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Old 07-17-2013, 04:37 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
54 posts, read 171,265 times
Reputation: 38

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I live in a newly built 2 story apartment and it is infested with ants. This has been going on for a month and it's horrible because the ants bite and tend to infest non-food things and dead crickets. I think they are fire ants. Sometimes a member of the household wakes up with ants covering his foot and ant bites on the rest of his body. The rest of us wake up with few ant bites from time to time.

Most of the ants are coming out of both sides of a wall. Other than the fact that the other ants in the apartment might be from the same nest as the ones from the wall, the ones from the wall don't bother me much. At least I know where those are coming from and going. The other ones I either find where they are coming from and they soon move to another location or I'm not sure where they come from. Sometimes I wait to follow a trail and don't see one.

They mostly infest rugs, clothes, towels, blankets, sheets, books, and folders. In the bathroom I can't leave clothes on the counter, wall, or basket. I have to leave them on a small step ladder until I am done in the bathroom. The same goes for the kitchen. Even when I don't see any ants they soon come out if I leave something out for a few minutes. I think soon they are going to infest all the cabinets. They have infested one non-food one, but so far Endust Lemon spray has reduced them.

I've tried the following:

Pest control has sprayed and it didn't do much.

Ant spray, Endust Lemon spray, and Vinegar will kill the ones that are seen and the ants will either keep coming or come out of another hole.

Grits and Cornmeal seems to just feed them.

They covered up the Terro with dirt and other things.

Peanut Butter and Borax seems to just feed them or it's just taking a long time to kill them. I am seeing 0 dead ants from this. They do love it(they don't leave a spec behind), but I am wondering if they are eating it at all or if they using it for something else. I wonder this because of the way they covered up the Terro.

I do have pets and it doesn't help that they tend to lay down on the ants. They probably help spread the ants around.

There was a day that in one of the bathrooms a few ants were dying on the floor. I'm not sure what caused that, but it was interesting yet horrifying to watch.

Any advice on what to do next? I'm thinking Boric Acid, but I think the results might be the same as the Borax mixture.
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Old 07-17-2013, 06:36 AM
 
1,175 posts, read 1,178,164 times
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To control the ants you'll need to spray and bait.

You probably won't see many dead ants due to a bait because they take it back to their nest. That's the point of a bait. You don't want to just kill the ones you can see. You want them to take the poison back to their nest with them and kill them where they live and hopefully kill the queen as well.

Borax has boric acid in it, but you would be better served just buying a container or two of boric acid instead. It sounds like they went after the peanut butter borax mixture, so I would use peanut butter mixed with boric acid and put it in places you've seen them. Make sure you're keeping it away from pets and children.

Don't be shy about it though, it sounds like you have a pretty bad infestation, so I'd be putting a lot of it out and about.

In addition, I would mix some with some jelly as well because ants don't always go after the same type of food source. Just to cover your bases.

Good luck, it sounds terrible.
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Old 07-17-2013, 06:55 AM
 
Location: San Marcos, TX
2,572 posts, read 6,569,763 times
Reputation: 4022
Ugh. I had those same stupid ants last summer, it sounds like. The ones I had were tiny but bit and it HURT a lot... and they got in my CAR! Nothing like getting bit doing 70 down the highway. I never found anything that worked, but they went away if that's any consolation.

My new landlord and I were discussing this and he says he swears by a brand called Terro, he showed me the stuff and it is little packets of clear gel or liquid, and I am pretty sure he said he either got it at HEB or Home Depot. I haven't tried it but I figure if he has as many rental units as he does and says this is working it might be worth a shot.
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Old 07-17-2013, 07:48 AM
 
83 posts, read 136,731 times
Reputation: 66
I had those same ants last summer and it looks like they are making a return this summer again :/
What got rid of them last year for me was orange oil. I bought a little thing of orange oil from HEB on the "natural foods" aisle, it's with all the essential oils...and mixed about half of the little bottle with a squirt bottle of water and just sprayed wherever I saw the ants. It took spraying a few days for them to quit showing up but it worked. It's non-toxic and smells good!
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Old 07-17-2013, 08:21 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
54 posts, read 171,265 times
Reputation: 38
Like I said Terro doesn't work. I think the ants want protein, which is why I use peanut butter. Ants don't like citrus which is why the orange oil probably worked for you. When I use citrus the ants(that aren't by the wall) are reduced or gone for a bit and then come back. The ants by the wall quickly replace the dead ones. I also know that the ants take the bait back to the nest and the larvae eats it and produces some kind of liquid food to feed to the rest of the nest. I think the ants are incapable of eating solids. I've done a lot of reading and the problem online is that most of the solutions I've came across deal with ants that eat sugar. I will try Boric Acid today and hope that it works. There are a ton of ants at this wall. I don't know what they are looking for. They just seem to go from one hole to another.
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Old 07-17-2013, 08:43 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
11,157 posts, read 20,444,227 times
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I had that problem the first year I was in my new house. I used cassia oil around the areas where I saw the ants coming in. I also put the foam sheets into the electrical outlets so they couldn't squeeze through there. I used a pesticide spray around the outside of the house.

I filled bottle caps with Terro and corn syrup, and the ants would line up around the edges to drink it. It may not seem like you're reducing the ant problem because you won't see piles of dead ants around, but they go back to the nest to die. If the ant problem isn't getting worse, then you're making progress on it.

The absolute worst is when the ants climb on the toilet and bite you on the butt.
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Old 07-17-2013, 08:46 AM
 
Location: Texas
5,621 posts, read 13,018,903 times
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For indoor use, I've had great success with Bengal spray. I believe it's a borate based product. The only downside to it is it's rather expensive by comparison to the usual sprays. A can usually runs 8-10 bucks. The 100% cure for any ants is Orthene but it has a nasty smell to it and will stink the place up. You can't have it around animals or people so I doubt you would want to use it. But it works as the stuff has a polarity to it which causes it to be like a magnet to an ants body. Once they get back to the nest they preen themselves which means they eat it. Now the dead ant becomes the bait as the others cleaning the nest eat the dead. It doesn't take long and the entire nest is dead. I've seen it kill a nest as big as a car in an hour. Maybe if you go out of town on weekend you could put it out in small area where you know they are going to be and clean it up when you get back might be an option. Put down paper and put the Orthene on the paper with some peanut butter in the middle might do the trick. That would make it an easy clean up.
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Old 07-17-2013, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Aberdeen
175 posts, read 270,241 times
Reputation: 401
Try diatomaceous earth. It is a chalky white powder that is actually the left-over shells of microbiotic sea creatures. The ants crawl through the powder then have to clean themselves. The diatomaceous earth gets inside them and cuts their innards up and they die. We have seen great results controling wood destroying ants and bees and also fleas in the backyard. I believe that you can get it at Milberger's gardening supply store. The great thing about it is that not only is it effective but it is all natural and no toxic chemicals are needed. Good luck!
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Old 07-17-2013, 02:50 PM
 
7,002 posts, read 10,277,710 times
Reputation: 5397
Was pest control provided by the apartment? They're never any good. I used to work at an organization that hired two different pest control companies, and they weren't any good either. I believe they spray with very watered-down pesticides in order to save money.

I know some people are opposed to toxic pesticides, but I buy my own stuff from Do Your Own Pest Control. I've never had to spray for ants, but I've had to spray for spiders, roaches, and scorpions. Demon WP and Talstar have worked well for me. Demon WP has greater, initial knockdown power, but Talstar has a greater residual effect. I also like Raid Max Roach Spray (in the can, the outdoor spray is watered down). It's strong enough to kill some lizards.
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Old 07-17-2013, 03:06 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
11,157 posts, read 20,444,227 times
Reputation: 26428
Quote:
Originally Posted by IHOP View Post
Try diatomaceous earth. It is a chalky white powder that is actually the left-over shells of microbiotic sea creatures. The ants crawl through the powder then have to clean themselves. The diatomaceous earth gets inside them and cuts their innards up and they die. We have seen great results controling wood destroying ants and bees and also fleas in the backyard. I believe that you can get it at Milberger's gardening supply store. The great thing about it is that not only is it effective but it is all natural and no toxic chemicals are needed. Good luck!
You can buy it at Tractor Supply also. It's about ten dollars for a good-sized bag. If you're going to use it indoors, make sure it's food-grade (the one at Tractor Supply is).

I didn't know it worked on bees...I thought it only worked on crawling insects.
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