So you want to know the BEST way to get rid of ants and you want proof? Well you’ve come to the right blog my friends!
I currently live in the south, where there are more bugs than you can shake a stick at. Unlike New England, where we freeze the crap out of bugs to make sure and kill a few million every winter, the south stays balmy enough to keep them all alive. Lovely.
Can you see the little critters crawling up the side of the window moulding below? (This was last week when the spring rain started driving them indoors.) So, I’ve been in Atlanta a while now, and I clearly understand that the term is not “extermination” it is “management“.
Every three to four years or so a band of “Argentinian” ants finds there way into my house, and into my neighbor’s houses, (cuz Lord knows we don’t want anyone to feel left out). These guys are teeny tiny. I have tried every way to fix this problem over the years, from expensive professional bug treatments to home made Borax solutions I found on Pinterest. I am finally an expert😉 and I have the photos to prove it. Are you ready? Above you see them? Below you don’t! (Well, you can see a few dead ones on the paper if you look closely.)
I finally found something at Home Depot a few years ago called Terro Liquid Ant Baits. Yes, the packaging says the active ingredient in these is from “Borax.” But… buying a box of Borax, making a solution and soaking cotton balls, etc. was never this effective. I promise. I’ve done it. HOWEVER… you have to know how to use this stuff properly…so keep reading…because these directions are not on the package. This is a Managed By Mom (from experience) exclusive.
DO THE FOLLOWING AND ANTS DISAPPEAR!
#1. When you see ants…don’t kill them! I know. This seems counterintuitive, but it’s important. Watch them. Follow the trail to determine where they are entering the room. This might take a minute or 10 minutes. I promise it’s worth your time.
#2. Once you’ve figured out where they are entering (probably through a wall, a crack, a door jam) put down something you can throw away – I like wax paper. Cut open one of these baits, and if it’s possible, dribble a little of the Terro liquid at the beginning of the trail right where they are entering. You don’t want these suckers walking 20 feet cuz they leave pheromone trails which is how they follow each other…and probably how they keep finding their way to my house every few years. In the photo above I put some on the tiles next to the window moulding which is why you see so many congregating there.
#3. As close to the entry point as possible put one or two of these bates with a little bit of the bait sprinkled leading up to it. I don’t take any chances people. Lead them to the poison. Then wash your hands very well with soapy water, whether or not you think you got any on your hands. (Sorry…Mom here…can’t shut it off.)
#4. Now, spray a paper towel well with Windex and wipe all around the perimeter of the area with the bait – if it’s a wipeable surface. Think – you are creating an invisible fence. Windex is one of the few things that can literally wipe out the ant pheromones they follow. I’ve been told it’s the ammonia. This way the ants only smell the bait and the pheromones left by other ants leading up to it. Very few will wander past it.
#5. Now the hard part…walk away. Yes. Just leave it, because watching this will give only you the willies. No lie – I get goosebumps watching this little suckers multiply as they make their way to the bait. It’s like they send out a freakin’ SOS. So walk away and let them eat. They won’t die while their eating it. They take it back inside their bodies to all their friends in the nest and wipe them out where they live. (Thank God, cuz I would not want to clean that up.)
#6 Within 24 hours you should see the number of ants dissipate and/or stop. This year it took about 36 hours till I didn’t see a single ant. A day and a half of goose pimples…wondering if they were gone..but they are! Yippee!!
#7. You’re not done yet. Now you need to plug or seal that tiny hole, crack, door jam, or however they got in. This year at my house it was literally a pin sized hole in the caulk between the tile and the window moulding. So I sealed it. Also throw away your wax paper and carefully wash off any residue that’s left with soap and water with paper towels and throw them away. (You don’t want this stuff on a sponge you’re going to wash the dishes with.) And wash those hands again. Then wipe over the area with Windex to erase any pheromones.
The problem should be over…at least for another few years. But if (or when) it happens again – you’re ready!
Let me know how it works for you!