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This is a Stupid Problem to Have and I Need Help

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by mele, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. mele

    mele Elite Member

    Ok, I live in Southern CA and we had a warm winter. Ants are in full force around my neighborhood and my house. The problem is I can't spray anything. What will get rid of ants without harming my parrots and herps? Last year I used a so called safe spray that was less harmfull to my birds and herps but when I put them back in the room the next day I lost my brazilian black and white tarantula and one canary. I know this season is going to be worst then last year and I want to stop it before its out hand with zero casualties on my end.

    What do you guys use? How is it used? Is it safe for birds?
    I was told I could use an infusion of water and cinnamon but that seems like it might irritate the herps......

    Please Help
  2. bradyloach

    bradyloach Elite Member

    umm there are these little trays you can keep on the floor and the ants go in them but they dont come out.
  3. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

  4. Spyral

    Spyral Elite Member

    You probably want something a little stronger than cinnamon depending on how determined your ants are, and why they're getting in - either food or water, usually. I've had no luck with cinnamon, orange oil and other deterrents. I'm usually a life-affirming peacenik, so it's saying a lot that I've geared up for total war on ants at times.

    You can do the borax & sugar bait, if they are looking for food. If they are looking for water, you'll want to use a liquid poison gel like Terro or Combat. In my experience, Combat took a long time to work, and the ants ignored the bait traps but the gel seemed to attract them. I would go with Terro next time because I hear good things about it.

    Use baits along their trails, as close to where their nest is. Try not to disrupt the trails because they could re-build them away from the baits. You can mop/vacuum the ants you find further along in your house, especially if they have found a food/water resource.

    It takes about 3 days for the poisons to work, as they need to live long enough to bring it back to the queen. Just keep an eye on your animal enclosures during that time. Good luck! Ants are a pain. :(
  5. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    Baking soda and sugar can work for some species of ants. Doesn't seem to work for all though.
  6. HerpFanatic

    HerpFanatic Elite Member

    Ants seem to follow a scent trail that other ants leave. This is why you see them following the same path. What I use here at my house is dawn dish detergent. I mix it with water and scrub my foundation of my house weekly. It is fairly easy with a scrub brush on a broom handle. I mix it 50/50. I also spray the dirt around the foundation with any left over. Seems to work well as the ants don't know where to go. I have dogs so I have to watch what I use. I haven't had ants in my house in over two years.

    You may also want to get some Great-Stuff and seal up any holes. You can also use caulk. Sealing the holes where they come in is a big step in stopping then from getting in. If you don't know where they are getting in you can seal every hole you see if they are already out you can just watch your foundation you will see them crawling. Hope this helps.
  7. Erwynn

    Erwynn Elite Member

    When we had an ant problem I was always leary of using any kinds of poisons due to my kids, mammals and all our inverts.

    Before I knew about the more holistic natural remedies I actually diluted bleach in water and sprayed it along our doorways and the ants' scented path and it seemed to work, but I generally had to apply it everyday or so. So it was more of a pain.

    Found this site, maybe it will help.

    Natural Insect Pest Control: Safe, Non-Toxic Methods & Solutions |

    Good luck, ants are such a horrid nuisance. Sorry to hear you lost some pets from using other methods, that's so sad.
  8. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    I used diatomaceous earth to knock back ants and roaches when I lived in FL. It's a white chalky powder that kills by mechanical, rather than chemical means. Invertebrates walk through it, and get lacerated to death, lose their body fluids, and end up as dessicated corpses.

    If you, your cats, or vertebrate pets eat it, you just get de-wormed (it is used as a de-wormer on everything from livestock to humans.). You can float your invert cages, or if they are on furniture with legs, put a ring of petroleum around the legs (on tape if you have to) because ants will NOT cross petroleum barriers. Currently, I have petroleum on the outside of my cockroach colonies to keep the ants out of them.

    If you use diatomaceous earth, be sure to get food grade that is 100% pure - check with your local health food stores, as the additives are often not listed, or contains ash (not good for cats)

    It will also help to track back their trails, and seal any cracks or crevices with appropriate patches to keep them from coming in that way. You can apply a ring of RAID or similar chemical around the outside of the house/doors/etc to keep them from coming in windows and doors.

    I have heard mixing borax with sugar and water is an effective bait that will kill them, but when I used it, it always dried into a rock within days, and I'm not sure it had a chance to kill anything before it did so. Borax used to be a common food additive, until it was banned for carcinogenic qualities. It is still in use in other countries.

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