Keeping Argentine ants out of a home?

Does anyone have firsthand experience at keeping Argentine ants out of a home? I've read several websites that all seem to give a laundry list of household substances one can use to keep them at bay, but nothing saying "I've tried this for Argentine ants, and it works". I've tried ant traps, which work for a little while, and I've tried pepper, which didn't really work at all. Ideally, I'd like to put something around doors and windows to keep them out, but if there are other methods, I'm open to those too. Any help is appreciated!

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iceng5 years ago
There was a time I studied ants and collected some fairly nasty red ones.
Their bite was a two day affair. They were not Argentine ants.
I found that 9V to 18V would keep them in the collection box,
even when real mad.
I would suck them in on the short straw and collect with the long.
Naturally I didn't want to have them work their way into my inhale tube.

What I am recommending is a four strip ( one more then the 3 in the pic )
where ever they are coming in to your house.
Put +-+- to conducting tape strips.
Size the separation for the ant, maybe vary the spacing if if they have different
size raiders.

I saw a 20/20 or similar tv report where a guy made a picnic blanket with
a 9V battery and only two conductive bands around the perimeter
and had ant free picnic food.

Then there was a report of someone inserting a stick with many higher voltage rings into the red ant nest. The rings would burn off the antenna and
the ants would fight each other as enemies to the death.

Hope this helps you.

pcooper2 iceng5 years ago
Weird. I've seen evidence that ants are attracted to electric fields, and have also read reports to this effect. I once had an air conditioner system malfunction, and it turned out that a swarm of Argentine Ants had crawled between the power relay contacts in the outside ground-mounted condenser unit. Their electrocuted, crushed bodies then formed a high-resistance path between the contacts, which resulted in arcing and eventual destruction of the relay. There are reports of them invading traffic signal control boxes, too, especially the older ones that use electromechanical relays.

I like the 9V battery idea, if it works. It's a safe, low voltage that won't harm anyone coming into contact with it.
Vyger5 years ago
It sounds like a job for homeland security.

The following is from Wikipedia.

Argentine ants are a common household pest, often entering structures in search of food or water (particularly during dry or hot weather), or to escape flooded nests during periods of heavy rainfall. Argentine ant colonies almost invariably have many reproductive queens, as many as eight for every 1,000 workers, so eliminating a single queen does not stop the colony's ability to breed. When they invade a kitchen, it is not uncommon to see two or three queens foraging along with the workers.

Due to their nesting behavior and presence of numerous queens in each colony, it is generally impractical to spray Argentine ants with pesticides or to use boiling water as with mound building ants. Spraying with pesticides has occasionally stimulated increased egg-laying by the queens, compounding the problem.[12] Pest control usually requires exploiting their omnivorous dietary habits, through use of slow-acting poison bait, which will be carried back to the nest by the workers, eventually killing all the individuals, including the queens. It may take four to five days to eradicate a colony in this manner.

An effective homemade recipe[13] consists of a solution of granulated white table sugar and boric acid, placed in a shallow dish in the area being invaded:

1/4 teaspoon boric acid powder
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon sugar

The boric acid will dissolve only if the water is hot, or one can mix the ingredients cold, then place the container in a microwave oven to bring the water to boiling temperature. When mixed in small quantities, the solution can be stored in a dropper bottle and dispensed as needed to replenish the bait dish. Although the solution isn't particularly hazardous when used in small quantities as described here, the bait dish should be placed out of reach of pets and children.

Researchers from the University of California, Irvine, have developed a way to use the scent of Argentine ants against them.[14] The exoskeletons of the ants are covered with a hydrocarbon-laced secretion. They made a compound that is different, but similar, to the one that coats the ants. If the chemical is applied to an ant, the other members of the colony will kill it.[15] The chemical method may be effective in combination with other methods.
pcooper2 Vyger5 years ago
The formula described in the aforementioned Wikipedia article really works. I've been using it successfully for over 10 years to keep Argentine ants at bay. So far, this summer, I haven't had a single ant invasion in my kitchen. To make suitable bait dishes, see http://www.bigoven.com/recipe/165368/.
2hot2hack5 years ago
ants leav a sent trail if you break it the ants will go in to this death sircle and die coz they get worn-out and die. just thr and spray with strong sent like deodorant.
It doesn't do anything about the remaining ants in the nest. Argentine ants are particularly difficult to control. One needs a slow-acting poison that they take back to the nest and feed to their queens and grubs, killing all of them.
2hot2hack5 years ago
like this one
Burf5 years ago
Yep, and I found that a liberal application of boric acid and/or Boraxo is quite effective at setting up an impenetrable barrier for them and any other ants that may be bothersome.Sprinkle over their trails and trac. it back to the colony, if you can.
The best thing about about boric acid and Boraxo, other than their effectiveness, they're both safe to use around children and pets.
Vyger5 years ago
Another alternative, if you have a preschooler. is to give them a plastic hammer and pay them a penny for every confirmed mash.