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Here in the Midwest we have these Mutant Sugar Ants.  They Bite!  I use Bay Leaves in my pantry and one of the bathrooms where the ants come every year but it's not practical to use them outside.   I noticed last Fall and now this Spring that they have invaded my flower gardens.  It's not just a couple of annoying nests, these things are THICK.  I'm looking for a non-chemical way to eradicate  them without hurting any other wildlife. 

 

Any Ideas?

 

Colleen

 

 

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Did you know that Borax can shut down a Nuclear Reaction?  And can stop a Radiator Leak?  And......can be used in making Silly Putty?

 

Would I need a Hazmat Suit for this stuff?    :lol:  Isn't "Wiki" annoying?  LMAO

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If you are not Muslim, you can boil them (this conversation came up just yesterday). It is cheap and relatively safe. Do not burn yourself! Track the nest and pour pots of hot water as the ants rise to the surface. I did this for several weeks (during toddler nap-time) and after a decade -- no ants. The ants are making their way back into my yard this year, but I think a decade without them is pretty good.

I am pretty good with a flashlight and fly swatter aimed at black widows too! Love all other spiders though and help them whenever possible!

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Is it the texture of chalk/borax/sweet n low.... they don't like?   What about corn starch?  That fine, silky feel?  Boiling water is very interesting....I will ponder that one.  Just wondering how my flowers would like that hot water, of if I could find the main nests I could do that.  hmmmmm.

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Borax is made from a rock. Not sure why a little of that is bad. They can't walk on it.

When I find the ants very annoying, I track them to their home, dig them up a little and flood them out with the garden hose and a bit of dawn detergent if I think of it.

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My husband was partial to lighter fluid and a match... I made him tame his redneck ways once we had children.  LOL

 

We are at war with carpenter ants here. They invaded a wall and chewed a header above sliding glass doors into fine cardboard... the ceiling was starting to sag. Darn things! The room is stripped down to the studs at the moment.  :rolleyes:

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Boric acid. Tried and true.  Just a little light  dose sprinkled in a fine line around the outside of your house deters them.

 

I lived in the remote countryside as you know and we had no ants in our house. (unheard of)

 

It never bothered my cats, my dog, or any other animals that romped around my 6 acres. My Dad used it and he had tons of birds, bunnies and other wildlife in his yard.

 

Just use it LIGHTLY and never walk your pups through it.

 

Sorry, but sometimes, chemicals are necessary if you do not want to be overwhelmed by bugs.  And I am not a bad person! Remember, I was bitten while trying to help a chipmunk out of a netting before he choked to death...and required a painful shot. 

 

Please, read these then decide.

 

http://www.nrdc.org/health/pesticides/gpests.asp

 

http://www.beyondpesticides.org/infoservices/pesticidefactsheets/leasttoxic/boricacid_borates_borax.php

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I may possibly, maybe, sort of never have grown out of the lighter fluid/flame method. :ph34r: I once got a lovely 2 x 4 inch patch of my left arm covered in fire ant bites. I don't care the type anymore, death comes to all who invade my space. I settle for the boiling water method if I can find a nest. It doesn't seem to do any real harm to the yard. It also works wonders to kill the roots of weeds in the garden before we start planting.

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I may possibly, maybe, sort of never have grown out of the lighter fluid/flame method. :ph34r: I once got a lovely 2 x 4 inch patch of my left arm covered in fire ant bites. I don't care the type anymore, death comes to all who invade my space. I settle for the boiling water method if I can find a nest. It doesn't seem to do any real harm to the yard. It also works wonders to kill the roots of weeds in the garden before we start planting.

 

You are truly devious  :blink:  I wonder if lighter fluid would catch the mulch on fire.  

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You are truly devious  :blink:  I wonder if lighter fluid would catch the mulch on fire.  

 

 

Lighter fluid is horrible stuff..geez louise! ..it has more chemicals in it than the boric acid! and YEAH I do kinda  think it would ignite the mulch!

 

You're scaring me!  :D

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POOF  :lol: There goes the house!....lol.

 

So, I read those links Irish and these areas will get rain on them so the borax will not work and my Haz Mat suit is at the Cleaners anyway.

 

I'm thinking I will try the boiling water and see what happens.  My Cat lays in the gardens too so I really want to avoid chemicals.  If all else fails I will Nuke the place with Borax and deal with the Fall Out 

 

Addy, although my son readily volunteered to Torch the place, I nixed the idea due to an "arson" clause in out Insurance Policy  ;)

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Just follow the trail to find the nest. Our ants seem to like concrete cracks as an entrance to their nests. Just takes an on-and-off stream of hot water as they come rushing out with their eggs. To use this ant elimination method, I think you might have had to have been a kid who took great delight poking a stick at the ant nests located next to the orange groves on the way to school!

It does work, it is non-toxic to kids, pets and other good insects, but it takes a stove full of hot water (microwave too) and persistence to get the job done!

I read an article in the Reader's Digest recently about those sweet ants. They seem to be worse than red ants!

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We had an organic exterminator out 2 years ago. She used heavy duty natural oils and sprayed in out trouble spots. Said it would get worse before it got better and after 2 days of seeing them popping up I haven't seen one since!  Seriously I was skeptical and then amazed!  DH didn't want to try it but even he's a convert!  And the house smelled lovely with peppermint and rosemary and stuff for a day or two ;)  They oils are neuro toxic to them.  She gave a year guarantee but as I said, we've been ant free since!  

 

She does the pet stores in this part of the state so if you are interested and don't find them in the yellow pages, perhaps give one of your local pet stores a call ;)

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