Pets Month '08: Tips to Keep the Ants Out of Your Dog's Food!





Introduction: Pets Month '08: Tips to Keep the Ants Out of Your Dog's Food!

If you keep your dog outside (becuase your parents are dead set on never letting you bring it inside at all) and you've been faced with the ant-eating-my-dog's-food problem then here are some suggestions for keeping those pesky critters out, and your dog happy!

I own a Jindokae (i'm not sure how to spell it). She's a Korean dog and is a mighty great guard-dog. She barks at every suspicious character she sees.

If you like this instructable, please rate and vote for it! thanks.
<3 alvincredible.

Step 1: Using Water to Be Rid of Ants

1. A bowl
2. A bowl of larger size.

How to do it:
This one's easy and quite obvious. you can fill the bottom bowl with water, probably not too much so that the inner bowl can touch the bottom, then put the smaller bowl inside.

Fill the bowl with water! This keeps ants out because ants can't swim and carry food at the same time.

Step 2: Suspend the Food Bowl

1. A food bowl,
2. 3 eye bolts
3. some nylon string ( or something tough)
4. 3 10-inch clothes hanger wires (straightened)
5. a nail

How to do it:
This keeps ants out of your dog's food by keeping it slightly off the ground (an inch or so). My dad asked me to find a way to keep ants out, so i thought this up about a year ago, and it's been working since!

Take your dog bowl and drill three evenly spaced holes on the top rim of the bowl. screw in the eye bolts into those holes. if you made the holes too big, use nuts, bolts, or a combination of both to keep it in place.

Now take the clothes hangers and insert one end in through the eye bolt. bend over about 1-2 cm over the eye bolt so that it holes. on the other end of the clothes hanger, make a hook that doesnt close on itself that goes curls in the same direction as the hole that went through the eye bolt.
Do this for all three clothes hangers, then zip tie the hooks together.

Take the string and tie a good strong knot on the hooks. You can now close the hooks completely if you wish.

Nail an nail into a wall or a roof like i did and wrap the excess string around it until the bowl is about an inch off the ground.

Now ants won't get into your dog's food! My dog's food used to always be covered in ants.

Step 3: Storage of the Dog Food

You should store the food in containers with lids in order to keep the ants away.

Several differnet things my family has done include:

1. Using an old cooler with wheels. We lined the cooler with a trash bag, then filled it with dog food. Then you twist the top of the trash bag together, cover the cooler, and then you can roll it under your workbench or keep it outside!

2. We also used a large storage container. you can just fill it with the food, top it, then store it wherever! we keep ours outside.

3. we keep some food in smaller containers that are more accessible so that it's easier to feed the dog. We've saved glass kimchi containers after we finihsed eating the kimchi and used them for storing the dogfood, and countless other things. (we have a shelf filled with kimchi contianers that have small parts and tools). These things are super handy for storing things. And when you feed the dog, you can just unscrew the top, pour out the food, rescrew it and you're done!

4. //there are more ideas to come! I'm trying to keep this as original as possible and avoiding the temptation of googling ideas! haha. but i'll willingly take any suggestions from you and post them here if you wish!

//pictures with actual dog food will come soon. we keep it on top of the dog house my dad and i made.

Step 4: Mean But Surprisingly Successful Ways to Be Rid of Ants

1 Well when i was about 6th grade, i was fed up with ants becuase our house was infested wiht them. I once found them covering my bed which was absolutely disgusting. So being the mischievous kid i was(n't), i grabbed some candy (after sucking it a couple times), a piece of cheese, and something else, and placed it in front of my neighbors house leading into their backyard. i was surprised to find the ant numbers decreasing in my hosue (for a week) until they returned. but it sure did give me a laugh :-)

2 Another thing you could do is locate the ant hole and destroy them. You could buy some ant killer (make sure it's enviornmentally friendly) and annhialtate them. You could place some ant traps next to them like i used to do, hire pest terminators, and if all else fails, flood your lawn ( i did this for fun and foudn the ants desparately escaping into the street. it was awesome! then you take the hose and wash em down the street and let other neighbors deal with them.

Step 5: Use Chalk or Soap!

Thanks to the commentors for reminding me about this!
when i had a nanny, she got this thing called "Hees" as she pronounced it (it was some Chinese-manufactured thing so we didn't know what it was called). Anyway, she said her friend showed it to her and that it worked wonders on keeping ants out and away.
It turns out, it was a piece of chalk...and maybe more! There were dead ants near the chalk lines! Well i can say that it definitely worked because the ants dwindled in number after we lined the problem areas with it. They must not like crossing powder as one commentor put it.

I tried it again with a normal piece of chalk ant found that it worked just the same, but without the killing of ants. They just seemed to avoid the dog food.

also, xenobiologistasays that "You can also take a bar of soap and draw a circle on the ground around the dog bowl. The ants don't like to walk on the soap...go over it a few times so it's thick." Sounds like it'd work to me!

So in summary, just take the chalk (or soap) and simply draw a line around the area you don't want ants to go (i wonder if you can draw a line aroudn an ant hole! or use powered chalk and put it around...). It's that simple.

The only problem is that using this inside the house would leave white chalk marks EVERYWHERE (my house was ridden with ants)...

a warning: i found this after looking for a picture:
Warning about Ant Chalk

A recent discussion on UCB Parents recommended the use of "ant chalk" as a tip for controlling ants in the home. Please let your members knows that ant chalk often contains insecticides; that's why it works so well. It can be extremely hazardous to children, especially if ingested. The packaging may also include high levels of lead. Ant chalk is illegal in California and should not be used under any circumstances, especially in a home with small children.

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) issued a press release on ant chalk in November (see Ant chalk has made several California children very sick. If you have ant chalk in your home it should be disposed of as household hazardous waste. If you know stores where ant chalk is still sold, you should call DPR's Enforcement Branch, at (916) 445-3920, or the local county agricultural commissioner.

Please don't let kids get near this product. '

Uh oh... it may be that this chalk is illegal...but i'm not sure. anyway, the bagged chalk package is what my nanny got!!! ahh!



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    Another effective ant deterrent is oil of pennyroyal. If you paint it on the door- and window-sills, they won't cross it. I don't know if it messes with their sense of smell or what, but it does work. It smells like strong peppermint, so I'm not sure how a dog would react to it, if you were to paint a ring of it around food bowls. Oh, and you can buy it online.

    Hi ! i use 2 bowls--one for the food --the second bowl has water with a few drops dishwashing liquid---- need a 'heavy bowl for the food--center food bowl in the other bowl---Viola !!!! ant proof food bowl !!!!

    Good job, thanks. At home there are ants, but are pacific. We (my wife, I and the ants) sign an armistice and we live together without mutual aggressions.

    5 replies

    When I lived in the Caribbean we used to have Fire Ants.  Horrific little guys.  You had to be super careful to kill the colonies early. 

    I realize we are very lucky. Ants live at home for years (we bought the house and they are already in the inventory) below the base of the drying of clothes. They are peaceful and not very destructive. Occasionally they rowdy and bit, especially after rains, but seldom in the year. Then I pour a little poison to quench them for a while. 

    I live in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The ants here are not a problem, as they are more toward the north. Only occasionally they invade the houses or the food. They are dedicated to their matters.

    haha! You are quite lucky. There are times when i'd fix myself breakfast in the mornings before school only to find the countertop black with ants(now we have granite countertops so the ants are much more camoflauged). It was absolutely made me not want to eat ahah! We hired terminators several times but they failed. But i don't know, i think they're gone becuase we haven't had an invasion in quite a while! it may just be that it's the winter and fall seasons...but still... thanks for the input!

    there is a problem on this step. the ants can still climb down the ropes into the bowl.

    cayenne pepper also works. It's probably not the best way but it is fun to watch. Once you find the ant beds surround it with the pepper. They won't go anywhere near it.

    Electrocute them! I can't remember where, but I have seen plans to keep ants off of picnic blankets with two lines of charged metal (aluminum) and when an ant steps on both of them it connected the circuit and zapped them. Just an idea that I remember from somewhere (can't recall where though). It looked a little like this (drew this up in 2 min on paint, I don't know what voltage it would take to kill them)

    instructable ant.bmp
    1 reply

    This is great! All 4 of my dogs eat inside but I have a cat that prefers to eat outside, and his bowl is ALWAYS full of ants since cats don't tend to lick a bowl clean like a dog will. I will try this, I hate to try to get those ants out before I bring in his bowls to clean them.

    if you don't destroy the entire colony of ants--usually you don't, there are just too many--make sure to clean where they were coming from with hot soapy water. ants can follow their own scent, so if you wash away their trail, they'll have to find you all over again...and this time, you'll be ready. ;)

    1 reply

    oh,once when i was in Kindergarten,a whole trail of ants cam rite under the door,my mom took some chalk(regular kind) and told us to draw a big oval around ANY of the ants,the ants did not like it one bit and sorta followed the way they came in to get out.Then I used the soap method to make them STAY OUT, right under the door and right where you would walk in, I drew with a line of the thick kind of soap and our ant problems were all gone... but then there were mosquitoes....

    good instructible. great idea to keep the ants out. inside on counters I have used a line of liquid dish soap to keep ants off the dishes that I had not washed yet. That works but it's better to just wash the dishes haha. Your dog looks like a Japanese dog called a Shiba Inu, I don't have one but apparently they are very strong willed and hard to train.

    i know how you feel. one time i went into a room that i was going to sleep in and my floor and bed was literaly moving as one with disgusting looking ants. i used so much spray that the following year i could still smell the insectiside. bla!

    The ants don't like to cross the soap line because they float on the surface and are stuck there for awhile (also good if you need to collect ants for an ant farm). Also when you make a line of chalk ants will soon pass over it, especially if they are trying to get to food.

    Hey, nice ideas, I have tried the water around the bowl trick, and it works great for ants, however, here in the south, there are lots of other critters that can fly and still get into the food. But avoiding ants is a BIG plus. Just wondering where you got your dog. Did you specifically look for that breed? My dog looks incredibly like yours, and I found him at a shelter 6 years ago. The shelter said he was a "shepherd mix" -NOT! Just curious.