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Ants in my pants -- or at least in my pantry

Maybe it's the string of damp weather, but I've got an invasion of tiny ants in the cabinet over my kitchen counter. Yep, it's got spices, bottle sauces, like Worchestershire, coffee & other food stuffs. I've tried those little black ant traps without much success. Short of going to my local SPCA & adopting an aarvark, what else can I do?

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  1. i have found terro liquid ant bait traps to be far better than the things you get at the grocery store. I buy them at the hardware store

    5 Replies
    1. re: DGresh

      Seconded! I find them at Target.

      1. re: Mer_Made

        Thirded. I can get Terro at my local Walgreen's drugstore. It's important to keep checking the baits and put down new ones once the intruders have used up the stuff inside and replaced it with tiny corpses.

        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

          Fourthed. They have worked well the couple of occasions I saw the little buggers marching around my kitchen. And you're not spraying chemicals all over the place!

          As mentioned downthread, it takes a couple of weeks to work, but work it does.

          1. re: coney with everything

            Fifthed. Terro liquid is miraculous when it comes to any kind of ant infestations.

            1. re: Flaxen_Vixen

              Sixthed. I get it by the bottle at Lowe's. The last time I saw some, I put a dot of it on a piece of cardboard by my garbage (wouldn't want to put it in my cabinet because they 'swarm" for a couple of days). Then if there's no rain in the forecast for a few days, I'll go out in my yard below the kitchen window that they're getting in and put down a few plops. Used to get them a few times a year. Now it's been at least 3 years.

    2. I had the same problem until I got this stuff called Maxforce. Buy it anywhere you want the link is just to show you the product. I had to learn to be generous with the application but you'll get plenty with that package. I fought those little devils for 2 years before I finally won.


      1. I hate ants. I had the little ones in my dishwasher at previous house, they'd show up at least once a year. We did the ant traps - but a LOT of them. It took over a week for them to decrease and finally disappear.
        I also used cayenne pepper dusted on the windowsill (we saw them coming in there). Strangely enough, cucumber peelings also repel them. I left a bunch in my sink (where the ants were also congregating) and the ants disappeared. When I took the peelings out, they came back. Read about that one on-line, but is is only a short-term solution, unless you use cucumbers daily.

        3 Replies
        1. re: elfcook

          Do the cucumber peelings or cayenne kill the ants or just keep them away? I just came back from staying at a cabin in the woods at a Buddhist center where you're not allowed to kill anything. There was a huge ant problem in the cabin. OMG! I was going crazy trying to do the dishes there. As soon as I would displace the ants from the sink, more would come crawling in. If the peelings or cayenne just repel the ants, that would be a great solution for that place.

          1. re: Miss Needle

            they just repel the ants - supposedly they will not go over cayenne (also heard that about cinnamon, but not sure). I do not know why they do not like cucumber peels, but they sure stayed away from them.

            1. re: elfcook

              Thank you for your response! I'll let them know about this tidbit.

        2. Somewhere, someone told me that sprinkling sugar substitute (such as Splenda) on the ants path would kill them. They think it's sugar and ingest. Then they go away and die....I have tried this on the rare occasions when ants appear in my kitchen and I do thinks it works like a charm.

          1. Attack the ants from the outside as well...Spray along the outside walls...especially the walls nearest your kitchen...Let that be your first line of defense!


            1. I am fighting ants during the summer and fall. The best thing I have found is a granular killer called Ambro. The ants take it back to the next and feed the queen and everybody else. In a few days they are gone. Outside I just sprinkle it around where I see them working or on the ant trail. You can also mix borax with sugar and get the little buggers, google it for the receipe.

              8 Replies
              1. re: duck833

                Borax certainly works - and is about the cheapest solution. It also targets the nest.

                1. re: duck833

                  Boraic acid started working for me only after I mixed it with powdered sugar and water. Bang! Gone.

                  1. re: duck833

                    Borax here, too, but you want to make sure the ants get it and take it back to their nest. We find where they come in, put the borax there and cover w/ plastic wrap so they can't get past. For the remaining, 409 works well and is safer than Raid in the kitchen.

                    1. re: chowser

                      If you're just going after the critters on your counter for immediate cleanup, any all-purpose spray cleaner will work, whether something like 409 or a "natural," non-toxic brand like Seventh Generation or Method. Even dish soap diluted with water in a spray bottle is effective. You certainly don't need an insecticide, and wouldn't want one around food prep areas.

                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                        I've tried others and 409 seems to work the best. I spray, leave the spray to dry (while I'm not cooking) and then come back to wipe it clean. I had a friend who swore by Raid. She said she sprayed it on her countertops and didn't wipe. It kept away the ants. It also kept us away for dinner.

                        1. re: chowser

                          Hmm. Are you talking about keeping ants off the counters, or dispatching ants actually scurrying? For the latter, I've found whichever cleaning solution sprayed on to pretty much cause instant ant death. I just spray, then wipe up with a paper towel.

                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                            Something about the dry 409 residue seems to keep the ants away. But, I'm leary of leaving it on, although that's probably how many kitchens are kept clean so wipe it clean before using the counters. On the walls, though, I spray, wipe off the ants, spray again and leave it.

                    2. re: duck833

                      I used Ambro (spread around the perimeter of my house) when I first moved into the place. I had ants in the kitchen and the bathroom. Ambro got rid of them and they stayed away for several years. This year the ants came back. Used Ambro again and after about 2-3 days, I didn't see any more ants.

                    3. I just finished an epic battle with ants. The bait traps aren't worth the plastic they're stored in. Terro is okay, but it took a full 2 weeks for it to finally do the job. The best stuff I've ever used is Combat Ant Gel. Unfortunately, it's no longer sold locally. You can get it online through Amazon but a $2.75 tube costs over $7.00 with shipping. I've used the ant gel in the past on the same type ants and they were gone in 2 days tops each time I've Used it.

                      1. I too had an issue with htis. I used fresh sage (I didn't want chemical in my Kitchen if I could avoid it.) Haven't had an attack since.

                        1. I had ans all over my basement apartment, they're a pain to get rid of. Most of the time if random ones aren't just coming in from outside it means there is a colony inside so you'll have to target the queen. Ant traps are best, however it took me a while to get them to go inside. Used the raid ones.

                          Ants I was used to were always attracted to sugar but these couldn't care less, however they LOVED doritos so I would luer them to the trap with little pieces, it was hilarious seeing them carrying mini triangles of dorito pieces away. Once one or two find the trap all will follow and slowly take food back to their "home" .. cleaning can be a problem as it removes the scent trails so I had to avoid that area for a while until they all died off.

                          1. We found a non-toxic spray that is made of cinnamon oil. It works very well.