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ARGH! Ants!

(133 Posts)
GeorginaA Sat 21-Feb-04 10:04:18

Well, it's about time for my weekly hormonal panic...

Dh has just informed me that he found four ants by the sofa this morning. He duly removed them, but I'm now rather worried. How likely are we to suddenly get a horde of them running through?

It's really bizarre - the sofa is nowhere near the door and I didn't really think it was ant season - still quite cold outside. Thought this was really a summer problem.

If we do get a load, what's the safest way to remove them? I have a 2 year old and I'm 26 weeks pregnant so I'm reluctant to have any chemicals in the house. Previously when we've had ants we've only had them outside so we could pour kettles of hot water down... not really as easy inside on the carpet!

twiglett Sat 21-Feb-04 10:06:55

message withdrawn

Davros Sat 21-Feb-04 10:54:46

Recommend Raid, use as per Twiglett's post.

hercules Sat 21-Feb-04 11:13:03

You can get these little pot type things which you just leave on the floor. The idea is the ants go in there, collect some poison then take it back to there nests and within a short while they all die in their home. Much better than sprinkling powder and it has always worked for us. You an buy them in supermmarkeyts

GeorginaA Sat 21-Feb-04 12:14:53

twiglett: thank you! I have been around the house though and we don't appear to have any vent things? We're in a fairly new-built house so I wonder if that's why? No idea where the little buggers got in! dh thinks they came in on some shoes but I'm not as convinced!

Haven't seen any of their comrades yet... might try those little pot things if we can't work out where they're coming in - thanks hercules!

Janstar Sat 21-Feb-04 12:37:23

I find Nippon very good, you can buy a sort of syrup of it, put it down on a bit of tin foil wherever you saw the ants. They take it back to the nest.

If there are lots of ants you will soon see them gathered around the pool of syrup, drinking. Fascinating, in a yucky sort of way.

Snugs Sat 21-Feb-04 13:55:05

If you can't see any visible vents, then you probably have 'air bricks' in the lower levels of your outside walls. We have these and last summer ended up with two ants nests under the floorboards. (Discovered when ds left out a piece of jammy toast which the ants found before I did - yuck)

I also vote for Nippon with the traps. Place them as close as possible to skirting boards and top up with poison every 1-2 days. Also try putting some outside, up against the walls of the house.

If you have seen 4 ants, I'm afraid there are probably a lot more, so get rid now before the weather gets any warmer.

suedonim Sat 21-Feb-04 15:36:08

Georgina, it could be a one-off, in that the ants were lured in by perhaps a couple of crumbs or similar on the floor but once they realise there's not a great horde of food, they won't bother again. They also carry out recces now and again!

But I would look for where they're starting from. If you watch them for a while, they usually follow a clear path that will lead you to their lair, and then you can pounce, hee hee! Putting chalk powder in a circle around their nest and pathways is supposed to be a deterrent as they don't like to cross gritty powdery stuff. And if all else fails, call Rentokil.

GeorginaA Sat 21-Feb-04 16:04:35

Thanks again all Still no sign of their brethren... we did have a rather crumby sort of day yesterday (ds had a couple of friends over, fairy cakes were eaten and crumb control was minimal) so I'm keeping fingers crossed for the recce theory. Done a really thorough hoover and keeping an eye open for any further infiltrators at which point I shall be stocking up on ant pots, nippon and boiling the kettle up lots (for the outside entry points!)

carla Sat 21-Feb-04 16:45:22

Ours were crawling all inside our dishwasher. Advice from V depressed mum from nursery supervisor? Put on a hot wash. It worked though

GeorginaA Mon 15-Mar-04 14:13:53

An update. Well they kept coming in dribs and drabs... thought we'd sussed it when we polyfillered up a gap in the skirting board but they came back eventually.

Finally relented last night and put down some Nippon ant traps - now there are TONS of them all in the kitchen it's horrid How long will it take to kill them all?

I got dh to fill them and put them behind the fridge and the dishwasher so ds couldn't reach or touch them, but I am a bit worried. Presumably the amount of poison they tread back onto surfaces wouldn't affect either ds or me (30 weeks pregnant)? Hate having poison in the house and am generally feeling very "taken over" and miserable

iota Mon 15-Mar-04 14:22:00

I've seen ants in my kitchen twice in the last week - only a few but I kill them immediately so they can't take the good news of a new food source back to their nest.
I think they must be coming in through a crack in the door frame and have been spraying Raid around the door way. I have aso used flea spray in the past which sems to put them off - I am careful about what I use as I have a cat and don't want him to come to harm ( oh and 2 small boys as well)

Good luck - it's horrible whn they appear isn't it?

Twinkie Mon 15-Mar-04 14:26:38

OK - here you go guys a secret fool proof way to stop the ants coming into your house - go out and buy a super cheap jar of Honey/Jam - anything sweet really - put outside near to the place where the ants woudl come in and hey presto you will never be troubled by them again - will have a scummy pot of anty jam outside but hey - they won't be in your house!! - Believe me it works my uncle has done it for years and years and they never get ants inthe house and their jam has lasted the last 3 years!!

GeorginaA Mon 15-Mar-04 14:28:20

I've been told that just squidging them is a bad thing to do because other ants smell it and come to collect the dead bodies (shudder). It is horrible, you're right Especially the kitchen. I know ants are supposed to be "nuisance" rather than "hygiene problem" but I still don't like being in my kitchen at the moment (or anywhere downstairs for that matter - I'm so jumpy that I think every bit of fluff is an ant at the moment!)

Then again, an ant just crawled across my computer desk ... I HATE THEM I HATE THEM I HATE THEM!

I've managed to find a toxicity report on nippon ant liquid and it's supposed to have very low toxicity for humans (i.e. you have to ingest loads before it becomes an issue) which is a bit more reassuring... still don't like the idea of it being around though

GeorginaA Mon 15-Mar-04 14:29:32

lol Twinkie - except I think their nest is under the house Knowing my luck they'd have to crawl through the house to get to the outside....

eddm Mon 15-Mar-04 14:30:28

Oh yes, remember this well. When we moved to our last house, surveyor didn't notice FIVE ants nests under the stairs. Yuck! I used to see hundreds of them pouring out of the door frame, tried to suck them up with hoover but the only real solution was to call in Rentokil, especially as we have a cat and I didn't want her eating the poison. Once the nests were cleared, as per Twiglett I used the powder on doorsteps/airbricks whenever I noticed any hanging around outside. The liquid stuff that they are supposed to take back to the nest didn't really work for us – maybe they were superants who had become immune. Scary!

GeorginaA Mon 15-Mar-04 14:33:26

Ugh eddm - was kind of hoping this stuff was foolproof How did they clear the ants nests out? Surely Rentokill will use poison too?

iota Mon 15-Mar-04 14:36:35

After I'd squashed the ants, I hoovered and washed the kitchen floor, threw out the catfood and sprayed the doorways and skirting boards with Raid.
Am now getting paranoid about dropping crumbs etc on kitchen floor in case they come back

GeorginaA Mon 15-Mar-04 14:42:27

That should throw them off the scent then

Yes, I'm paranoid about crumbs too - but I have my own personal crumb factory in ds - it's proving impossible to live crumb free

iota Mon 15-Mar-04 14:46:01

I have 2 X crumb factories aged 4 and 2, so I know where you're coming from.....
Am thinking about feeding them and the cat outside - do you think it's too cold for all day picnics?

GeorginaA Mon 15-Mar-04 14:50:51

LOL... sounds good to me

Fizog Mon 15-Mar-04 14:54:35

I don't have ants but a mouse (maybe 2) has taken residence somewhere in my kitchen... put down a trap the food is gone but now dead bodies.

momof2 Mon 15-Mar-04 15:06:35

I have a real phobia about ants, I really loathe them. Twinkie, thanks for the tip - our garden will be filled with jam and honey!

GeorginaA Mon 15-Mar-04 15:11:45

I didn't think I had a phobia of ants until that one ran across the computer table in front of me while I was typing *very very jumpy now*

eddm Mon 15-Mar-04 15:22:34

Georgina, don't know what Rentokil used (didn't supervise too carefully) but they just came in and removed the nests, don't think they left any powder or poison out. But the nests were in a cupboard under the half-landing so I didn't look (you had to bend double to get in there. Made dh do it). I know what you mean about being jumpy, until had this infestation I wasn't bothered about them but now react really strongly – like they were cockroaches or something (just glad I've never had those..). Sympathy.

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