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Now I understand why most of the German houses around this area have their kitchens on the second floor! My base housing kitchen is on the ground floor.

Every night I take out the trash, wipe down all kitchen counters, sweep and mop the entire downstairs. Pet food is upstairs. But I still find those scout ants and it's getting worse with the warm weather.

Does anyone have any thrifty ways to keep the ants out? I have two toddlers, a cat and dog so I don't want to use anything that could poison them. But will use chemicals if the ants get worse.
 

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Maybe try food grade diatomaceous earth.
 

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Look carefully along your foundation outside for the line of ants coming inside. That's the only way we've been able to stop them.
 

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You may remember that I asked about ants getting into stockpiles of food recently and Pollypurebreed39, replied with a good link for getting rid of ants. I used white vinegar to wipe down my cupboards and then I soaked a sponge in vinegar and placed it in an out of the way place in the cupboard. I hope that this idea helps you. It helped me.

A2M
 

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I just thought of something my Grandmother used to do. She located where they were coming in, followed the trail back to their nest, then boiled a kettle of water and poured the boiling water on and down in their nest.

She also poured salt on slugs to keep them from eating her garden up.
 
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Maybe try food grade diatomaceous earth.

That may in fact help. I have bucket of it. We used it last year for some very stubborn fleas.
 

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I used borax, just sprinkled it around the floorboards and window sills and the door frames, whereever I thought they were getting in. This worked great! I don't know if it is safe for use around pets and children, however.

Several years ago, when I had ants and a lot of cats running around, I did the same thing with cayenne pepper, and it worked pretty well (although not as good as the borax). I guess the pepper gets in the neuroreceptors located in the ants' feet and screws them up!
 

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Besides keeping things clear of crumbs & clean...bag up anything sticky. Wipe down counters, floors, cabinets , canisters, bottles, jars, all non- porous things with vinegar. Works for me.
Good luck!
 

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Terro traps. They are filled with a yummy but poisonous syrup (more or less borax + sugar as far as I know) that first will attract the ants and then they take it all back to their nest and it kills off the whole bunch. We used it in our bathroom recently and it worked perfectly. It may get worse before it gets better as the ants flock to the poison. I think you can also make your own version by boiling down water, borax & sugar and leaving it in shallow containers.
 

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Try drawing a good solid thick old fashioned chalkboard chalk line around the perimeter and down the doorjams. ;)
 

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Fill a spray bottle with vinegar and spray it around the area where you see them. it messes up their scent trail. Also, lay down a strip of salt around your foundation. I have been battling ants myself and this has helped a ton.
 

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Terro traps. They are filled with a yummy but poisonous syrup (more or less borax + sugar as far as I know) that first will attract the ants and then they take it all back to their nest and it kills off the whole bunch. We used it in our bathroom recently and it worked perfectly. It may get worse before it gets better as the ants flock to the poison. I think you can also make your own version by boiling down water, borax & sugar and leaving it in shallow containers.
I agree with acidcookie. My DH's grandmother swore by Terro (she used to put a little on pieces of cardboard and some oil and sugar on them to atract the ants) but now they come in little traps, that I doubt kids could get into. You can hide them, though, like behind the fridge and stove, or way back under furniture.

The ants go into the traps and get the poison onto their feet (or whatever) and take it back to the queen and the rest of the ants. Voila. Kills em all. I haven't had to call an exterminator for about 15 years, since using Terro.
 

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Just as an FYI, ants don't just come in for food, but also for water, especially as the weather gets warmer and outside resources dry up. That is why you often see more of them in the summer.

If you can find where they are getting in (follow a scout ant to see where she exits your kitchen), you can put a small drop of d/w liquid on the spot. They will try to find a new spot, but it will take them a while. The d/w liquid seems to have a strong odor for them, because they will run from it, and if they DO challenge it, it acts like amber and traps them in the goo. I once lived in an apt, and had a really bad ant problem, where they were coming in from the top of a closet door jamb, impossible to put DE or other such traps up there. I tried the liquid Terro, but it didn't stop them. One day, I was washing the ants off with a soapy dishcloth, and I noticed the reaction of nearby ants (moving away from the smell, I am TOTALLY assuming, since I don't know if it was the movement, vibration, etc). I put a thin line of d/w liquid across the whole line of the jamb and BOOM - no more ants.

You can put a thin enough line that I wouldn't worry about your pets getting into it. Leave it on about a week, then wipe it up and see what happens. If the ants return, you'll know: a) the d/w liquid was doing its job as a barrier; and b) you'll have to reapply as needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
thanks everyone! I'm going to put some dishwasher liquid around the doors (outside) tonight and tomorrow I'll check about some of those Terro traps
 

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I used borax, just sprinkled it around the floorboards and window sills and the door frames, whereever I thought they were getting in. This worked great! I don't know if it is safe for use around pets and children, however.

Several years ago, when I had ants and a lot of cats running around, I did the same thing with cayenne pepper, and it worked pretty well (although not as good as the borax). I guess the pepper gets in the neuroreceptors located in the ants' feet and screws them up!
Borax is what we use as well.
 

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Do you have a dollar general store if so they have ant traps 4 in pkg.about $3.00 just put them where you see ants and they will get rid of them unless there is and ant hill out side and they are coming in from that if so you will have take care of the problem out there first.
 

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Terro traps. They are filled with a yummy but poisonous syrup (more or less borax + sugar as far as I know) that first will attract the ants and then they take it all back to their nest and it kills off the whole bunch. We used it in our bathroom recently and it worked perfectly. It may get worse before it gets better as the ants flock to the poison. I think you can also make your own version by boiling down water, borax & sugar and leaving it in shallow containers.
I use those traps too and they have worked great for me. If I have to put the trap out where my dog can get to it--I tape it to something like a plastic lid from an old food container (in case it leaks out) and then I tape that inside a card board box and securely tape that closed. I put holes in the corners of the box and set the box in the area they are a problem. I just did this and it only took a couple days to eradicate the ants. I still keep an eye on the dog when it's out--but he doesn't seem to be attracted to it.
 

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I feel your pain! Our ants in SC have no mercy. They like just about anything. I've found them attack the peanut butter lids and cooking oil. They crawled up under the caps and into the food. YUK! I keep peanut butter in the fridge, now. I feed the dogs only what they'll eat. They eat with us, so they only get a certain amount of food and we pick up the rest. Ants loved us for leaving out the dog food!

I agree with borax. I use borax powder and sugar to get rid of fire ant mounds. Sprinkle borax liberally and a little sugar on top of that. They like the sweet and take the borax, too. If I have a large ant hill, I mix borax, sugar and water in a gallon pitcher and pour over the hills. Works really good and the dogs don't mess with it. Kills the grass around the mound, but grass grows back.

Good luck.
 
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