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Thread: Serious ant problem - have tried everything but can't get under control

  1. #1
    Pea-utiful... Peabrain's Avatar
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    Default Serious ant problem - have tried everything but can't get under control

    Hi all,

    I have been dealing with ants for about 4 months... Over that time, I have researched and used every humane method I can find (including the ones on another thread here);


    • using various spices (such as cinnamon), bicarbonate of powder, mint oils, garlic, vinegar etc (this list isn't exhaustive) to make barriers
    • using more vinegar, then after that bleach, to clean floors to cover pheromone trails
    • keeping everything super clean
    • making sure there's no open food sources
    • putting a food source outside of the house to tempt them away from the inside (quite far away so they'd be more likely to set up camp in the garden rather than in the house)
    • finding EVERY little nook and cranny possible and filling/covering them (this took a LOT of time as they kept finding new ones)
    • sweeping the ants trapped inside the house and letting them out in the garden (the number of ants I've done this with now easily reaches the hundreds if not thousands)
    • at one point a huge amount of them got drowned in a sewage leak we had in April (which some of you may remember had my whole family violently ill with vomiting and diarrhoea for 3 weeks), which was then promptly followed with a super strong cleansing with bleach etc, but EVEN THEN they came back!!!


    Unfortunately, even though each remedy SEEMED to work, eventually they would come back, and I'd try the remedies again but it's almost as if they didn't care this time around!

    We are now at a point where there are THOUSANDS upon thousands ALL OVER the place. They live INSIDE the wall of the kitchen and they are just impossible to contain, there are walking ones and flying ones everywhere, and every time we fill the holes they find another, we have them walking over the counters, all over the freezer and in the filaments/motor workings of it etc, and we've had to remove everything from that side of the kitchen full stop, because they're just uncontrollable... As it is, the flying ones are now coming out of the kitchen (albeit only a few) and I can forsee this could spill into others parts of the house...

    It's got to the point where, even though our ants don't seem to be the kind that bites, they are a threat because they walk over all kinds of shite (especially since they live close to the point where the sewage had entered the house) and to have them walking all over (clean) dishes, counter tops and food, is not safe...

    We've just tried one last go at filling all the holes we can reach (which are under/behind all the sink and kitchen cupboards) with silicone, but so far this only stops them temporarily and they find other (invisible to the naked eye) holes to come through... Cross fingers that won't be the case this time...

    However, as I don't expect it to work, if they appear again, I am now leaning towards the "as far as practical and possible" part of the vegan definition and considering pest control (well, it's really my husband that was considering ant killer, and my thought was that pest control could also deal with PREVENTION after the dirty deed is done, so that more ants don't have to suffer the same fate)... But it's really REALLY hard to feel that this is enough of a reason for me to do the un-vegan thing (albeit, if I don't do it, my husband will).

    I genuinely don't know what else I can do though.

    Has any body got ANY ideas, or has anyone had to get pest control in before?

    What's a vegan to do?
    Last edited by Peabrain; Aug 11th, 2013 at 09:43 AM.

  2. #2
    Bad Buddhist Clueless Git's Avatar
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    Default Re: HELP! Serious ant problem - have tried EVERYTHING but can't get under contro

    Oh dear!

    Sounds like your ants have no direct access to the outdoors, PB.

    (Mine do, so I put food (my food recycling bin) outdoors and bleach the routes they come indoors by)

    Is it possible to try this?

    1. Make holes from the outside of the house to their nest

    2. Put ant-nosh there

    3. Then block and/or bleach all inside routes

    Just an idea!
    All done in the best possible taste ...

  3. #3
    Pea-utiful... Peabrain's Avatar
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    Default Re: Serious ant problem - have tried everything but can't get under control.

    Good idea CS, unfortunately it's an internal wall and the only way I can see to get them a route outside would be to literally dig a tunnel underground...

    However, our most recent hole blocking attempts seem - so far - to have stopped them coming into the kitchen, so perhaps they have found a way outside themselves (after all, they must've got inside somehow)... I just can't see where so I wouldn't know where to put the ant nosh.

    Cross your fingers this works, because hubby wants to put down ant killer if they turn up again.

  4. #4
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Serious ant problem - have tried everything but can't get under control.

    Fingers crossed - I would guess they do have a way out, it's probably just that your kitchen has better amenities

  5. #5
    Bad Buddhist Clueless Git's Avatar
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    Default Re: Serious ant problem - have tried everything but can't get under control.

    Quote Peabrain View Post
    Good idea CS, unfortunately it's an internal wall ...
    !!!!

    Reluctantly I think you may have to concede to exterminating them PB.

    If they have no access to the big outdoors the flying ants, the new Queens, will only be able to set up new colonies in new locations inside of your house anyway.

    May be the lesser of two evils to exterminate one nest now than have to exterminate numerous nests next season.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote harpy View Post
    Fingers crossed - I would guess they do have a way out, it's probably just that your kitchen has better amenities
    Washing machine and tumble dryer to keep their little ant-pants nice and clean and fluffy?
    All done in the best possible taste ...

  6. #6
    Pea-utiful... Peabrain's Avatar
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    Default Re: Serious ant problem - have tried everything but can't get under control.

    Quote Cupid Stunt View Post
    Washing machine and tumble dryer to keep their little ant-pants nice and clean and fluffy?
    lol...

    So far the little buggers seem to have stayed away, so I'm hoping as far as hope can go, that I won't have to, but I daresay you may be right. I found one or two flying ones elsewhere in the house (apart from that, when I was blocking the holes they kept flying in my face and getting in my hair! eeeeeeewwwwww), and one even managed to get upstairs on the bedroom door.

    But I did evict those ones, and as I say the colony must have had a route into the depths of the house in the first place, so hopefully they can get out....

    Gah!

  7. #7
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Serious ant problem - have tried everything but can't get under control.

    Heheh, yes I've heard they are very fastidious creatures CS.

    Sounds promising Pb! Hope they will concede defeat at this point.

  8. #8
    Pea-utiful... Peabrain's Avatar
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    Default Re: Serious ant problem - have tried everything but can't get under control.

    Yes (great video - very endearing), and they are very protective of each other too... At one point a few months back, I spied a lil ant dragging what I thought was food along the skirting board, then I looked closer and saw it was another ant! I was amazed at how they would take their wounded back to the nest instead of leaving them. So sweet. That's why I don't want to smite them if at all possible.

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    deniselynn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Serious ant problem - have tried everything but can't get under control.

    I am not sure that it was taking the wounded back to the nest for nursing...more like dinner.

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    Pea-utiful... Peabrain's Avatar
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    Default Re: Serious ant problem - have tried everything but can't get under control.

    Ewwwwwwww! LOL...

  11. #11
    Pea-utiful... Peabrain's Avatar
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    Default Re: Serious ant problem - have tried everything but can't get under control.

    I decided to look it up, and found it's actually a bit more like infection control:http://www.antweb.org/antblog/2010/0...perris-ca.html

    Well, that is with dead ants... But injured ones apparently they do save their own colony members but may actually attack members of other colonies!

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    Default Re: Serious ant problem - have tried everything but can't get under control.

    Ah ok, good to know! I know I have seen an ant carrying away a dead ant of another kind.
    Last edited by deniselynn; Jul 22nd, 2013 at 04:18 PM.

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    Pea-utiful... Peabrain's Avatar
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    Default Re: Serious ant problem - have tried everything but can't get under control.

    Well, so far so good. I'm happy to report that they haven't reappeared yet. *crosses fingers*

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    Pea-utiful... Peabrain's Avatar
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    Default Re: Serious ant problem - have tried everything but can't get under control.

    Sadly, I am here to report they have since twice made a re-emergence.

    The first time I just covered more holes (jeez these little blighters are clever and persistent), and I thought I'd be okay... But have since had a HUGE swarm, and as I'd also had a bite from something (apparently it could well be from one of the black flying ants - they were going in my hair and flying at people's faces! Eek!) which caused a 4 inch long trail of speckled bleeding under the skin along the vein line (which has now turned all sorts of purple, yellow, and green and was so weird I thought it was septicaemia at first), it seemed the only choice really was to exterminate...

    Which I did.

    Even since then, we've had the remaining ones find their way outside (so apparently they DID have a way to get out of the house - I still can't see where though), then they tried to come back in around the door so we blocked the edges.

    I have very much NOT enjoyed this debacle.

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    Default Re: Serious ant problem - have tried everything but can't get under control

    Peabrain
    I know I'm late here but have you tried citronella? Insects tend not to like the strong smell of it and we managed to get rid of some indoor ants by spraying it liberally around their area.
    The other thing you could do, is hoover up around where they are and then empty your hoover outside. This way you tend not to kill the ants, just make them incredibly dizzy or stunned.
    They are fascinating, and I study and photo them quite a lot. This year there seem to be a lot more around, along with houseflies. There must be a lack of their normal predators.

  16. #16
    Pea-utiful... Peabrain's Avatar
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    Default Re: Serious ant problem - have tried everything but can't get under control

    Yeah, I tried all sorts of natural, non-lethal oils, powders and sprays, and they WORKED too! The trouble is, after a certain period of time, for some reason the ants became impervious to all of them. I don't really understand why...

    I also swept up and/or vacuumed the stragglers and put them outside, but honestly, everything I tried was only temporarily effective.

    It makes me wonder if they have a much higher intelligence than we think...

    Sadly, as I say, once they were crawling and flying all over the place and then I got bitten (which resulted in a huge bruise where the blood had seeped out of the vein - 4 inches along the length of my arm!), I had to take the hard line.

    But I've also continued to try to deter any more future infestations so hopefully I won't have to do it again.

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