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How can I get rid of ants?

(26 Posts)
Elizap Tue 17-Feb-09 09:22:17

Despite living in a 2nd floor flat with no garden I seem to have an ant infestation in my kitchen! It is driving me crazy and cant seem to get rid of them. I live in Portugal so maybe is more common over here but still dont want them in my house! I keep the kitchen as spotless as I can with a toddler in the house and never leave food out but it makes no difference. Have tried peppermint oil, vineger and cinneman but they dont work. Can I resort to chemicals or is that a absolutley no with a baby oin the house? Anyone ever used ant powder?? any ideas greatly appreciated!!

harleyd Tue 17-Feb-09 09:35:01

aardvark?? grin

you can get some sort of plug in pestie repellant thing, my aunt uses them

something like this i think

AMumInScotland Tue 17-Feb-09 09:38:13

I've used ant powder and it worked very well, but I didn't have a toddler in the house so you'd need to read the instructions about that.

You might be able to put it down overnight then vacuum before you let your toddler into the kitchen in the morning. It doesn't get up into the air or anything, so you'd just have to keep LO away from where you put the powder.

Pewari Tue 17-Feb-09 09:44:24

I use Ant Stop! spray which once it dries is supposed to be safe around children and pets. We seem to live on an anthill so I spray the perimeter of the house at the end of Feb each year and again around about May/June which keeps us ant-free.

Don't know if you can get it in Portugal, but the active ingredient seems to be deltamethrin - so maybe find something similar? The main thing is that the stuff can also be dangerous to aquatic life so be extra specially careful not to spray by any drains/ponds etc.

Elizap Tue 17-Feb-09 09:45:47

I think they are coming from behind the kitchen cabinets and dishwasher so I guess I could put the powder there as my DD couldn't get there even if she tried! will have a look at the hardware store.

Elizap Tue 17-Feb-09 09:48:11

thanks Pewarei. I used RAID last week but then got so nervous that I was going to poison my baby despite the fact that she was asleep and I had all the windows open!! is it really bad to use these sprays with her in the house?

lucykate Tue 17-Feb-09 09:49:36

given that you are on the 2nd floor, i doubt the ants are coming in from outside, you must have a nest somewhere nearby. ant powder will only kill off the ants outside of the nest, and keep them at bay. only way to get rid properly is to put down proper ant killer, like nippon. the ants eat it, take it back to the nest, make food from it, and it gradually spreads through the nest killing it off. beware though, first, in order for this to work, you need to live with the ants for a few days, don't kill them off with ant powder otherwise, not enough of the any killer will make it into the nest, which it needs to do to kill off the queen. and secondly, the life cycle of a nest, is something like 3 weeks for eggs to hatch. what will happen is the nest will die down once the killer takes effect. but roughly 3 weeks later become active again as the existing eggs hatch, once this lot is effected by the killer, the nest should be gone as there is no queen now to lay any eggs.

i know all this as we have 2 nests in our kitchen last summer, we had to remove the floor, concrete included and i did a lot of research into ants nests!

you can get child safe killer traps, the are like plastic domes, kids can't get into the poison but the ants can.

good luck!

Pewari Tue 17-Feb-09 09:55:03

RAID has different active ingredients, so I'm not sure about that one Elizap. Ant Stop I know gets taken down to the nest - I think if you spray or put the stuff down where your dd can't reach (like behind the cabinets) then it's good to be extra careful.

I agree with lucykate that the bait traps are very good HOWEVER, I found that my toddler would constantly pick them up and try to put them in his mouth ... NOT good!!!

The other option is if you have a stairgate or a way of blocking off the kitchen is to completely block her from the kitchen until the ants are gone.

lucykate Tue 17-Feb-09 10:03:10

i did have an incident with ds and ant powder, had to ring nhs direct. they said he was ok, in order for it to have an adverse effect on a human, you would have to consume a lot of it.

i really sympathise, last summer was horrendous for us due to the ants. but if you don't kill off the queen, they will keep coming back. queens can live for 15 years, worker ants for 5.

Snufflebufty Tue 17-Feb-09 10:03:45

When we went on holiday to egypt, we had ants coming in through the french doors. I watched where they were coming in and drew a ring around the area with johnsons baby powder. They didnt ross the line and when the maid came in, she swept the ants up. We didnt get to see if they were alive or dead inside their ring of powder. This might help if you go down the 'having to live with the ants for a few days' route. At least you will be able to contain the ants to a smaller space and will save you having to put the nasty ant killer anywhere near where your toddler will be.

PuppyMonkey Tue 17-Feb-09 10:09:49

Well, my dear old mum always swore by a piping hot kettle of boiling water poured all over the little bleeders. It soon sends the message back to the organisers that your house is not a safe place... but she was lucky as she could do this outside where she could see them coming into her property. I'm guessing it might be difficult for you on the second floor!

Elizap Tue 17-Feb-09 10:13:26

thanks Lucykate! scary thought that they can live so long! what is Nippon, a spray? and how do I use it? I dont mind living with them for a few days if it means getting rid of them forever!! they are coming through the building for sure as the ground floor have a garden. we just moved in after 8 months of building work so really dont want to have to remove our brand new kitchen!!!

IlanaK Tue 17-Feb-09 10:27:03

Ants are the bane of my life at the moment. I live in a very large block of flats and we have problems with pharoah ants. They are very small and red in colour - though totally harmless. Pest control put down little plastic containers of poison food that they take back to the nest as someone has already described. It does take months according to the guy who came to kill off the nest. The problem is that in a building htis large, if everyone else is not doing the same, they keep coming back. Drives me nuts.

Elizap Tue 17-Feb-09 10:30:48

they are harmless though right? i just found more in the cupboard where I keep all my babies bottled, cups, plates etc... I dont need to wash it all do I? Are they really unhygenic?

lucykate Tue 17-Feb-09 10:51:48

nippon is like a sweet, sugary gel. i'm pretty sure they are harmless, just a pain in your kitchen! we had the full monty, worker ones, male and female flying ones - those are the ones you need to watch out for as the larger (female) flying ants become queens, they are the ones that start the nest.

DanJARMouse Tue 17-Feb-09 10:57:37

Ant Stop. It is child and pet safe.

Swear by it.

extremelychocolateymilkroll Tue 17-Feb-09 17:37:32

What sort of ants? We had red/brown coloured Pharaoh Ants and the last thing to use is ant powder as that causes the ants to break up into 2 or more colonies. We had to get these granule type things to stick on the wall and eventually they went -after a few months. Will try and find out the name of what we had. We had a small baby and it was fine for use then.

Elizap Fri 20-Feb-09 18:11:41

The ants are brown and quite little. that would be great to know the nale of what you used. thanks!

funnypeculiar Fri 20-Feb-09 18:21:08

Have you tried teatree oil yet? Worked a treat for us - applied to areas where they were coming in - they simply wouldn't walk over it - in fact we put some into an ant colony outside (where they could easily have just moved their front door along a bit) and they just decamped

Although maybe portugese ants are tougher than british ones smile

Elizap Tue 24-Feb-09 12:26:22

Funnypeculiar.. I have used Olbas Oil and that works! will try teatree aswell!!

extremelychocolateymilkroll Tue 10-Mar-09 22:29:52

Sorry not to have got back to you before. The stuff we used was Biopren BMS Duo. You can't get hold of this yourself - you need to engage a pest control company who can get it.

Elizap Wed 11-Mar-09 09:11:21

Thank you! At the moment they seem to be under control. I bought these little containers filled with powder made by RAID and have put them behind the kitchen cabinets, well out of reach of small people and pets!! The idea it that they eat the powder and then take it back to the nest. Looks like it is working ok so far! If they come back will contact a company and get Biopren. Thank you!

extremelychocolateymilkroll Thu 12-Mar-09 13:08:44

If they are Pharaoh Ants we were told that the last thing to use is ant powder because it will cause them to split into 2 colonies and before that happens you may think they have gone away but they will only come back bigger and stronger. Fingers crossed they're not Pharaoh Ants.

Elizap Tue 17-Mar-09 19:33:31

fingers crossed! what do pharaoh ants look like? ours are small and brownish

McDreamy Tue 17-Mar-09 19:36:23

My kitchen was always invaded by ants in Cyprus until someone recommended talc - worked a treat sprinkled by back door and on any obvious nests.

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