Get Rid Of Ants

Ants in the house. How to get rid of ants in the house. End ant problems. Carpenter ants eating the house down. Black ants in the kitchen. Ant killer stuff needed. Get rid of ants…..Pest controls for ants….

Those were the titles of info I was looking up last night, as we discovered we had a pretty bad infestation of black ants in the kitchen. I guess the milder temperatures have woken the little pests up, and they were on the prowl for food or whatever ants go on the prowl for….

It started with one, then two, then three and before long, I suppose there were several dozen, crawling out of a tiny crack in the wood trim around a window. They looked like World War II prisoners of war escaping as they wriggled through the tiny hole one at a time.

Luckily, we had a bottle of ‘ant bait’ on hand, so we put out several pieces of paper with the drops of liquid bait on them. Within an hour, the place looked like the nightlife on a city street with everyone bar-hopping and bellying up to the bar for a shot of the good stuff.

There were big black ants and little black ants sucking back the poison liquid like it was the best tasting stuff in the world.

Some of them got so full and fat that they actually had trouble squirming back into the little crack where they had originally come into the room. As little critters go, I find ants not that bad to look at…I find some bugs kind of distasteful, but ants, well, they aren’t too bad actually.

I just don’t want to share my food with them, or worse, let the carpenter ants eat the studs out of my house. We had a similar event at the camp a few years ago, they ate through the two by four studs, in two corners. Not pretty at all.

It seems that these little pests like it here in Nova Scotia because as far back as I can remember, especially around the camp, either us or our neighbors have had a thing going on with ants….must be the Nova Scotia ocean air.

By the way, apparently Carpenter Ants don’t “eat wood” exactly, but what they do is tunnel through the wood, which results in almost the same affect. After they have been allowed to work undisturbed for any length of time, they turn wood into sawdust

At first it was difficult to sit back and watch without killing them. It’s instinctive when I see an ant, I want to step on it.

But I knew that in order for the ant bait to work, they had to be allowed to drink their fill, then take it back to the nest, and I guess, the queen. So that’s what we did, we let them go to it, “Drink up, my lovelies,” I said, “There is plenty more where that came from!”

When I finally tired of my only little ant farm and went to bed, there were about 25 ants left at the bait, with several still crawling up and down the wall, and in and out of the crack. I imagine that there are hundreds more of them in the nest…..yuck…kind of gives me the willies….

I went out this afternoon and bought some Raid, the kind designed for dispatching ants in particular. I am hesitating to use it yet, as I want to see if the poison works, if they get enough of it to the queen to end her days of reign inbetween the walls of our kitchen.

I took the window trim off and found the crack where they are crawling into the house from somewhere in the walls. That’s where the Raid will be sprayed if they continue to come through.

On the other hand, watching them work it’s kind of impressive, I was thinking maybe I should make that wall a glass wall, like the little glass “ant farms” we used to have as kids…until we dropped it on the floor in the house….but that is another story.

I titled this post, “Get Rid of Ants” because that is essentially what I am trying to do. I think the thing to remember is that just killing the ants you see will not end the problem.

In order to successfully rid your house or cottage of ants, you need to attack them in the nest. If it’s possible for you to get at the nest physically and remove it, all the better, but in most situations this is not easy.

Ants get inside the walls requiring construction destruction in order to find them. That’s why the ant bait is the best approach, at least in the beginning. You take the fight to them, let them carry the poison back to their queen.

Other methods, sprays that kill the ants etc, only work on the ones that come in contact with it, for the most part. They can be effective in deterring ants from using their routes to enter your house, however, the nest will remain whereever it is, and they will likely find new ways to gain entry.

*Update: Well it’s been 24 hours since my first assault on the ants using the ant bait liquid poison from Raid. Knock on wood, so far so good, we’ve killed a couple of wayward ants but nothing like the numbers we had last night. I’m hoping that’s a good sign.
**Update: It’s now been 48 hours since I put out the ant bait, and the ants have all but disappeared. I killed one last night but none since. I don’t know if that is a good sign, but I am hopeful. It could just mean that they are hiding out in the nest.

Ok it’s April 4th and we’re still killing ants. They seemed to die off for a few days but they are back. I gave them another shot of the Raid Ant Killer today, a couple of times but the little buggers keep turning up around the house, mostly the kitchen and dining room area. The ones we get are usually kind of slowed down, which I assume is the ant poison, but it is working pretty slow, and there is no guarantee they are going to die.

I don’t think the spray stuff is effective for very long. The next step is going to be one of two things, either remove the exterior house siding, drill some holes in the sheathing and spray, or call in an exterminator and see what he has to say about it. The last time we had an exterminator he put down some ant bait and said that should do it….wrong…..

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5 thoughts on “Get Rid Of Ants”

  1. A very timely post. I’d love to hear how the bait works out. We’re not warm enough yet here for the little buggers, but come June or July… yikes! I’ll be walking around outside with my big bottle of Ortho if I can’t come up with another way to keep them out of the house!

  2. Very timely post. I’ve seen the odd foraging ant in our house (and sometimes in much greater numbers) as well. Called a pest control company in the neighbourhood and they mentioned that at this time of year, the ants get kicked out from their nest and are trying to find a new home, and forage for food. The good news is they do prefer to nest outside the home. Keep us posted on how the bait works…. I read online that ant traps don’t work well on carpenter ants. We are going to wait it out as our ants have dissapaited,,,,hope we don’t have to call pest control. Need to chat with the neughbours to see if this is just a seasonal thing!

  3. Thanks for your comments, I can tell you thus far, the bait doesn’t seem to be working as I had hoped. It seemed the ants were quite interested in it when I first put it out, but after that, they seem to avoid it with the exception of the occasional ant. The ants do seem to be still here, although not as many as originally. What has been most successful so far has been using Raid Ant Killer Spray in the cracks and crevices where we see them. It foams and fills the area. However I think repeated applications are necessary and I am not sure it does anything to the Queen in the nest. I think I will probably end up having to pull the siding off and try to find them.

  4. Well its Christmas eve and I just found a pile of those black ants in my bedroom under my dog bed…YUK….it’s snowing outside so I’m not sure why they are there. I’m wondering how the terminator issue worked.

  5. Margaret, they are probably coming alive because they are inside and the heat from the house is waking them up. Between the Raid Ant Killer and the exterminator, we seemed to get rid of ours, although it has also cooled off here now, so I am not completely sure. It seems to me that having the exterminator spray was ultimately the most effective answer. After he was done we found hundreds of dead ants around the outside of the house and the window and door frame. They are definitely difficult to get rid of, I wish you luck. Hopefully he can get to the nest.

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