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BobAristide 12-24-2009 08:32 AM

Strong Ants, can't get rid of.
I have 3 types of ants in my house, 3 sizes. The smallest ones ( barely visible, 1/16" ) love the product "Protectall" ( active ingredient Orthoboric Acid ) which they take to the queen and in a matter of days they disappear for months. Then I have medium size ants ( about 1/8" ) and a large ( 1/4" )type that are aware of me and only come out at night. I tried "Protectall" and "Terro" ( sodium teraborate ) to these 2 types but they don't eat it. I tried to find Boric acid ( part of the above 2 products ) and mix it with food or honey but no1 sells it around here. I sprayed all kids of products but those work for just a few days.
Any suggestion for removing the colonies?

BobAristide 12-24-2009 03:47 PM


Very odd. In the past they loved honey when I put some on a piece of paper to "train" them to eat there. Now...they won't eat anything.
Confused! :confused:

Nestor_Kelebay 12-24-2009 10:58 PM


Ants love strawberry jello. I watched a TV show about how bugs communicate, and ants like anything with sugar in it, but when given a choice of many sweet foods, it was the sweet jellos that were their favoriate. It's believed that jellow is both soft enough for them to eat rapidly and easy for them to regurgitate once they get back to the colony.

You might consider borrowing a trick from Mother Nature. If you look closely, about the only thing that ever grows under a pine, spruce or fir tree are the hardiest weeds that will grow in the most inhabitable of locations. Coniferous trees have a secret weapon they use against bugs and faster growing plants that would shade them from the Sun. As they grow, the lower branches and the needles on those lower branches fall off. Those needles have a chemical in them that makes them taste acidic, but that chemical dissolves into the ground around the tree, and it prevents bugs and other plants from growing or living in that ground.

I used to have a problem with sow bugs living on the north east side of my building. That side was always in the shade, and so when it rained, it would take a long time for the ground there to dry up. Sow bugs like wet conditions, so there was always sow bugs getting into the apartments on that corner of the building. About 10 years ago, I liberated some discarded Christmas trees from a place here in Winnipeg that people can discard their Christmas trees. I cut off the branches and set down a thick bed of them on that side of my building. By summer, all the needles had dried up and fallen off those branches, which I gathered up and disposed of. What was left behind was a bed of pine needles on the ground on one side of my building. I just let those needles rot in the wet ground.

And, since then, there's never been any sow bugs (or any other kind of bug so far as I can see) getting into the apartments on that side of my building.

I believe the chemicals in the pine needles make the ground undesireable to bugs and plants that would otherwise live in good fertile soil. To a pine tree, that's an advantage because the rotting pine needles at it's base ensure that the pine tree has a place to grow where it won't be shaded by faster growing plants, or have to contend with bugs that might bore into it's bark.

Your ants are just out looking for food. Most likely they live in the ground around (or under) your house. I would try putting down a bed of coniferous tree needles around (and under) your house to make them want to move to more desireable ground.

handyguys 12-25-2009 09:27 AM

one good way to minimize their impact is to eliminate all food and water sources. Clean up well and even dry out sink after using it. That's really tough with kids and pets but is effective. If there is nothing they want then they wont come around.

BobAristide 12-25-2009 04:24 PM

This morning I found about 200 of the mid size ones mixed to about 10 larger once, all gathered in a small corner in the shower. Right in the open. Weird. I sprayed some Tilex and for now the seem to have almost disappeared. As I said yesterday, they didn't want to eat anything. It looked like they were in some sort of a ritual and this morning they all stood still in that corner alive and well.

I'll try the Jello trick mixed with the 2 poisons I have. As far as pine needles, here in S. Florida there are no pines.
Thanks for the suggestions.

TheClumsyCarpenter 03-21-2010 10:11 AM

It's always interesting to just find a big group of them dead, for no apparent reason.

I think ants must have cults that randomly commit mass suicide when they see bright comet in the sky (aka I turn my lights on in that room)

travelover 03-21-2010 11:50 AM


Originally Posted by TheClumsyCarpenter (Post 42597)
It's always interesting to just find a big group of them dead, for no apparent reason.

I think ants must have cults that randomly commit mass suicide when they see bright comet in the sky (aka I turn my lights on in that room)

I don't use the strawberry jello, I use grape Koolaid.

frozenstar 04-22-2010 11:39 PM

That advice of Nestor sounds good but hard to implement. Hope I can figure it out.

Todd-Beaulieu 05-03-2010 12:39 PM

make sure you don't have carpenter ants! We discovered a huge infestation that had apparently gone untreated for too long (before us). After trying to get rid of them myself I gave up and called in a pest control who a) laid down a lot of powder and b) discovered that they were traveling up the inside of the wall and nesting in the attic.

Well ... after they were gone, I happened across a major structural problem: they had eaten away the outside beam under the house, cutting it down from an 8x8 beam to just one inch in width!

You can't let wood eating insects go untreated.

IslandStyleGirl 05-10-2010 08:08 PM

Old home remedies for ants. Sprinkle Comet around where you do not want them (around picnic tables or dog dishes). Sprinkle cayenne pepper for making them move on. Grits never worked for me. Not really much luck with Boric Acid either.

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