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Ants

Does anyone here have any tips for getting rid of ants? I've got ants in the kitchen, ants in the bathroom, ants coming out from behind the tap in the shower. I've got ants in my hard drive. Actually that last one isn't true, just a desperate attempt to make this relevant to the forum. The nest is under the house, so tactical nuclear weapons, although tempting, are probably not an option.

Andrew Simmons
Thursday, August 01, 2002

Borax and honey. Works like a charm, and won't hurt the environment.

Darren Collins
Thursday, August 01, 2002

My house always seems to get over-run with insects every time I quit drinking.  Damnedest thing...

C2H5OH
Thursday, August 01, 2002

There is still one I am trying to get rid of.  Anyone have a widowed uncle?

Ant farm owner
Thursday, August 01, 2002

We hired terminex.  It cost about $125 but the ants are gone.

vanguard
Thursday, August 01, 2002

125 dollars is my first monthly salary here...and u spend it only for bug terminator service..sheesh

Raj
Friday, August 02, 2002

There seems to be stuff available to kill them but not to deter them from coming into the house.

whatever
Friday, August 02, 2002

Raj, I don't think he earns $125 a month. I earn (after taxes) $2750 (plus overtime) a month, which means I could easily afford spending $125 getting rid of ants if I had to (hell, that's what a pair of CK jeans would cost me) ... and my salary is pretty low.

BC
Friday, August 02, 2002

I used to have a house with ants nests in the walls, and the newly hatched ones would crawl the wrong way if the temperature gradient was the wrong way (they crawl up towards the warmth, on the basis that that's the "outside world") and emerge in the kitchen.

I ended up using ant powder to fence off things that were under immediate attack, and then one of the poisons that they carry back to the nest, to kill off the queens. It felt mean, but they wouldn't open negotiations.


In my current house, the problem is this beetle. It's not a small beetle. We keep throwing the damn thing out, and it keeps coming back. The dogged persistance has won me over and I'm unwilling to kill him, but the next furthest place to release him is the next county...

Katie Lucas
Friday, August 02, 2002

Jeans?!?!?

You buy $125 jeans?

My god. The last pair of jeans I bought cost me 30 quid, I thought they were on the expensive side and still it was all of two weeks before I'd had a pen leak in one of the pockets...

Katie Lucas
Friday, August 02, 2002

Katie, you OBVIOUSLY need a pocket protector.  :-)

Greg Kellerman
Friday, August 02, 2002

BC,  Raj was talking about his own salary, $125/month is standard in some countries like India, etc

I guess terminating ants would also be alot cheaper over there though....

Frank
Friday, August 02, 2002

Where I used to live, we had problems with ants getting into the kitchen. Our solution was to stick gaffer tape onto the (tiled) floor, sticky side up, so if the ants started trying to cross it they'd get stuck.

Surprisingly enough - this actually worked. We put down ant powder as well, but the gaffer tape kept the ants away for the several days that it took for the ant powder to kill everything.

Inigo
Friday, August 02, 2002

I wonder what the local value of that $125 is.  For example, how much does it cost to buy a decent home?

Ged Byrne
Friday, August 02, 2002

Move to a colder climate. Here in Ireland we've had our two days of summer and we're clearly heading into the thick of winter again. Insects hardly bother us at all here.

James Shields
Friday, August 02, 2002

James,

What do you do during the summer in Seattle?
.
.
.
If it comes on a Sunday, you go on a picnic.

--

Seriously though, we use diazanon. Works great and is nontoxic to humans as long as you don't read the label that says its a dangerous poison. They banned it last year but I stocked up for life. You sprinkle it in the window crevices and other spots where the ants are coming in.

--

Regarding the cost of professional exterminators, where they make substantially more than Indian developers, the solution is obvious. We need to bring in H1B Exterminators from overseas. In the global marketplace, we can't afford not to and if the local Exterminators can't get it done for less, those lazy bastards don't deserve to have jobs.

Sarain H.
Friday, August 02, 2002

Raj, maybe you should consider switching careers to become a bug exterminator?  <;-)

Zwarm Monkey
Friday, August 02, 2002


That's a new topic, how much money do you earn/how much you need to live well in other countries?

I, for example, earn about $1200 after taxes... a good house cost about $45,000 (wide range of offers, though). A Big Mac with coke and fries costs about $3.00. A "good enough" car costs $7,000 (but we aren't too picky on that)

Should we start a new topic?

Leonardo Herrera
Friday, August 02, 2002

Insects love to live in very unclean environments. Andrew, when was the last time you threw out the trash from your kitchen  ??

Any way, cleaning your house with a strong smelling natural oil is a very good solution. Say, ants simply can not stand the smell of Eucaliptus oil. Visit your local natural foods store, they should have plenty of strong smelling oil.

danielel
Friday, August 02, 2002

Good grief, fellow Joelians!

Wake up and smell the troll.

(the salary comment, not the ants).

The voice of rationality
Friday, August 02, 2002

Have you guys tried FogBUGZ?
http://www.fogcreek.com/FogBUGZ

Sorry, it's late here in Australia.

Darren Collins
Saturday, August 03, 2002

Why do you want to kill the ants? Ants are good. They mean your house is free of toxins. Also, ants are interesting to watch. ( Although this might apply more in warm climates.)

Hugh Wells
Saturday, August 03, 2002

My suggestion is to do some research and determine the natural predator of the ants that invade your house, this may be some sort of ant-eater type creature, or possibly another ant type, then plant a nest of the enemy ants nearby and let nature do its work...

Alberto
Sunday, August 04, 2002

My thanks for the various suggestions. I'm trialling the borax & honey option at the moment. I presume this  means borax the chemical - in New Zealand, to poke the borax at some one is to make fun of them. I don't think this would work with ants, any more than my wife's technique of shouting "Why don't you **** off, you ****ing ****ers" in the style of Sharon Osbourne.

I'm not convinced by the theory that ants like unclean environments, given that they love the shower, and seem particularly keen on the shampoo bottle. In answer to Hugh, ants are interesting in small numbers, but not when you are late for work, and stumble into a kitchen which was ant-free the night before to find a trail of them emerging from a power socket, up the wall, across the ceiling, and down into the pantry which you open to find them crawling over every jar in sight. Not to mention the side-trail heading into the toaster and dragging crumbs out of it.

Andrew Simmons
Sunday, August 04, 2002

Andrew, one of Richard Feynman's books details how he managed to "re-route" an ant trail by putting little bits of paper down on the trail, transfering the ants that crawled onto the paper to an area _outside_ his house that he'd put sugar in, and letting the ants find their way back to their comrades. Something like that anyway. This has the advantage of not killing any ants.

Apparently, he also discovered that some breeds of ant use "directional" trails and others don't. That is, if you pick one up, turn it round and put it down on the trail facing the direction it came from, some ants will happily follow the trail in the wrong direction, whereas others can tell and will turn around again. Fascinating, no?

Adrian Gilby
Monday, August 05, 2002

leave a piece of lemon over the night. You will find all the ants on that piece of lemon the next day, you can either through it away with all the ants on it or try some ant-lemonade.

yoyo
Monday, July 05, 2004

Andrew, what  I use to get rid off ants are dishwashing soap and water.  Try fallowing the trail were they come in and pour some dishwashing soap.This does not kill the ants, it simply makes them turn around. Also, it takes awhile before they disapper. As you can see, the ants comes out 3 months before winter comes. All their doing is gathring food for winter.  Their is no solutions of getting rid off ants, it does not matter how many you kill, they will keep coming back.

Sabit 45
Sunday, August 29, 2004

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