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Small ants have been getting worse every spring, this year looks bad


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03-18-17, 01:08 PM   #1 (permalink)  
Small ants have been getting worse every spring, this year looks bad

This is an old country house, there is no way to seal it. Over the past several years the ants in the spring have gotten worse. I have had some success with the basic liquid ant traps from the home center. They almost never take the bait without me baiting it myself with something sweet, but once they latch on they stay on the trap and the numbers diminish significantly. This year with a foot of snow on the ground we are already inundated. I've got young kids and now two kittens in the house, so I'm hesitant to go nuts with an insecticide. From what I've read in the past, the insecticides are a short term solution anyway. I used insecticide along the outside of the foundation once and killed a family of preying mantis and many other insects that my wife was not thrilled about. I understand you have to do what you have to do, but I'd rather not take a scorched earth approach if I can avoid it.

They are mostly centered around the kitchen and dining room area, but frankly they will show up anywhere if the kids drop a piece of something. I have seen them outside as much as in and occasionally used outdoor bait traps to keep the population down.

Clearly I need a better approach. This morning the cat food was down for 20 minutes and ants were everywhere. These ants are fairly small, maybe a 1/4". What can I do? What should the approach be? Are there commercial traps better than what I can get at the home center? If this is just a job for a pro, what should I be asking for or expecting from that pro?

No way do I want to go through another summer of this. None of us freak out at insects, but this is just getting gross. Thanks in advance for any information you can provide!

 
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03-21-17, 05:18 PM   #2 (permalink)  
The gel baits that come in the plastic syringes work well on the smaller ants like you are describing. Donít use any insecticide around them as that would defeat the baiting strategy. Sounds like you arenít using any so that is good.

A key point to baiting for ants or roaches is to use enough bait in enough locations. Too little bait and it will suppress but not eliminate. Try to work the bait under/behind the baseboards if possible, especially near the cat food dishes. Also bait under sinks where the pipes go through floor/wall. You can make your own simply bait stations too by injecting the gel onto wax paper squares or by filling short lengths of drinking straws.

If you have a basement I would bait on top of foundation walls and where pipes/wires enter the areas where ants are seen.

Hope this helps. Keep us posted.

 
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03-21-17, 06:02 PM   #3 (permalink)  
I ordered some bait gel - Advion I think is the brand. I put a few drops out near the cat dishes and they seem to be ignoring it. No cat dishes down, floor clean, they are wondering around and ignoring the bait. I'm at a bit of a loss really. I don't want to put it all over if they are just going to ignore the stuff. I think my best success last year was adding a couple drops of honey to the regular borax liquid traps. That brought them running. I am thinking through your post above though. There are many crevices and places I could put it. I can squeeze it in under thresholds and things like that.

From what I read yesterday, it seems like bating for a month and then use a commercial spray around the foundation is a needed followup.

Thanks for following up. I do appreciate it.

 
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06-07-17, 01:29 PM   #4 (permalink)  
It's been a long fight, but the Advion is working great. What I found is that if it's not close enough to the nest, they ignore it. Get it close enough though and it wipes them out. I've taken out at least three nests in the past few months and have fewer ants around the property than I have in the past 10 years.

 
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06-07-17, 01:44 PM   #5 (permalink)  
Ants generally take weeks to get rid of, glad you were patient. Also keep in mind that they will be back, this is a battle you will have to maintain to keep them out of your house.

 
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06-07-17, 01:55 PM   #6 (permalink)  
I am prepared for that! The last nest was in the foundation and I've been sucking up hundreds of dead ants for two weeks as they spill out into the basement.

I live in the country, stone foundation. We will always have ants. But for the first time in years I don't have to worry about ants covering the cat food or the kids food when they drop it under the table. I bought two small tubes of that bait and I'm not even through the first tube yet. I have't been shy about using it. It's just that a half dozen small blobs goes a long way.

 
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06-07-17, 06:40 PM   #7 (permalink)  
Good news! Thanks for the update. Iím hearing from other pest control guys that Max Force ant gel is also a good one and popular with the pros.

 
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