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Ants! Anyone know anything about them?


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Busted Dick
Posted (edited)

I have a continuing war with ants; however over the last couple of days a new situation has occurred. 

I live in a compound with lots of green/brown space that ants love to live in; no problem there but it does mean that they invade my home looking for goodies.  Occasionally it gets too much so I retaliate with a home-made chemical warfare agent (made from borax, water and sugar) that gets rid of them; it usually clears my home for at least 6 weeks.  However in the last few days I noticed a number of ants wandering about that were neither heading to/from a food source nor were they interested in my poison bait.  Some were clearly hanging about and doing nothing much in a dark area under a table.  Interesting and annoying.

This morning I found a train of thousands of them heading to/from my kitchen door to a crack between my wall and floor tiles in my main living space approx 10 metres from the door, and directly across the area I walk, live, eat and watch TV in.  I put down some bait which was largely ignored by them.  I made coffee and considered the situation.

Then I noticed a much larger ant than the others making its way across the floor from the kitchen door towards the wall.  Could have been a random ant from a different strain of ants; who knows, but it was following the exact path of the other ants.  I got down on the floor (ouch!) and examined it; it was probably 5x the size of the rest of them.  I know nothing about ants but it struck me that if this was the queen relocating from an abandoned nest to a nice new place somewhere inside my walls or under the floor then it was probably a good idea to stop it happening.

So I killed it. 

Within an hour I noticed that a lot of ants (perhaps hundreds) had seemingly died on my floor.  They seem to arrive somewhere near to the crack between the wall and the floor, which is where I killed the big ant, and then start wriggling about until they die a few minutes later.

Ok, this is probably a strange post, but if anyone on this board knows anything about ants I would be grateful on your views on this situation.

Edited by Busted Dick
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Paddy

I seem to recall that there are a lot more ants on earth than people. They will probably take over eventually. 
Other than that, I know the square root of very little about them. 
Any trail of them around our place is to be eliminated. If we have bug spray fine, if not boiling, or very hot, water works too. 

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Dafey

The best bait I've used is Amdro. Very small bottle of thick fluid you can pick up at Ace, Handyman or larger hardware stores.

You put a few drops on a piece of non-corrugated cardboard and place it near a trail. within 15 minutes there will be a few ants with their heads buried into the puddle drinking. Within an hour there will be hundreds. (very satisfying to watch)

Eventually they will carry some back to the nest to infect larva and queen.

However, if yo kill off a nest there will always be another to step in and take it's place. very opportunistic creatures.The larger ant could be a different species than the one that usually invades the house or it could be some sort of different class within the nest. There are workers, soldiers, caretakers of the larvae and the queens pose. Very unlikely the queen was wandering alone as she is pampered and well taken care of.

Take one for the team and find out if the big ones bite. :wink:

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Salty Dog

After a spectacular but mysterious cosmic event, ants undergo rapid evolution and develop a cross-species hive mind and build strange towers and geometrically perfect designs in the desert. Except for one family, the local human population flees the strangely acting ants. Scientists James Lesko and Ernest Hubbs set up a computerized lab in a sealed dome located in an area of significant ant activity in Arizona. The ant colony and the scientific team fight each other, though the ants are the more effective aggressors.

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lamoe
2 hours ago, Dafey said:

The best bait I've used is Amdro. Very small bottle of thick fluid you can pick up at Ace, Handyman or larger hardware stores.

You put a few drops on a piece of non-corrugated cardboard and place it near a trail. within 15 minutes there will be a few ants with their heads buried into the puddle drinking. Within an hour there will be hundreds. (very satisfying to watch)

Eventually they will carry some back to the nest to infect larva and queen.

However, if yo kill off a nest there will always be another to step in and take it's place. very opportunistic creatures.The larger ant could be a different species than the one that usually invades the house or it could be some sort of different class within the nest. There are workers, soldiers, caretakers of the larvae and the queens pose. Very unlikely the queen was wandering alone as she is pampered and well taken care of.

Take one for the team and find out if the big ones bite. :wink:

Our little brown ones do - temp rental next door - people in there no ants - they leave ants come back.

2 hours ago, Salty Dog said:

After a spectacular but mysterious cosmic event, ants undergo rapid evolution and develop a cross-species hive mind and build strange towers and geometrically perfect designs in the desert. Except for one family, the local human population flees the strangely acting ants. Scientists James Lesko and Ernest Hubbs set up a computerized lab in a sealed dome located in an area of significant ant activity in Arizona. The ant colony and the scientific team fight each other, though the ants are the more effective aggressors.

Remember that - good movie.

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Kreole

That is a very curious event.  Thanks for sharing it here.  Even if you do not have a lot of food available, ants still find our home environments preferable, so there is no really getting rid of them.  I have had a succession of different species invading my cottage near the beach.  Some of them are very tiny, reddish ants that still have a noticeable bite.  They are numerous, but the most annoying are the larger black and red ants that have a bite that is painful and lasts for around 15 minutes.  I get bit at least once a day.  Since I cannot defeat them, then I keep them somewhat in check by spraying alcohol into and around their nest entries in my walls and floors.  At the entry I lay down some paper towels so that the alcohol will not evaporate so fast.  I used to use bleach, but its smell is offensive, and alcohol works just as well.

As an aside, I used to have these really cool ants that were larger with long legs and very fast on the run, but they never once bit me, so I tried my best not to kill them.  I would just swoosh them away with my sponge and they would scatter.  I was actually sad to see the more aggressive ants take over.

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Headshot

This guy knows about ants. He lives in the Philippines with many ant colonies and he has about 3 1/2 million YouTube subscribers. Ask him why your ants acted as they did...

 

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Headshot

 

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to_dave007

some of these specialist channels have an unbelievable number of subscribers don't they.   Great marketing.

 

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jtmwatchbiz

A couple years ago me and one of our crew were heading downtown in colon to buy some small metal files for our watch technician. As we were leaving my wife asked us to grab some more bygone or something to get rid of the ants that were getting into the house.  Sure thing I said.

Well while we are at one of the little cave-like hardware shops in colon our crew guy remembered and asked the proprietor if he had some ant spray.  The guy said he had the best stuff and sold us a big spray can with some generic name like "bug blaster" or some shit...can't remember.  Anyways the can merely had the generic name and an illustration of some upside down bug-presumably dead.  The rest of the writing was in some chinky symbols.

Ok so armed with this stuff that is supposed to be the best we headed home.  Once home we spotted the ant trail on our front patio heading into the seam of the tile flooring where it meets the outer concrete wall of our house.  I gave the seam a quick spray about two feet long and about as short as it would take one to say "psssssssssst".  Less than a second's worth of spray.   Immediately all movement stopped and obviously the offending ants that got hit were dead.   However, we then noticed ALL the ants around 6 to 8 feet away completely on the other side of the patio from where I sprayed were also immobile-dead.  Then a fly dropped out of the air onto the patio floor also dead.  

In horror we both looked at each other, then the can, then quickly got off the patio and stood in the carport completely freaked out. We quickly determined whatever was in this can was not something to mess with and certainly not safe. We told my wife thru the window to keep the cat and herself inside and then washed off the patio area with the garden hose, hoping this shit will dissipate and get diluted.  

We put that can of diabolical death into a couple plastic bags and into the trash it went.  Harry (HTM) ended up mixing us a batch of human and animal safe ant repellant he uses at his house and it seemed to work in a more reasonable/restrained manner.  :biggrin_01:     

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Cgu

The best ant bait I used is Terro..you can buy it in the hardware store (I think true value). Best ever...I read quite a bit about ants, interesting insects. They change their food habits depending what the colony needs, so it can be proteins for a while and then carbohydrate (sugar) and as well depending of what kind of ants. So they ignore sometimes some baits and other times they can nuts about it.

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hyaku
On 5/4/2020 at 2:30 AM, Busted Dick said:

I have a continuing war with ants; however over the last couple of days a new situation has occurred. 

I live in a compound with lots of green/brown space that ants love to live in; no problem there but it does mean that they invade my home looking for goodies.  Occasionally it gets too much so I retaliate with a home-made chemical warfare agent (made from borax, water and sugar) that gets rid of them; it usually clears my home for at least 6 weeks.  However in the last few days I noticed a number of ants wandering about that were neither heading to/from a food source nor were they interested in my poison bait.  Some were clearly hanging about and doing nothing much in a dark area under a table.  Interesting and annoying.

This morning I found a train of thousands of them heading to/from my kitchen door to a crack between my wall and floor tiles in my main living space approx 10 metres from the door, and directly across the area I walk, live, eat and watch TV in.  I put down some bait which was largely ignored by them.  I made coffee and considered the situation.

Then I noticed a much larger ant than the others making its way across the floor from the kitchen door towards the wall.  Could have been a random ant from a different strain of ants; who knows, but it was following the exact path of the other ants.  I got down on the floor (ouch!) and examined it; it was probably 5x the size of the rest of them.  I know nothing about ants but it struck me that if this was the queen relocating from an abandoned nest to a nice new place somewhere inside my walls or under the floor then it was probably a good idea to stop it happening.

So I killed it. 

Within an hour I noticed that a lot of ants (perhaps hundreds) had seemingly died on my floor.  They seem to arrive somewhere near to the crack between the wall and the floor, which is where I killed the big ant, and then start wriggling about until they die a few minutes later.

Ok, this is probably a strange post, but if anyone on this board knows anything about ants I would be grateful on your views on this situation.

Read the Terro label. It's sugar and borax.

The proportion for mixing your own to make around 2 bottles of Terro is: Two spoons of sugar to one of borax and little warm water. Takes while to make a sticky gel.

I live in the jungle and we need an "us or them" border. I've have been occasionally mixing it for over 12 years. They take it back to the nest, have a fiesta and it kills the queen and most of the nest.

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Fish Sandwich

I'm having the EXACT same problem this year. Worst year for ants, by far.

My mix is 8 parts water, 16 parts sugar, 1 part boric acid. It used to work like a charm. Ants would eat it and a day or so later be gone for months. Getting the boric acid amount correct can be tricky. Add too little, and it's not effective. Add too much and they die at the bait tray and don't get it back to the queen.

This year, I've been feeding them this mix for weeks on end and as soon as I think they are gone, a new different species of ants shows up.... big, small, red, black, biters, etc.

Something is "off" this year with these ants.

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