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Thread: OT - Teeny tiny ants
08-18-2008, 10:57 AM #1
OT - Teeny tiny ants
Over about the last 3 weeks we have had teeny tiny ants around our kitchen sink...smallest ants I've ever seen. From what I can find online they are either Thief or Pharoah ants. Some sites suggested hydramethylnon, so about 3 weeks ago I put out some bait stations with that stuff. I know they nibbled on it (can see little pock-marks in the surface of the bait gel, while the unused ones are smooth), but hasn't seemed to have any effect (package says it can take up to 2 weeks). Maybe it just takes longer than they say?
Also tried some other liquid stuff (Terro?) that you put on pieces of paper, but they ignore it completely, so I guess they are not sweet-eating ants. Years ago we had other "normal size" ants near our front door and this stuff worked great.
Any other ideas of what to try? Would like to stick with the bait station concept if at all possible. Thanks.
08-18-2008, 11:04 AM #2
08-18-2008, 11:14 AM #3
Go to Lowes and pick up a bottle of "Hot Shot". It comes in a gallon bottle with an attachable spray head. Where ever you spray it, you won't see any insects or ants for 9 months. I cleared everything where I sprayed and let it dry before replacing things. I do it every year a couple of times. Gene
08-19-2008, 03:35 PM #4
John, my experience with these smaller than small ants is that they gravitate to
moisture. Look for roof leaks, gutter problems if you have short eves, water
supply leaks or constant condensation on pips and gray water drain leaks as well.
In a previous life, I did home and office remodeling. I would come across these
ants once in a while or a customer would complain of them. Where I saw them,
they were rarely far from an out side wall. Always hard to get rid of. Laying
poison, not bate traps, in side and out would get rid of them, but they would
be back the next year. Always in the same place. I laid poisoned three years in
a row at one house before I understood the reason they were coming back. The
ants were there when the roof was being re shingled, but a week later, no ants.
Even eleven years later, no ants. It was an old roof and many of the rafters showed
signs of weeping at that wall of the house.
Ah Mike, ""smell like "ant"" ???
08-19-2008, 04:26 PM #5
I found a review of the Terro stuff where someone tried it and it didn't seem to work. They then thought that maybe the ants just didn't realize it was there (they are so small they would go under the paper), so they took a toothpick and dragged it through the drop of liquid to bring a trail to the edge of the paper. Then the ants were able to find it and it worked. So I tried the same thing last night, and this morning there were a bunch of ants on the paper feeding. Hopefully it works out. Don't know if this means they are Pharoah ants, as Thief ants are supposed to be grease-eating rather than sweet-eating.
Jim, the kitchen sink/counter does run along an outside wall. I haven't really looked around outside yet though for signs of a nest. The house is only 7 years old so I hope there aren't any moisture problems. I have checked under the sink a few times but haven't seen many ants under there...mostly on top. The counter backsplash meets the bottom of the window trim, and it does seem like their "trail" takes them between there, so they may be going outside, or the nest is in the wall somewhere.
08-19-2008, 04:31 PM #6
I have pets in my house and a few reptiles in the yard, so I hate to use any poisons. I do take great delight in using my propane weed burner though.
08-19-2008, 06:31 PM #7
08-19-2008, 06:48 PM #8
Many,many moons ago my grandmother called them sugar ants.Her formula for getting rid of them consisted of pure borax, sugar mixed with water and put in a Coca Cola bottle cap.Worked every time.
08-19-2008, 10:00 PM #9
We had some very small ants around the sink this summer, and had all kinds of trouble getting rid of these thing. Taro has worked in the past with the larger ones, but these ants got stuck in on it. We ended up trying Raids "Double Control Ant Bait 2". And it seemed to do the trick. The back says it contains Avermectin, whatever that is.
My wife had recently read that ants cannot digest corn meal and it causes them to die. Folk lore?
08-19-2008, 11:23 PM #10
Corn meal I dunno, but what we called "p*ss ants" in Texas could not take cream of wheat.. the idea being they eat it, it combines with the moisture in their gut, and, well, a real small "blammo" as the cream of wheat swells. I think it only works on half the ant world though, whether it's grease eaters or sugar eaters, I can't tell ya.
08-20-2008, 12:40 AM #11
Do you know what has 4 legs & eats ants ? 2 Uncles
08-20-2008, 12:41 AM #12
Do you know what has 4 legs & eats ants? 2 Uncles
08-20-2008, 07:38 AM #13
I’ve heard them referred to as sugar ants also. Seems fitting because they are really attracted to sugar. I also use Terro. The active ingredient in Terro is borax. I don’t know how well Terro works. One thing I do know is that after you put some Terro out, you know the exact location of all the ants. They are all huddled around the Terro. It may take a week or so for the ants to cart off a couple of drops of Terro and until the Terro is all gone they are interested in nothing else.
08-20-2008, 08:51 AM #14
Did not see any ants this morning, so looks like the Terro is working.
Last night when I checked the bait, the "trails" that I had made from the center droplet to the edges of the paper were gone so I made new ones. Those trails were also gone this morning so I'm assuming more ants were feeding last night.
The Grant's baits I tried seemed to have no effect after 2 weeks, while the Terro looks like it took care of it in about 30 hours, but I'll keep the bait out for a couple more days to be sure.
08-20-2008, 10:50 AM #15
I have had ant problems for three out of four years now in my home, it has not been moisture inside as much as either dry weather outside (looking for moisture of any type inside), or this summer TOO MUCH moisture. last year things were good though. Both Black ants and the little "sweet ants". This past july I had so darned many that they would walk right across my hands and feet while I was working away on the computer, and they would join us for breakfast in the kitchen.
Finally went to battle with them.
A few things. I contacted a pest control guru who works for the business I am employed at - which gets ants by the quadragazillions (kids leave ant food all about). He gave me ideas which I list here that worked.
First, look for any food scraps anywhere where they keep coming in. They seemed to hit the kitchen under the stove, my daughters bedroom, the laundry room, heat room and my office. Turns out they loved the little crumbs dropped from toast or just the cursory sweepig off of a counter by hand. Vaccuumed the heck out of the kitchen and kept it that way. The heat room has a floor drain in it. solved that problem, tell you in a bit. The laundry room, it was the occassional wet towel left on the floor. My office is right next to the heat room but on an outside wall with an electrical connection to the outside - sealed that one right off. My daughters room was like the Ant "Garden or Eden", for she left open and unfinished drinks around, plates not cleaned, towels, old clothes - Anyone here have a teenage daughter - you get the picture.
Second. I hit around the foundation with Andro or Eliminator and even a spray like a common ant and roach killer. The andro/eliminate/diazianon about four feet out, the spray right on the foundation wall and about four inches out. The ants drag through it and get covered. Inside, having pets and little grand children, I tried all the "revenge" and terro things, to no avail. Finally, I got some "pantry dust", and put it out in the cracks by walls, under cabinets and the stove, on the inner foundation wall near the sill or the joint of the wall and studding (mine is a 1/2 to 2/3 wall type of thing with windows at the four foot mark on one side, full on the back side). Though "pantry dust" is food safe and supposed to be alright around kids, I kept it pretty secluded and isolated and let everyone know where it was.
Third - I sprayed ant and roach spray under the baseboard heaters in some rooms, paying special attention to where the heat plumbing came through walls. I also hit vents under the eves and such to get a bit "into the walls" and under the floor. I also hit the floor drain several times with this spray.
Fourth, I hit my garden borders (if you have the plastic stuff, rail ties or rocks, ants just love these things) and curbs at the driveway with ant spray. We had a lot of rain, so this was minimal in terms of "staying" for dogs and kids. I also live on a forest line, so I hit that ten feet back with Diazianon NOT just for ants but for ticks and skeeters (Lyme in our area, especially this year with a breeding season extended by cool and wet weather)
I got away from the Terro's and revenge due to the 'sweet' base that MAY attract kids and dogs to licking them. Once again for all of this - being aware of the kids and dogs around and a wife who is a bit chemically sensitive (according to her, but she sometimes wears a perfume that smells like RAID, but I digress....)
Lots of little ant carcasses for five days, lots of sweeping. Nothing hanging around now. Though I "went to war" with the little buggers . Oh, I also went back after this and cleaned up most of the "poisons" that could be left and turn into issues.
I really think it was, in the end though, the cleaning of food scraps, getting towels and clothes that would hold humidity off of floors, cleaning the "Ant Garden of Eden", and mopping floors and doing a major extraction of carpets that did it. Got rid of the attractant and cleaned up ant trails. The rest was just to get rid of the current generation that was there in the first place.
Been ant free since the end of july - so I hope - until things digress again.