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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys
I've got some ant mounds at the base of my house that I'd like to get rid of. Everything I've tried so far really doesn't work.
I went out and got diatomaceous earth since I've heard that is supposed to work well plus it's not a poison it kills mechanically. It doesn't really seem to be working. If I cover 1 mound, a new one pops up next to it. I was hoping they'd bring it back down in the nest and everyone would feast and that would be it. They are avoiding it, but not really eating it.......Its only been there for about 3 days, but I thought any ants that ate it or came into contact with it would die within 48hrs?
Maybe mix it with some sugar as an attractant? Any ideas? Obviously I need stuff that is pet friendly so nothing toxic.

FWIW, they seem to be just your average little ants. Not carpenter and not fire ants.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
tried that didn't work. Everything I've read says that's only a quick fix, it won't get deep enough into the nest to kill the queen. As long as she's still alive the colony will regrow.
 

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Jen, might it be better to put the diatomaceous earth AROUND the mounds rather than directly on them? That way, the ants may not sense that the mound is being damaged.
 

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Another thing Jen is that you may want to find out the content of the version of diatomaceous earth you are using. If it contains a high amount of crystalline silcates, best not to use that outdoors as pest control. Inhaling it can lead to silicosis, a condition similar to asbestiosis and mesothelioma. But if it is the type that comes from freshwater sources and/or has a high percentage of amorphous silicates, it is much safer if there is an inhalation risk.

Funny how the EPA banned diazinon (one of the most effective ant killers) yet has no problem restricting saltwater sourced diatomaceous earth? And it is even funnier how diazinon is banned, yet malathion is not????
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I did check that! I once did a study on silicosis, so I've seen the effects.
It's 85% silicone dioxide made from Amorphous Diatomaceous Earth fresh water type!
Even so I'm still wearing a N95 particulate mask! Perks of working in a Respiratory Research Lab, I can get properly fitted for this stuff!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Actually, I think I might have some diazinon left, some of the granular type. I'm a little leary of using in the back yard with the dogs, but they've never shown any interest to what I've been doing so far!
Maybe sprinkle a few of those on the hole. Will the ants eat that stuff?
 

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jennifer2 said:
Actually, I think I might have some diazinon left, some of the granular type. I'm a little leary of using in the back yard with the dogs, but they've never shown any interest to what I've been doing so far!
Maybe sprinkle a few of those on the hole. Will the ants eat that stuff?
I do not think it works that way. I suspect that moisture in the soil and/or a good rain will carry it into the soil.
 

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Terro. You need to get Terro. It is the ONLY thing that ever worked for us, my entire family swears by it, AND it is completely non-toxic to pets. :)
 

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But they won't bring the diatomaceous earth back to the nest (will they?) so it just kills the ones that come into contact with it.
I had ants a couple of years ago and used plain old brown sugar (they love it) mixed with baking soda, about 50/50. They were gone within three days. My brother just tried it last week,at his house, and it worked for him too. They carry it back to the nest, 'cause the bs is yummy and then the bs kills 'em poor little fellow! I actually hate killing ants, they're so amazing, but I just can't have them in my house. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #13
No, they don't bring the DE back to the nest. I guess the way it works is by killing the worker ants, so the colony should starve to death. That is just going to take way longer than I'm willing to wait.

I think I'm going to try the Terro bait stuff. They're website says it is nontoxic to pets/people. I'll still keep it hidden away from the dogs though.
I've read that trying to use baking soda/corn meal/any of that stuff will work, but also basically takes a while. Apparently the adult ants don't actually eat any of this stuff because it's too large. They feed it to the larvae which inturn make it into something edible for the adults, so I believe the baking soda/cornmeal/etc... should also work fairly slowly.

And if these ants were out in the yard somewhere, I'd leave them alone since they are good for soil and stuff. But they are on the patio at the base of the house. The mounds are actually right where the house and the patio meet, so my guess is they might be under the house?

Everything I've read says you need to find out what type of ants you have to properly get rid of them. I'm obviously not an entomologist, but I believe they are pyramid ants. I guess they are pretty common around here and it says they are the ones that build the little mounds in driveways and patios, which is exactly where I have them. And I've seen the little guys rebuild their mounds after they've been disturbed and they do it the way papers have said the pyramid ants work......
They are pretty cool, if they'd stayed somewhere else I would leave them alone!
 

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I'm sure you'll have great success with the Terro...when you first put it out, you will for a short time see a LOT of ants, because they love the stuff and will all be wanting to eat it and take it back to the nest. But in a few days, they will all be completely gone. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I was a little concerned at first about using terro since it is OUTSIDE, I don't want to bring MORE ants in. But they said that you will be able to tell when the ants you want gone are gone. I guess as the ants die, the other ants will remove them from the nest, so every morning you should wake up to little dead piles 8O As long as the piles are there, you know there are still ants left in the nest to bring out the dead.....
 

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If you are concerned about your dogs getting into the areas you've treated with the ant killer, why not spray or sprinkle some dog and cat repellent in a wide radius around the mounds you treat? So they stay away from it until the treatment is complete? :?:
 

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I agree with Ianthe. Get some Terro. It is the best stuff I have ever used. I had all kinds of ant problems while I was living in Florida. Terro always works :)
 

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I have just found this -
Ant Repellant: To keep ants out of the house, find where the ants are entering the house and sprinkle a "barrier" of cinnamon or any type of ground pepper to block their way. The spices are too hot for the ants to cross. Cucumber peels have the same effect.
We had a problem like that once and we drew a line on the hardwood floor with chalk - they didn't go any further and had to go back outside :wink:
 
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