Amber my mom used that and it took awhile but worked! Now here is another issue, fire ants. If you have those critters, take a shovel and pick up some and put them on another pile of them. They are seperate nests and they will kill each other off! Bill

FIRE ANTS

Here's a really sneaky way to get rid of fire ants. (All's fair in love and the war against insect pests.) The only way to get rid of an infestation is to assassinate the queen. Wait until a dry spell is about to end. Sprinkle instant grits on the fire ant hill. The workers will carry the grits to the queen for her royal meal. She'll eat the grits and when it rains, she'll drink. And that's what will kill her. The grits will expand in her stomach and she'll "bloat" to death. Once she's out of the way, the leaderless ants will die off. (This suggestion came courtesy of the Tightwad Gazette II book.)



Edited Jun 26 2010, 12:27


Jason Wheeler

Real Estate Investor from Pleasant Hill, California

Apr 12 '10, 03:07 PM


Once when I had a bad ant problem I followed the track to the nest and put out one of those traps where the ants take bait back to the queen and in about a week the entire nest was destroyed. You can buy them for a buck or two at any hardware store.


Edited Jun 26 2010, 12:27


Frank Adams

Loveland, CO

Apr 12 '10, 09:53 PM


The easiest, most effective ant control I've ever found was one I heard on the former garden guy on the radio in Houston. Mix MINT JELLY (it really has to be mint jelly?) with BORIC ACID, cut some 1 inch by 1 inch squares of light cardboard, like shirt cardboard and make a thin SANDWICH out of the paste.

Put these around the kitchen and bath, inside of cabinets, very effective.

BTW, the "mix some from another pile" thing with fire ants actually doesn't work. I spent 30 years in TX where they were like the state pet. You've got to kill the QUEEN.

frank


Edited Jun 26 2010, 12:27


Bill Gulley

Real Estate Investor from Springfield, Missouri

Apr 12 '10, 10:10 PM
1 vote


LOL, getting rid of the fire ants is kinda fun! The step I left out is that you need two or more hills and you need to take enough from one hill and put on another, you also have to take some from that hill and put them on the others. It's mixing the all up and in alrge enough quanities. It's too bad the little armies don't wear uniforms so you know who is who in the battle, lol, but if there are enough say from two hills on one, they will get to the queen, as mentioned, that's the key to them dying off. I had these critters in my back yard in Louisianna, a couple days later they were all gone, maybe the survivors just moved on, don't know, but I didn't have a problem. Maybe the Texan ants didn't have sufficient numbers in the battle to be effective as history has shown us. Bill


Edited Jun 26 2010, 12:27 by Bill Gulley


Terri Pour-Rastegar

Real Estate Investor from Charlotte NC, Fort Mill SC, Lake Wylie SC, South Carolina

Apr 18 '10, 02:18 AM


The best thing that works for me (although I'll admit it isn't a non-poison option) is to use those little black ant bait stations. You can stick them all along their little trail (walls, counters, the underneath of cabinets, etc.). The ants take the bait back to the colony and it kills off the group. It's a really quick fix too--usually, the ants disappear in a few days.


Edited Jun 26 2010, 12:31


Ken Mafli

Feb 02 '11, 03:39 AM


Terri mentions a great solution - ant bait. Terro is the best product for that. What Terro uses, however, is simple borax and sugar water. You can buy borax at any hardware store, mix it with the most appropriate bait for your type of ant (sugar water, grease, or peanut butter), put it in tin foil cups - and you have a better product for a third of the price... A great website for this is www.antsgetrid.com. Hope that helps :D



Aaron McGinnis

Real Estate Investor from Atlanta, Georgia

Feb 02 '11, 07:37 AM


Another vote for Terro. Ants eat it up and it kills the queen... I have knocked out some serious Argentine ant colonies (which can grow to be ENORMOUS) using Terro.



Just Don

Feb 02 '11, 07:54 AM
1 vote


Havent seen the suggestion of dimaciuos earth (sp). It is the active ingredient of 20 mule team borax,,,also is a natural organic farmers friend since its approved for killing insects in organic grain.

Also known as silica sand. It is very lite and fluffy,,harmless to pets and humans,even rated as food grade edible.

It is abrasive to insects only, scratchs there endoskin and causes them to dehydrate. Great stuff for spreading around a home for insect control. Inside and out. It feels like talc powder.



Charles Perkins

Landlord from Seattle, Washington

Feb 06 '11, 05:48 AM


I'm also looking at solutions for killing small black ants in my mothers home. I have no idea where they are coming from perhaps they have a nest inside the walls, but they are getting everywhere. My mother-in-law keeps a clean home but they still come out to play.

I will try the 20,000 mule train which I have had other recommend as well. Basically it is borax based.



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