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Ant Invasion Solution

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Ants can be a huge problem in my area......one day not an ant in sight.....the next I might find a '2 inch wide column' of ants marching through my kitchen and swarming the dogs' feed dishes.  Another problem spot is the shed where we store aluminum pop & beer cans for recycling. 

I dislike spraying pesticides....they not only kill the ants, but beneficial insects as well.  A borax, sugar & water 'syrup' is a very effective 'poison' for ants.

My solution was to build a container for the "ant syrup" that would allow easy access for ants, but not for birds, animals and other insects that might find that sweet syrup appealing......and its pretty secure from curious kids.  I wanted something that could be used outside & withstand the elements....and the design to be such that evaporation wouldn't pose a problem (I wanted the syrup to stay syrupy)!  And I wanted it to hold enough syrup that I wouldn't have to frequently refill it.

I wanted to set it in place & forget about it!  This WORKED for 9 months on one filling.

Materials:

2 cans, one slightly shorter & smaller diameter than the other
foil duct tape
a kitchen 'scrubbie' (Scotch-brite pad type)
Borax (found in the laundry detergent aisle)
Sugar
Water

Tools:
can opener (the type that 'removes' the lid, rather than the kind that cuts into the lid)
large nail & hammer (to make access holes for the ants)...... or a drill & drill bit
scissors (to cut the 'scrubbie pad')
 
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Tex Arcana2 months ago
I had ants get trapped in a wall of our kitchen one fall, and when spring came they all swarmed INSIDE... :eek: After many calls to the pest control company, they sent out the old crazy dude, who used some apple butter mixed with borax as bait, and advised us to wait about 2 weeks. It worked.
greypoet10 months ago
Sound like a really great idea that I can use. BUT! I must be a little dense cause I can't see how the ants get from the inside of the outer can to the inside of the inner can. Color me slow but, please gather my scattered wits for me. Thanks, jim
DeeRilee (author)  greypoet9 months ago
The inner can has no lid on it, its open at the top. Ants enter the outer can through the holes near the bottom. Then they will travel up the inner can & over the top....down to the 'sweet poison'....and they WILL find it! I've had horrible ant problems in the past...even have them get inside a closed jar of peanut butter by traveling along the threads of the cap!
greypoet DeeRilee9 months ago
Thank you, that clears up my problem. Sounds like Mighty Mouse gives way to Atom Ant.
Thanks, jim
sunshiine1 year ago
I am so glad you posted this! We will be in an area where ants are a terrible problem and this information will come in handy! Thanks for sharing and have a splendorous day!
sunshiine
martinnez1 year ago
Thankyou, i will try this at home.It will be safe for my dogs!
DeeRilee (author)  martinnez1 year ago
That was one of my concerns...I have 3 chihuahuas that are VERY inquisitive.

Borax is very poisonous...and very effective with ants....but it doesn't discriminate. It really needs to be "out of reach".....this worked very well.

I also didn't want it to be accessible to other insects (bees, etc)....and, potentially, hummingbirds. And I wanted it to be as "kid-proof" as possible.

This spring I plan on experimenting with using gelatin...to make the syrup more solid & 'spill-proof'. Though by securing the can to a post in an outbuilding kept it from tipping over.
cobinrox1 year ago
Just wondered what the purpose of the scrubbie is?
DeeRilee (author)  cobinrox1 year ago
It lets the ants get back out more easily.....and carry the poison back to their nest & share with their colony.

Times that I've used just a container of the syrup, there would be a LOT of drowned ants. With the scrubbie in place, after 9 months of use, there were only a couple. And the ants had certainly used it, all but a few drops of syrup was gone.
ptuny1 year ago
Wonderful but where do we Vote?
DeeRilee (author)  ptuny1 year ago
It needs to be approved for admission in the contest! =(

Come back tomorrow!
Gaark DeeRilee1 year ago
+33.4 votes :D
tjesse1 year ago
I came back from vacation last week to find a trail of ants from my front door to my trash can. I will be trying this.
DeeRilee (author)  tjesse1 year ago
I've had best results by following the ants back to their home & leaving the "Ant Can" close (for their dining convenience). They'll lose interest in your trash can sooner & focus on the sweetness closer to home!
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