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How to Non-Toxically Deal with Ants

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Bur Chaotic Neutral from Flyover Country Relationship Status: Not war
Mar 1st 2012 at 8:30:14 PM

So ants have decided to invade my bathroom. I'm... soft hearted when it comes to ants, and I have an old dog that I want to have a peaceful, non-poison-related death, so I'm trying to get rid of them with... friendly methods.

So far I've hand-vacced up a good hundred of them and dumped them in the neighbor's yard, wiped down the bathroom and half the walls with white vinegar (this seems to have pissed them off) and created a barricade between the bathroom and my bedroom with an inch-wide line of talcum powder that they so far seem very loath to cross.

I've found out where they're coming from and if Talcum No Ants' Land holds I'm going to seal off their invasion point with it and vacuum the rest of the little darlings, who will also be taken to the neighbor's lawn.

Any other suggestions?

i. hear. a. sound.
TParadox Relationship Status: We finish each other's sandwiches
Mar 1st 2012 at 8:50:09 PM

Neighbor's lawn is probably too close by, depending on the size of the nest.

I've heard vinegar will repel them since it smells like killed ants, but you've got the talcum powder going.

Fresh-eyed movie blog
Bur Chaotic Neutral from Flyover Country Relationship Status: Not war
Mar 1st 2012 at 9:17:59 PM

It's kind of fun watching them frantically run back and forth parallel to the big line of talcum.

I was wondering if the neighbor's lawn would be too close... I guess it's too much to hope for that the ants would chose their house as a better target.

edited 1st Mar '12 9:18:49 PM by Bur

i. hear. a. sound.
TParadox Relationship Status: We finish each other's sandwiches
Mar 1st 2012 at 9:27:39 PM

Now I'm reminded of a story I saw on TV that was allegedly true. A guy was using a humane mouse trap, but he had the problem of what to do with the mice. He decided to dump them in the alley of a restaurant he'd been to recently that gave him poor service, and thus to his mind deserved mice.

The epilogue had him describing an encounter with an old woman from out of town asking him for directions to said restaurant, to which he responded "you don't want to go there, they have mice, and may have been closed by the health board by now." "How do you know that?" "I put them there."

Fresh-eyed movie blog
BlueNinja0 The Mod with the Migraine from Taking a left at Albuquerque Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
The Mod with the Migraine
Mar 2nd 2012 at 12:40:34 AM

From experience:

Non-scented windex, or other ammonia, works quite well at killing them. Scented ammonia will kill them, and then half an hour later, attract 5x the number of dead ants.

Borax, or some kinds of powder laundry detergent, work even better than talcum powder for keeping the ants out. Not sure about the toxicity of this method, however.

Finding the ant hill and pouring several gallons of boiling water down it also does a good job of keeping the bastards out, as they should all be dead at that point. However, if they're coming from your neighbor's lawn, he might not be so thrilled at this. Also, not all ant hills are easily accessable enough for this method.

Lastly, find out what they're so interested about in your bathroom, and get rid of it. smile

That’s the epitome of privilege right there, not considering armed nazis a threat to your life. - Silasw
Bur Chaotic Neutral from Flyover Country Relationship Status: Not war
Mar 2nd 2012 at 6:49:29 PM

Best I can figure is that the mold in my shower has evolved into antnip. Tomorrow morning I'm going to go in there with a bottle of 409, a can of Tile and Grout Magic, and a scrub brush and make it sparkle.

What I find most amusing about this whole ordeal is that there's a big jar of honey-sugar scrub in the shower that as a one-foot ant-free radius around it. They haaaaaate it.

i. hear. a. sound.
carbon-mantis Collector Of Fine Oddities from North Carolina Relationship Status: Married to my murderer
Collector Of Fine Oddities
Mar 3rd 2012 at 3:32:50 PM

Have you figured out what sort of ants they are?

Bur Chaotic Neutral from Flyover Country Relationship Status: Not war
Mar 3rd 2012 at 8:53:46 PM

The itty bitty generic kind. ...might be acrobat ants?

Scrubbing the shower, combined with a line of talcum around the walls, washing down the floor with vinegar, and transplanting the darlings to my neighbor's yard has reduced my bathroom population from several hundred to around a dozen.

i. hear. a. sound.
Mar 4th 2012 at 9:43:21 PM

Finding the ant hill and pouring several gallons of boiling water down it also does a good job of keeping the bastards out, as they should all be dead at that point. However, if they're coming from your neighbor's lawn, he might not be so thrilled at this. Also, not all ant hills are easily accessable enough for this method.

Not to mention this will net you millions of XP and gains you a level.

Anyway, seconding the "get rid of what is interesting to the ants" idea. Ants are very useful in getting rid of roaches and other pests.

TParadox Relationship Status: We finish each other's sandwiches
Mar 4th 2012 at 9:46:27 PM

Ants get rid of roaches?

I can attest they don't get rid of mice... (we have a chronic ant problem, and a few weeks ago a mouse showed up)

They aren't doing much about these weird beetles that have shown up.

edited 4th Mar '12 9:46:51 PM by TParadox

Fresh-eyed movie blog
Mar 4th 2012 at 9:48:46 PM

Well, my friends saw a roach getting torn apart by ants after it ran under a washing machine (or something) and accidentally into an ant's nest. The said roach ran out but the ants dragged it back in.

blackcat Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Mar 5th 2012 at 5:16:31 PM

I finally remembered to ask my husband what the non toxic tip we found. Cornmeal. Sprinkle it around and it gets in their little ant bellies and absorbs water until their little ant bellies can't hold it.

We never go any where without our swords and boas.
Bur Chaotic Neutral from Flyover Country Relationship Status: Not war
Mar 12th 2012 at 5:33:16 PM

The bastards came back! This time from the shower drain.

All attempts at playing nice have officially failed. I think I'm going to have to bring on the toxins, maybe try that thing where the ants carry a poison back to the queen and off her.

...thinking of this in terms of planning a regicide kinda makes this way more awesome than it should be.

i. hear. a. sound.
TuefelHundenIV Watchman of the Apocalypse from Wandering Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Watchman of the Apocalypse
Mar 12th 2012 at 6:16:06 PM

Cheap self contained ant traps where the poison can only be accessed by the bug critters.

"Who watches the watchmen?"
Bur Chaotic Neutral from Flyover Country Relationship Status: Not war
Mar 12th 2012 at 7:28:30 PM

That's what I've grabbed. A Terro liquid ant bait/trap and those Hot Shot black squares of death. I've plonked both in the middle of my shower and I'm just going to use the guest bathroom for the next few days while they work their magic.

I feel kinda like a sadist squatting outside the shower door, watching the ants poke at the black square of death, and chanting "eat it eat it eat it".

i. hear. a. sound.
Madrugada Zzzzzzzzzz Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
Mar 12th 2012 at 8:10:13 PM

Terro is good shit. There's a reason they've kept making the same stuff for over 80 years.

...if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you for it.
OriDoodle Mom Lady from East of West Relationship Status: Consider his love an honor
Mar 14th 2012 at 9:24:20 PM

Yeah terro is awesome stuff.

Doodles
Apr 4th 2012 at 8:18:38 PM

Thirding Terro. One trap right outside my back door where the little buggers sneak in equals two sweet, ant-free months. As a bonus, it being non-toxic to kids and dogs makes sure I won't anger my neighbors.

Bananaquit A chub from the Grant Corporation from The Darién Gap Relationship Status: THIS CONCEPT OF 'WUV' CONFUSES AND INFURIATES US!
A chub from the Grant Corporation
Apr 5th 2012 at 11:19:55 PM

Finding the ant hill and pouring several gallons of boiling water down it also does a good job of keeping the bastards out, as they should all be dead at that point. However, if they're coming from your neighbor's lawn, he might not be so thrilled at this. Also, not all ant hills are easily accessable enough for this method.

Especially not if the anthill is located under the crawlspace of your house (as is the case almost inevitably with ants in my house). Incidentally, the method prescribed to me was to use boiling soapy water, I guess to make extra sure they’re dead.

Baking soda dissolved in water is a decent temporary solution, less toxic than ammonia. Also, and I’m surprised this actually works: cinnamon. Ants dislike it and won’t cross it.

Confirmed Bachelors: the dramedy hit of 1883!
Madrugada Zzzzzzzzzz Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
Apr 6th 2012 at 12:13:14 AM

The soap in the water reduces the surface tension of the water and makes it easier for it to get into their spicules (breathing holes). That's why boiling soapy water is suggested.

...if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you for it.
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