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 Ants

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TheRealYoda34
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PostSubject: Ants   Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:14 pm

Ok, so over the past week or so my upstairs has been infiltrated by ants, my downstairs has none that I can find. They are not the regular carpenter ants but these little black ants. I have been trying to deal with them but they have found a liking in my savannah monitor tank and as of last night my leopard gecko tank... I have changed the substrate on the sav and cleaned the lep tanks but I'm trying to find a way to eliminate the ants. I'm fearful of using the normal ant stuff because the majority is either the gel that they eat then take back to the source and it kills them all (I can't be sure the Leos and or sav is eating any or not, and I'm sure that stuff would poison either or both) and the spray stuff would require me moving all 19 reptiles out of the house which is impractical but I will end up doing that if needed. Any one have any advice on killing these mo fos?
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Focal
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PostSubject: Re: Ants   Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:18 pm

Welcome to the area!! This is an annual battle for me that I have yet to conquer. There are a few tips that may help.

Most of the time, I noticed they are just looking for water. I would take an hour and try to follow their trail. I've followed one from my bathroom sink, around the house, across the yard diagonally and into my neighbors yard. They walked that far to get me! I would try a small cup of water near the point of entry into the house, like by the window or floor vent.

Treat the yard with the kind of pesticide you can hook up to the garden hose. I can't remember the brand, but if you check reviews, there is a real good one. I would tape up and seal any cracks they may be getting in through during this period (edit: also learned in my younger days that white, regular crest toothpaste works great as spackling for cracks!). Make sure you mark out their path before you spray the yard because they disperse quickly and you will never figure it out after that. Sometimes you have to sit in one spot for ten minutes when following an ant trail. You might want to mow your yard a few days before you do this too.

Double sided tape and vasoline around the rims of tanks and other safe zones helps to trap bugs. There are also a couple organic or natural bug killers but they smell strongly of whatever natural oils they are using. Also, read up and understand how ants work if you haven't. You have to think like an ant to kill an ant.
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TheRealYoda34
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PostSubject: Re: Ants   Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:26 pm

My biggest fear is that they will find the tarantulas, I guess from what I have read is if they run into a spider they make a war party to go kill it. After that they are just a giant nuisance. I had to do three full tank changes in 4 days on my sav monitor tank because they kept re forming the colony in there, and I drowned them all and completely cleaned the tank and put new substrate in there each time. Now they started in my leopard gecko tank in my bedroom, not in the reptile room and I'm completely fed up. They leave the snake racks alone for the most part, just one or two here or there occasionally... I'm going to try to move all my tanks/racks desks away from the walls a bit, bput cinnamon down around the edge of every room, and Vaseline the bottom of all the tanks and racks and such... I will try and get one of those pesticides for outside, but I live in townhomes and I think they get in the walls from all over the place... Its weird though, you would think they would be in the kitchen where there is food or down stairs some... Nope only upstairs...
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Jons2012pied
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PostSubject: Re: Ants   Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:47 pm

I have used torro ant baits (they sell it at lowes.) It is a cell they take back to the colony. I always seem to have them by the kitchen sink and bath tub. The first time I set one out in the bathroom it was a thick black line of ants eating the bait. After about two to three days there was no sign of them. I only had to do that on e last year but I'm sure I will have to do it again once spring really sets in.
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jgard
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PostSubject: Re: Ants   Tue Mar 19, 2013 11:39 pm

Growing up, I had family members that used some stuff called Diatomaceous Earth to kill ants, fleas, etc. that was safe for humans and pets. I'm not sure where to buy it around here, but they bought from a farm/feed store. It worked really well in Texas, and I bet it would work here too.
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jw
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PostSubject: Re: Ants   Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:33 pm

I agree food grade diatomaceous earth is a good choice.
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Vergesseneins
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PostSubject: Re: Ants   Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:45 pm

i use it for fleas at my house
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Focal
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PostSubject: Re: Ants   Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:35 pm

We have used boric acid with fleas. After one treatment, I haven't had a problem in nine years. I was reading about it again after reading about the DE mentioned above and stumble across this note on boric acid. I probably wouldn't use this near the reptiles, but its a lot cheaper than commercial pesticides and sold in a big bottle. It will probably last a lifetime and I may even have some if you want to dump some on their anthill.

Pesticide Use

Boric acid was registered as a pesticide in the United States in 1948. Currently, more than 180 registered pesticide products contain boric acid. Boric acid is mixed with a feeding attractant, such as sugar water, to create a bait for insects, such as ants, cockroaches, termites and silverfish. Alternatively, dry powder is sprayed into cracks where it leaves a fine layer of dust. When insects walk through the powder, it sticks to their legs. The insects ingest the powder when they groom themselves. The acid acts as a stomach poison for insects, causing death due to starvation and dehydration in approximately three to 10 days after ingestion. Boric acid is generally considered safe when used in this manner.
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TheRealYoda34
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PostSubject: Re: Ants   Sat Mar 23, 2013 6:20 pm

An update on the little mofos... Well chalk and cinnamin have been doing wonders... No more ants in the reptile room or the bed room... They did move downstairs though after I did up the two rooms upstairs... But within a few hours of chalking and cinnamining the downstairs I'm almost completely ant fee. I am very happy about this.

Thanks all for the posts and ideas!
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dsteamn
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PostSubject: Re: Ants   Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:23 pm

I have an outdoor enclosure I put my skinks in when the weather is warm. Last year we had an infestation of ants in one corner. Do you have any suggestions of things I could use knowing it would potentially be something they could come in contact with?
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TheRealYoda34
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PostSubject: Re: Ants   Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:30 pm

I used the cinnamon and chaulk and it works great, you just have to re apply occasionally... Honestly I think the chaulk is doing all the work, but I rd apply cinnamon just in case
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Focal
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PostSubject: Re: Ants   Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:30 am

Rosemary oil is also a natural ant insecticide.
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