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I Need Your Help . . . Ant Invasion!

Just when I thought we hit upon every possible pest that bothers our pets, from ticks to mosquitoes, TeamSugar user stefsprl shared her problem with another insect . . . ants:

Okay, even though it's totally disgusting, I have to admit that my house has been invaded by ants. They seem to be coming in both of the doors, and it's gotten to the point that if my pup leaves any food in her bowl, they are instantly swarming it. The problem is, I can't (or won't) spray any chemicals inside of my house. Not only do I have my husband and myself to think of, but we also have our pup and our two kitties!

My kitties are super nosy and anything we put out will be thoroughly investigated . . . and I'm sure the dog will try to figure it out, too! We just want to live in an ant-free home and keep us safe at the same time. Do you know of any way to naturally get rid of these ants that won't hurt my little buddies?


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BShax BShax 8 years
Chinese chalk (just find the local Chinatown) and water dishes outside. In LA at least, the ants are looking for water and if you give them a dish of water outside the house, they tend not to be as eager to go into the house. I've used peppermint oil as well and it works. And smells great.
stefsprl stefsprl 8 years
Thank you so much for all of the suggestions! I really appreciate all of the advice. We will be trying some of these out for sure!
fuzzles fuzzles 8 years
Great tips! I just went through a couple days of fruit fly assassination. If anyone ever has this problem, apple cider vinegar is great. Pour a shallow bowl or cup at least half full and put plastic wrap over the top. Poke a small hole in the top and secure with a rubber band. The little assholes go in, but can't get out. Just swish the vinegar around several times to drown them.
caribsugar caribsugar 8 years
In addition to other suggestions, mix peppermint oil and water in a spray bottle and spray around windows, doors, etc. although probably not around pet food. The ants don't like the smell and will avoid it. It won't kill them, but it may force them to move on, and your house will smell good!
Zassen Zassen 8 years
Baking soda works! If you put a line of baking soda anywhere the ants won't cross it. This worked for me and my kitchen.
mudnessa mudnessa 8 years
sprinkled cinnamon works great in certain situations. my dads dogs bowl was constantly full of ants so i sprinkled cinnamon around it and no more ants going to the bowl. its great. i hear people sprinkle their kitchen shelves with cinnamon too to keep them from the human food. however at work we have a out building full of geckos cages and we recently lost about a dozen geckos to an ant infestation and sprinkled cinnamon doesnt help when they are coming in on the ceiling so its still a work in progress . . . need suggestions on that front still.
Katydid620 Katydid620 8 years
I do the same thing annestew82. I put the dog dish on a plate then pour water onto the plate. The ants won't go in the water!
ehadams ehadams 8 years
Windex and Toothpaste. Seriously.
lizk lizk 8 years
We had this problem a few weeks ago and there is a very easy fix: Lemon Juice. Ants (and some other bugs) HATE the smell of it and will stay away. I sprayed our door and washed the counters and floors with 1/2 lemon juice and 1/2 water. 100% safe for pets. Salt is also supposed to work because they will not cross a salt barrier.
Nitachequita Nitachequita 8 years
If you can figure out where the ants are coming in from, I've found that Super Glue actually is a good sealant! Ants were coming in through a crack at the bottom of my doorframe; reframing the doorway would have been too expensive, caulking etc. too ugly, but just a dab of Super Glue did the trick. The tip of the applicator is small enough to squeeze into the cracks, and the small bit needed invisible.
beram1220 beram1220 8 years
Boric Acid is BAD NEWS if you have any pets(this comes from experience...). I definitely don't recommend putting anything toxic at all out if it might be "investigated" by any of your pets. Most bug guys are used to dealing with customers with pets so I would think they would know the most effective way to treat your problem without putting your animals in danger.
lawchick lawchick 8 years
My bug man uses environmentally safe stuff. I have two indoor cats and an indoor dog and have never had any problem with the stuff he uses, and I don't have any bugs (and my house is not well sealed). Also I have heard that ants won't cross a chalk line, so maybe draw chalk lines at your doors and windows.
annestew82 annestew82 8 years
I was having a very similar problem recently and managed to have success. They'll go away if there's no food, which is difficult given the pet food bowls. To overcome this, just put your pet's food bowl inside a slightly larger bowl (or pie pan, or whatever you have around) that has some water in it. The water in the bottom bowl makes a little moat that the ants can't cross, and the worst that happens is your curious pets might drink a little water :) After I did this, I scrubbed the ants' "trail" from the entrance to the food bowls with dish detergent -- I have heard that doing so removes the scent trail and confuses the ants. This has worked for me! Good luck!
GirlNinja GirlNinja 8 years
Takes a few days to see results, but 1 part 20 Mule Team Borax or Boric acid 9 parts of a sweet sticky liquid like maple syrup, honey or Karo syrup Mix the ingredients. Heating in a double boiler may speed the process. Take an empty margarine tub and poke 4 holes around the bottom edge (entry holes for ants to walk in). Place a dollop the size of a quarter in the middle of the tub, then put the top back on. This mixture is not non-toxic, however it is less toxic, and that's the key to its success. The ants carry it back to the nest where they feed it to the entire colony and wipe out the nest.
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