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  1. #1
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    Ants in my pantry!

    The weather has finally gotten hot where I live and my kitchen has now been overwhelmed with ants! I've been trying to peacefully co-exist with them, but came home last night to find that they'd taken over a bottle of maple syrup in my cabinet. I just moved everything into my fridge and am going to have to figure out a way to keep them from coming back into the kitchen.

    Any strategies or materials that ya'll have used on them? I'd prefer to not use chemicals or bug spray seeing as how they're getting into my oven, cabinets, & counters.

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  3. #2
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    if i have to kill ants, i usually spray them with Simple Green or Windex and wipe them up. then i feel guilty for a while. but once they get into your food, you can't just live with them. you can also try to find out where they're getting in and plug the crack.

    i heard that ants don't like cinnamon, but it's bullshit. i put a line of cinnamon around an ant-entry-hole once and they could care less. maybe oil of cinnamon would work, but not the spice.

  4. #3
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    I've used diatomaceous earth with good effect. You can get it at garden supply places. It's safe to use around pets and children because it's not a chemical. It was explained to me as the skeletons of tiny ancient sea creatures that have very sharp edges and literally cut up insects as they crawl over it so they dehydrate and die. That sounds horrible and I don't know if it's true. I do know that after I spread a line of it around the baseboards in my kitchen, I didn't have ants in the cat dish anymore.

  5. #4
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    never tried it myself, but friends have had success with chili powder and cayenne pepper. i've also heard "ant chalk" works well, but if you're trying to avoid chemicals, that would be out.

    in vaguely related news, my neighbors once had a german exchange student who discovered their kitchen was ant-infested. "AAUUGH!," she shouted. "there are little elements running around everywhere!"

  6. #5
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    we've got some more tips in a similar thread in domestic bliss.

    msfish - your comment reminds me of a dutch housekeeper we had for a while when i was a kid - my mom told her to keep an eye out for cobwebs and she was freaked out, thinking we had cockroaches!

  7. #6
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    diatomaceous earth does cut insects up. it puctures their exoskeleton so they dry out or leak.

    but what's worse, getting cut up, or having your entire nervous system backfire all at once? because that's what Raid does to ants. since diatomaceous earth is mostly harmless to humans and cholinesterase inhibitors aren't, i'd stick with the diatomaceous earth.

  8. #7
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    Oh, I don't feel bad about slicing up their exoskeletons. I don't go around destroying ant hills, but if they're in my kitchen, eating my food, it becomes personal. It just started to sound a bit ghoulish as I was typing it out.

  9. #8
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    Wow. You guys use hardcore stuff. When we had ants invading our kitchen and bathroom, we did more bizarre things like drown them in shampoo. And clean obsessively. And put antkiller out in the yard.

    Now we have ants periodically invading my mother's car, which was once again solved with obsessive cleaning and putting antkiller in the yard.

    I guess we're still hardcore then.

  10. #9
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    Am I glad to find this post!! I've been dealing with tiny ants all summer! 40 or fifty at a time. We went away for the weekend, and we were greeted upon our return by really big ants...though not as many...they're huge and darty, and they're really creeping me out! They remind me of cockroaches...and yes, I have had to deal with them too!

    I remember reading that you could mix some mostly non-toxic powder (to humans) with sugar water and run a bead of it around the baseboards, and the ants would come for the sugar, and carry the powder back to their nest, killing the queen and the rest of the little f**kers. The problem is, I can't remember what the chemical was! Must do a bit of research. If I find anything, I'll post it here.

  11. #10
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    It's Borax that you mix with sugar. Works wonders. What I did was mix it in a paper cup (like a Dixie cup), crumple up a napkin in the bottom of the cup so that it absorbs most of the water, and set it out on the counter in the kitchen. It took maybe a week, and then no more ants.

    Diatomaceous earth is good, too, and it's fabulous for killing fleas. Be aware, though, that it is a pain in the butt to vacuum up. We used it once, a year ago, and every once in a while I STILL get a puff of it from the Hoover.


 
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