I am desperately looking for help. As the weather warms up, I have found skillions of ants in my kitchen. The interesting thing is that they are not in the food pantry or the trash, even. They are along the countertop, leading towerd the sink, where there is no food and nothing for them to be attracted to. I wipe them up and there are plenty to take their place within 15 minutes. I don't want to use poisonous ant spray products in the kitchen at all, but especially not with my daughter eating and playing there. Does anyone have any suggestions???
Thank you so much! I know that as mom's it is part of our job to be busy. The fact that SO MANY of you took the time to offer suggestions and tips is truly awesome! I have already begun the soapy water front line and plan to go purchase some Windex or Simple Green for back-up tomorrow. Then, I'll try leaving it to Cinnamon! We'll see... I have plenty of ideas to try thanks to all of you. You're wonderful!!!
In response to Pauline K:
The "miracle chalk" once usually available in Chinese markets and now widely available elsewhere is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. Do not use it in a home with a child or pet! It is extremely effective BUT since having my daughter, I've erred on the safe side and used, with great success and peace of mind, the other solutions recommended here. There are as many articles detailing the chalk's dangers as there are praising its solution. Here's one: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2004/09/...
Terro is wonderful stuff for ants! It is basicly corn syrup and Borax. It comes either in little pait trays or in a small bottle. Wal Mart carries it in the garden dept. You put a tray or a puddle of it where the ants are at, in your case up high on a shelf in your pantry where your little one cannot get it and in just a few minutes the ants will swarm all over it. They take it back to the nest and add it to the food supply contaminating it. Then as the ants in the nest eat it it kills them wipping out the whole nest. It takes a couple days to complete but after that therea re no ants and any future ants that try to populate the same nest are also killed off when they eat the remaining food supply.
I've heard that corn meal mix placed on a lid works. They take it back to the colony and they can't digest it so they die. I haven't tried it personally so don't know for certain if it works. I've also heard of placing Bay leaves out. My mother uses those in her pantry and says they help. I've tried them, but can't say that it helped me any. I tried the soapy water and it didn't help.
My grandmother's old way works great for me and I have not seen an ant in years... Cinnamon sticks, they work wonderfully and if your child happens to get it, it will just taste funny and have no harm!! I put them everywhere, my cabinets, drawers, window sills, window screen tracts, etc. The ants are "water ants" they are coming in from the heat and want to survive on the water!
Soapy water works wonders! It takes their "trail" away and they don't know where to go or come back to. They probably want water since its been so hot! i Had the same thing. I used warm soapy water and they haven't been back. Crossed fingers :\
Yes! According to my friends who have tried it...the corn meal does work as one of the other Moms stated.
But, to get rid of them initially....use Windex. You need to spray the area where you see them and clean all around. As the temps go up they are looking for water. That's why you're finding them where you are.
You're getting the scouts...who leave a trail and then the others follow. Use the windex...clean all the areas where you are seeing them. You need to eliminate the scent trail. And continue to use to actually kill them.
If it gets out of hand really bad you may have to either bait, and keep your kids away....or find a professional to spray at least one time.
But the windex worked for us years ago when we did all our landscaping and 'upset' the nests underground...I guess. HA. I did as our spray people suggested because I also didn't want to use pesticides inside. The Windex did it. After that we never had another problem.
I've also used the (once considered illegal, don't know if it still is) miracle chalk that one of the Moms mentioned. And yes, once upon a time you could only find them at Asian stores. I've found my supply at some of the .99 cent stores OWNED by Asians. Hummm. But yes! It IS an amazing product! But there is no telling what is in there. Nothing is listed. I never used it where my fur balls could reach it outside, and haven't really needed anything in years so I never used it around my kids. But if you can find it...it IS a bizarre thing to watch that when you 'draw' those lines how the ants do all they can to avoid it.
And it DID make them disappear never to return again.
Yes A.! There IS hope! PLAIN OLD SOAPY WATER kills ants faster than anything. If you can get all their trails, and all the way to where they enter the house, then put a bit of extra soap there, (I've even used my husband's shaving cream), it will usually discourage them from coming in for awhile. In this hot weather though, they are mighty thirsty, and they're coming after the water, I'd guess. The research I've heard shows that there's a higher incidence of leukemia in children in households that use bug sprays, so you are wise to fear using them. There's never a reason to use Ant sprays or poisons in all the years I've dealt with ants, and good ole soapy water always works! (you can use it in a spray bottle, like 409, too!)
Best to you and your wonderful family!
I have the exact same thing!!! and the ants are really tiny. I also work from home and the business I run is representing a wellness company. They have chemical free products that work as pesticides. I have been using that. The products are from there cleaning line called Eco-sense. FANTASTIC!!! and I don't have to worry about the kids or the environment.
I would be glad to help you get some!
Proud member of the MOM TEAM
Go to the pharmacy and get some pure boric acid (not the stuff they sell at the 99 cent store). Dissolve a teaspoon of it in a spray bottle full of hot water. Find the spots where the ants are likely to be entering the house, and spray liberally. In this concentration, the child is not likely to have any problems with encountering the residue, but the ants will have plenty! If you took your child to the doctor for pink-eye, they would probably use just such a solution to address the problem. It is harmless to humans when diluted that much, but the ants find it irritating.
From what I know about ants, they have a scent trail they follow. Most of the things we use to "cover the trail" is strong enough to mask the scent only for us humans, but more often than not ants will return. I applaud your effort not to use chemicals where your precious little will be, so having said that your options are two: find the tiny little unsealed hole that they are climbing in from (this may be more easily said than done) and seal it. Or deal with them as they arrive, I have heard that cinnamon is too strong for them and will not cross it's scent. My parents were successful in keeping them out of a window sil, however my sister was not because they were (and continue to) entering from the middle counter in her kitchen under the tile. This was too difficult to position the cinnamon in an upside down place. Maybe you won't encounter that problem. Good luck, and may I take the liberty to encourage you to be chemical-free in your house cleaning too. There are many good old fashion cleansers (baking soda, vinegar, & lemon) that clean and disinfect but without the hazard to our little ones. Good luck again.
They are going by the sink because there is water there.
Lemons work. Keep the rinds, and put where the trails are.
Also, you can just squirt the ants with the rind...and the ants will die.
Also, rub the rinds on the surfaces of things and this will kill and repel them.
You may also want to use "orange" products...these often will repel bugs too. I have also heard that baby powder and some dried herbs can help as well.
Try sprinkling cinnamon around the edges of the sink and countertops, under the sink and anywhere else you think they may be coming in. It's a bit of a pain to have it left there, but for some reason the ants will not cross the cinnamon. It's probably seasonal and they won't be around all summer. The other thing you need to do is get rid of their scent. Even when you wipe them away, they leave their chemical "scent" and they will come back and follow it. Spray your counter, floors, sink, etc. with a bleach cleaner, like Clorox clean up, or a bleach and water solution that's heavy on the bleach. That will destroy their chemical path. Then put down the cinnamon. Good luck!
Ants are never fun. And I use my Melaleuca Pre-spot. Not only is it safe to use around the kids it kills the ants. You could even have the kids spray the ants!!! I love these products they are multi use!!! If you are interested I can put you in touch with my friend that has more information. Good Luck
I've had trouble with ants everywhere I live it seems. They are going towards the water in the sink. Follow their trail and find out where they are coming into the house. You can spray the thresholds and inside windows. (They can come in screened and CLOSED windows!!)My fav do-it-yourself bug killer is Ortho Home Defense Max. You can get it at home depot. It is odorless and doesn't stain. Your best bet though would be to call an exterminator. We are set up on a schedule for them to spray once a quarter and they will come out no charge for an extra visit anytime we want them to. It was way cheaper than I thought it was going to be. They even spray the yard! We just keep the kids in for a few hours, they spray outside around the perimeter of the house.
I have exactly the same ant problem and would love to find the solution! I also have 18 month old daughter and work from home, actaully from the kitchen where the ants are:-)
Please do let me know if you find a good solution. I rarely check mamasourse so ____@____.com e-mail is the best.
We used recently some gello ant poison and it helped for a while but then they got back...
Thanks so much!
They're after the water. Inside - use white vinegar. You can spray them and clean up with it. And then spray the interior entrance. Then find the exterior entrance. If it's safely away from kids & pets, you can put diazanon granules there. They pick them up and take them home and it kills all of them. My husband sprinkles it around the edge of our home a couple times a year and it works great!
First thing: They are coming in for water. But it won't take them long to find the food so keep everything sealed up.
Second thing: Windex kills them, but won't stop them from coming back. Follow their track and find out where they are coming in. If it's a wall inside your house you might want to call terminex, or do a bug boom. Just make sure you follow the directions to the T. Because you can blow up your house. Then seal the hole in the wall so that they can't get back in that way. If they are coming in from outside spray the outside of the windows & doors. Good Luck! I hate thoughs little guys. That's why I pay for terminex to come every three months. Good Luck! J.
ant problem.ants dont nesecerely go after food.make sure theres no open cracks around counter tops,around kitchen sink if is moist around.ants normally come out in raining season so i would be worry.try ant motels.they come in little boxes you set in difrent areas of kitchen out of reach of children.i think is safer since you dont have to spray any chemicals.good luck
Contrary to all that's thought about ants, they are actually searching for water and not food. The safest way to get rid of them is to call a professional. We've used Orkin and I have absolutely no concerns about the sprays that they use around our two year old twins. It's more expensive than many of the home remedies, but effective and you're done with the problem the moment that they leave. None of that wasted time with waiting for the ants to track the bait to the nest.
they are probably coming for water if they are on the counter top & sink. i have used baby powder along their route & that seems to keep them away. you can also use comet cleanser, but that is not too kid friendly
I've had this trouble off and on through life and different houses and have tried just about everything. I like to sprinkle baby powder for a quick solution, but long term I am sure there are safe pest control people that can stop it for the season at least.
I had a similar problem in my first house when my oldest was just born. We used ground cinnamon...ants won't cross a line of ground cinnamon! Since they were taking "short cuts" through the kitchen baseboards, I rubbed cinnamon along all the baseboards and it worked beautifully.
Put a quick end to ants that are ruining your garden or invading the house itself with one of the quickest home remedies for ants.
Locate the ant hills and pour a kettle of boiling water down each of them.
Take 1 tablespoon of Instant Grits and sprinkle it over each ant mound.
This is one of the most effective home remedies for ants that are destroying your trees, plants and shrubs. Wrap a piece of Duct Tape around the trunk of the tree or plant, sticky side out.
Yeast Molasses Sugar Mix
Mix together 1 part sugar, 1 part active yeast and 2 parts molasses. Drop the mixture, 1 teaspoon at at time, onto small pieces of paper.
Strategically place the pieces of paper along ant trails or where the ant problem is obvious. This is one of the safest home remedies for ants because it contains no chemicals.
Garlic Onion Pepper Mix
Take a quart of water and add 1 clove of garlic, 1 small onion and 1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper. Let that mixture set there for about 1 hour.
Next add 1 tablespoon of liquid dishwashing soap. Put the concoction in a spray bottle and spray it around the house where you have ant problem areas. This is also one of the safer home remedies for ants.
"For control of ants in the home, find the infested area and the source or trail where they are coming from, and use household table salt. Sprinkle around window sills, baseboards, door thresholds, anywhere where needed.
For some reason they will not pass the area that's been treated (a barrier). Test it out on a area where you see ants and make a circle of salt around them, and you will see that it repels them. This is one of the safest home remedies for ants".
"Mix 20 Mule Team borax and sugar water to make a trap or sprinkle the 20 mule team borax on the ant trail of ants and they take the borax bake to the nest and kills them all."
hi amanda! i don't know if you are looking into paying someone for pest control but we use green leaf organic pest service. we have a major ant problem (they were in the walls of the living room and kitchen) and i wanted it taken care of before my son was born last year. within 6 months we had no ants and it's completely safe around pets and humans. our neighbors on both sides have outside dogs and i wanted to make sure they were safe too. so, when we get home from work it just smells like rootbeer and we know that gerardo was there.
so, they are in the l.a. and san gabriel area and their number is ###-###-####. we pay $120 a month. it's more than terminix but after the first 6 months only one other time did we see ants again. they came out and sprayed again at no extra charge and that was it.
The ants come in when it is hot, looking for water, so make sure everything is dry. Try wiping down the counter with lemon juice (straight from the lemon, not lemonade). The ants will not be able to find the trail anymore. (You will need to wipe the lemon juice off later as it will start to turn brownish.) You might also try Pyrethrum Powder which contains 100% dried pyrethrum (chrysanthemum) flowers around where they are coming in and on any ant hills you find. The powder basically keeps them from breathing.
Hope this help!
Yes! We went with Antac. The price is reasonable $69 every other month. They only did the inside once or twice in the beginning and it was safe around our girls and cat. Now they spray outside only. We have had them for five years now and have not had a problem since.
First of all wipe up the ants with bleach and water mix. then find out where they are coming in. Spray bleach or vinegar in that area. They should go away. Wiping your counter with a bleach/water mix will keep them from coming into that area again. Good luck!
I have had the same problem before and something I used that worked great and is kid-friendly is chalk. Really, just your regular chalkboard chalk will do the trick, ants cannot cross a line of chalk. Just make sure the chalk line is unbroken and not around a corner and it should help solve your ant problem in a safe way for your children. If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.
Amanda: If you really don't want to mess around with all these household solutions,just call a pest control, Tell them you have a child.take your daughter out for a few hours,and have them come in and spray. It cost about 35 bucks,and it lasts forever. I have never had ants in my kitchen.
I was told that sprinkiling a lot of cinnamon around the area they are coming in and along their pathway will help. I did try it and it does seem to deter them and sometimes gets rid of them permanantly. At least it is worth a try--I have had good luck with it. I buy the cheap sinnamon at Walmart--it's 50 cents.
Since moving to California I have battled ants. I tried the stakes, the drops (tero) borax, vinegar, windex, chalk, soap, you name it I've tried it, and I didn't have any long term success that is until I discovered Ortho Home Defense Max. I spray it around the outside of my house around the foundation, the windows, and door casings and it lasts 6 months. When I see an ant in the house I know it's time to spray the outside again. It's way cheaper than Orkin or any of the others and you can do it yourself. It's approved for indoor use, but I am concerned about the effect on my family so I have just used it outside and I love it.
You can buy it at Home Depot, Lowes, and Costco has a 2 gallon size that is really economical.
I have the exact same problem. I know when the groud gets hot the ants come marching in. not for food and water but to find a new summer home. I spray vinegar with a little water mixed in a spray bottle on everything backs of cabinets behind frig under counter tops window seals EVERYTHING! and then I take a little borax soap and powdered sugar and sprinkle it around the rose bushes and all along the outside of the house they eat it and die supposedly it has worked so far. I looked this up on the web because we bought an expensive ant spray to keep the ants off the dogs food and would spary the cement around it and wait for it to dry then put the food bowl down but by mid afternoon the ants would be all over it so forget that the dog wouldn't eat and whos would blame him. I hope this helps
whole foods has an orange spray that is supposed to be pretty safe. I find it pretty effective. This is just California living I think. They make me crazy but whenever I plug one hole they fond another. 409 does a good job on cleaning their trails. Good luck!
There is a kind of chalk that they sell in the $.99 stores. If you run the chalk along the window sills or the base boards or if you can find where they are coming in from. It seems to work really well for me.
I have had an ant problem in the past, and I found out that they hate cloves. I get whole cloves and put them around where I see the ants. Wala, they are gone, gone, gone. I like using the cloves because they are not harmeful to the environment.
I think most of us here know what it's like to have to fight ants this time of year. There being so many different types of ants you never know where to look first but I imagine yours lately are trying to get to a water source with the heat we had for a few days. I commend you on wanting to make sure that you don't have poisons down where your daughter plays. I would love to speak with you about how I keep my home safe for my grandkids and great grandkids. To learn more check out http://www.saferisbetter.com/sharons
Yes, I have a serious ant problem also. I use the Antimite service; but the technicial tells me that the real problem is the drought conditions we are facing. The ants are looking for water (ie--your sink). If you live in a house, you need to water outside just a little more. If you live in an apartment, I have no suggestions. Call Antimite.
Ants are attracted to the water & the sweet smell of your dish-soap. Use those ant traps (where they go in and take the poison home w/them) or use cornstarch. Apparently that works really well also. My mom gets them every year (badly) and it is never near food. If this doesn't help, call a pest control business. They guarantee their work. Good luck & God Bless!
I use corn meal. They carry it back to their hole and it kills them. I have been using it for a while in my pet's food bowls outside and it works great. My dogs won't wat food filled with ants...so I just sprinlle a little in the food and a bunch around it and they are soon gone!
The ants are probably looking for water. If you live in a dry climate or haven't had rain in a while they will try to find a source. If it's been raining a lot where you live then they will come inside to avoid drowning but they still need water. There's a product called Orange Guard which is a natural ant killer. You can find it at www.ghorganics.com, click on the insect tab and then select ants. It will give you more information about it. Good luck!
Hi, Amanda, the ants are coming for the water source which is why they're around the sink. I've not tried this method, but it just happened to posted on another group just today so I thought I'd pass it along. Best of luck to you!
Here's an inexpensive home method to get rid of them that works:
(1) Buy some BORIC ACID (white powder) from Walgreens, Longs, Walmart, or maybe your local food store. It is basically harmless to people and animals.
(2) Buy some small paper cups. I bought some Kroger Bathroom Cups at Smiths.
(3) Get some small postit-size paper pads.
(4) In a coffee cup, mix 1/2 cup of jelly and a few tablespoons of the Boric Acid white powder. You need to get a five parts jelly to one part powder mixture. Don't use too much powder or the ants won't eat it. Mix very thoroughly.
(5) Put just enough of the mixture in 10 or more smaller paper cups to coat the inside bottom of the cup.
(6) Put a thin layer of the mixture over most of a few sheets of paper pad. (BTW, a mixture with grape jelly may not be good here because it might stain through the paper.)
(7) Place the cups on their sides (allowing easy access) in any area where you find a lot of ants. You might want to place a few cups OUTSIDE the house near where you think they are getting inside your house.
(8) Place the papers with mixture in the places where the highest concentration of ants is seen.
(9) Within a few hours you will probably see a greatly INCREASED number of ants. Actually, THAT IS GOOD. That means they are eating the mixture and carrying it back to feed the QUEEN ANT.
(10) In my experience, this may take two days before the massive swarm of ants completely disappears upon the death of the QUEEN(s).
P.S. Boric Acid (technically, Orthoboric Acid) works by dehydrating ants and other insects from the inside. Ants also don't like to walk through it (any powder) so you can also put some of the powder along the base of entrance doors to the house to discourage entry. Putting orthoboric acid inside window and sliding door railings and other potential entrance points also discourages roaches (but seems to have little effect on crickets.)
I use Plain Blue Dawn and water!
NOT the kind that foams up or has anything added to it...it has to be the plain kind!
Find a spray bottle (I have a little 8 oz that is easy to handle and the kids love to "help me"), pour in some Blue Dawn liquid soap (dont need much for my little bottle) and fill up w/ water.
This does NOT harm anyone!
Spray it directly on the ants and they will die because they dont like this!
Also, to keep them away, spray wherever you are seeing them and wipe down.
Do NOT wash away the mixture...only spray and wipe as you want the ants to stay away!
Washing it away will only clean your area and they will come back...you have to spray and wipe! Be careful when doing this where people walk because it could make someone slip.
I know because 1 time my husband did it around our garbage can and when I walked past it I thought I was on a slip and slide in my kitchen...lol!
I used to live in a house that had this problem and what we did is get ant traps. The ants are attracted to it and they collect the poison or whatever it is and take it back to the anthill and it kills them away from the house. So you won't even have dead ants in your house, they take the stuff away to wherever and die there. It should be better for having kids in your house. They come in a packs, but I think we only used one. Good luck.
Try scattering black pepper on your countertops. They hate it. Also, if they are heading for the sink try flushing your drains with baking soda and vinegar. To do this, pour a healthy amount of baking soda down the drain, add a cup or two of white vinegar, then immediately put your stopper in. Let sit for 15 mins, then flush with water. Good luck.
I like to use the the pre-filled ant baits made by Terro. They are filled with a liquid Borax solution, which is really safe. My friend's toddler got her hands on a trap and may have ingested some, but Poison Control said that she would be fine. Buy them at Longs and use all of them at the same time
You may have a crack in your foundation that is allowing them easy access to your home. My suggestion would be to call an exterminator who can locate the point of entry, treat the area and seal it off. My in-laws had a similar situation last year and haven’t had any problems so far this year. I hope this helps.
Hi Amanda! I have had the same problem. When the weather heats up the ants come out to forage for food after a long winter. I too was puzzled that they did not go after any food but were in my kitchen, bath, closet and even livingroom. After many different tactics we have a system!
1. Prepare a solution of half vinegar, half water plus a couple tablespoons of soap.
2. Spray any ant trails inside your house.
3. If at all possible follow the trail outside to where they are entering you house. Spray that thoroughly every few hours. Pouring Boiling water on that spot also helps.
4. Other natural ant remedies also include hot pepper flakes, pepper and cinnammon.
It may take a few days to completely clear up but you should see some immediate improvement. It helps to initially keep the beginning part of the trail wet with the solution so the ants don't keep coming in. Also, remember that ants clean up their dead, so wipe up any dead ants quickly.
Good luck. Remember that the key with the natural approach is consistency.
Hi Amanda, we've had the same problems with ants. We could not afford a professional, my husband buys the big spray containers and sprays on the outside of the house. For the inside, I didn't want to use regular ant/insect killers (though last year I had to, it was a horrible attack from ants). I've been looking for "Green" and safe pesticides and just found some. Called ECOSMART. It's sold at Wal-Mart and Albertsons. I haven't tried it yet, just found out about it yesterday. I was quite excited when I found it. Hope this helps.
I believe the website is www.ecosmart.com
Your house is probably sitting on an ant hill. The ants dont need food, but water. I'm afraid your problem is bigger than you think. I suspect you have thousands of ants waiting for thier chance to get to the water in your sink. You are going to need professional help.
It's a common problem in the warmer months. They are after the water. Anything acidic works. White wine vinegar, Apple cider vinegar, or even plain old lemon juice (though that makes things super sticky!) I've also heard about using cinnamon, but I've never tried it. My solution to pretty much everything is Apple Cider Vinegar. It's a life saver, but it does have an odor. I use it to clean counters, glass, even my dog's ears to keep them free of infection (gross, but he swims every day and it really works!). Give it a try... also substitute it in the next recipe you use that calls for vinegar... it's very good for you!!!
Baking soda works well and you don't have to worry about it harming your children (or pets). Just put a ring of it around the edges of the pantry or wherever the ants are coming from. When they step in it the baking soda stick to their feet and dehydrates them.
We've gotten ants through a kitchen door and baby powder works great. Sprinkle it liberally all along their entry point. It interferes with their ability to breathe and they will not cross it. It can be messy but since we sprinkle it outside, it's not much of a problem. (Certainly less of a hassle than the ants themselves.)