Ants In Our Bathroom-Need Bug Spray-Help
Posted 17 February 2013 - 12:04 PM
You need "Bronco" Horse Flyspray, available at any farm feed store, and "Febreeze" enzyme fabric deodorizer, available almost anywhere in the laundry dept. Bronco is a citronella scented, mild pyrethrin family (derived from chysanthemum family) bugspray that does not work well on flies anymore, but it is absolutely kryptonite to ants. Bronco, Spritz, Whammo, they Die. You use the Bronco flyspray on ants, where it is relatively safe to spray a bugspray, but Bronco, unlike Raid and other nasties, can be applied directly to horses and pets, because it is milder- so that shows it is much less toxic. If something doesn't raise a rash on me, it's mild. ( Caution: do not ever mix Bronco with Deet. Synergistic reaction, bad ) You use the Febreeze fabric enzyme spray to kill them just a little bit more slowly in areas you wouldn't dare to spray insecticide, like on your sink or along your interior floorboards. You can dilute the Febreeze with water in another spray bottle, as it is potent and strongly scented.
Don't let pets get into the Febreeze spray, as in do not apply it where they are going to walk unless you wipe it up with water and paper towels. Don't put in on your kitchen counter on a work surface. But Febreeze, since it can be applied to clothes and then washed, and spritzed on furniture to dry, is obviously less toxic than regular insecticide. Febreeze still will dispatch ants in about a minute, maximum. You can also put it on a paper towel or cotton balls to go after just a few ants by hand, but here is how to get the best effect:
Ants come in your house from the outside, using trails they establish. They love to follow water pipes, then create passageways inside the walls and pop out at joints. When you see a trail of ants marching along, singing the Tolkein Movie Dwarves Theme, take a flashlight and trace back that moving line of ants along the passageway to the crack in the floor or ceiling where they are coming out of. THAT is where you hit them with the Bronco horsespray. That kills the ants coming and going out of the hole. Then, you take your Febreeze, and spritz along the chain of ants, not only quickly dispatching them into Ant Heaven with enzymes, but you are messing up their scent trail. THIS is the beauty of the application. Because if you miss cleaning up a few ants, the other ants try to carry their little dead compatriots back into the walls.... and they then get Febreeze'd, if they can make it past the entranceway you just Bronco'd.
Then, when you have waited awhile, you can clean up the trail of dead ants, but don't be in a hurry because there will be stragglers, which you need to run into the Febreeze.
I keep a bottle of this diluted Febreeze in the bathroom, so I can zap them anytime they show up. Febreeze on the trail. Bronco at the entrance hole. Ants no more. One can sometimes see the live ants the next day still trying to rescue the little deceased ones- whoops. I want them to do this, it works a LOT BETTER than the boric acid sugar solutions and the commercial bait boxes.
Now you must cut the little ********s off at the pass. Go outside and study carefully your house foundations and lower walls, wherever there is an opening, like a heating duct air intake, water pipe, window sill to a crawl space, garage door sides, etc, and look for ants running like crazy from the ground to the house. Where the ants are entering, THAT is where you Bronco- spray the surfaces and all around that opening. and trace the ants down the sideway or whatever, and get them there, too. Ants will keep coming back to the same entry spot on your house, and they Bronco themselves before they can complete their Middle Earth journey to your kitchen or bath.
In the spring, when the ants are busy trying to establish colonies in your house for the fall, repeat the search and Bronco each potential entryway that you found. Repeat again in the fall, and anytime you find ants trying to sneak in. Don't forget to look up, I've found a trail crawling down from a tree touching the roof, which were trying to enter the garage where a hole was in the wall for a cable. Just spritzed around the hole, that did it.
After 2 years of this, there were a LOT FEWER ANT invasions at my house this year.
P.S. If you have a fruit tree near the house, don't leave the dead fruit around for the ants to eat, pick it up.
As the clerk at the feed store said, "that is amazing you found a use for this stuff, because it doesn't work on my flies."
Posted 17 February 2013 - 12:50 PM
The ants which come in and are "wandering," are looking for where ants have been before. They want a new place to colonize near food and water, that is why they are exploring kitchens and bath areas and where food scrap is left out. They also like pet food dishes. And inside house plant flowerpots. Old shoes with a trace of garden soil stuck to them.... If you study them, you notice that they tend to start these invasions in the wee hours of the early morning, at least here where I live. It can be dark, except for the nightlight, dawn is breaking, and you turn the lights on, and it's The Horror Show going on and the side of the dishwasher, where it meets the cabinet, is emitting ants. Which are heading for the coffee maker. Like they're sending out the scouts to case the place. They seem to want to get a head start on things. Notice how the trail goes both ways. They're running back into the walls to bring out the others. This is why they also like diluted Febreeze, because you can get different types of really pleasant smelling fabric enzyme cleaners now, in Pet Food Stores, which ants find very attractive, because it smells like the things we want to keep them out of, instead of bad. So if you want to substitute a Pet Store type of enzyme deodorizer for the Febreeze, because you like that fruity smell better, that will also work. Same thing with the Bronco, ants are attracted to it, because it smells very citronella- lemony, which repels flies hardly at all, but repels mosquitoes a great deal better.
The reason the "boric acid in sugar solutions" don't work is that the boric acid must be dissolved thoroughly in the sugar solution, or the ants just get a hit of sugar water. So you need to do this with very hot water when it is mixed up. Still, it is just training the ants to look for sugar water, as the theory is they take it back to the old nest, and die. Maybe in the next century....
I have also taken diatomaceous earth and applied a good dusting of it to my entire back deck area, paying attention the back of it where it touched the house, and I will dust crevices with it sometimes where the pets frequent. It is good for dry areas, and we put some under the deck last summer where the dog was repeatedly laying down and getting bugs. That stopped it. We had ants in that area but I could never find the entry path, so I went for the diatomaceous dust here to avoid exposing the sensitive dog to chemicals. This is just fossilized sea life powder which looks like powdered chalk, which kills insects by cutting their exoskeleton and then dehydrating them. It also works on fleas if you dust it on pets and in their crates. Won't hurt the pets or humans, but do NOT get this on your eyeglasses unless you rinse them off carefully, as it will scratch them.
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