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Q: How do I rid my apartment of ants??? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   12 Comments )
Subject: How do I rid my apartment of ants???
Category: Family and Home > Home
Asked by: johnfrommelbourne-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 15 Jul 2002 07:05 PDT
Expires: 14 Aug 2002 07:05 PDT
Question ID: 39726
I have a modern spacious apartment in the middle of Melbourne
city,Australia(amongst the skyscrapers), but suffer one embarrassing
problem; ants, the little tiny black ones. I just thought someone may
know of an old fashioned remedy or other innovative way to get rid of
my ants that is something different from what I have tried which is
simply using the various potions available from the supermarket
shelf; with absolutely no success at all!! I suppose I could spend up
big and bring in a pest exterminator company but just figured I would
try GA first as the researchers and researchers/commenters have been
so extraordinarily helpful with my past queries and questions that it
made sense to try this avenue first. My ants have taken over the
kitchen and just wont go away no matter what I do. I applied the
poison ant food from the supermarket which they are supposed to
absolutely adore and take away to feed the queen who eats it, dies
shortly after, so causing the remaining ants still alive( apparently 
many eat the stuff and die), to disperse completely out of the
building. I see that my ants wont go near the stuff and seem to 
delight in walking right around this supposedly scrumptious delicacy
laughing at me as they do.

 Any ideas would be greatly appreciated even if they are the old
Grandma's secret remedy type idea
Subject: Re: How do I rid my apartment of ants???
Answered By: bethc-ga on 15 Jul 2002 09:14 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi johnfrommelbourne,

Those tiny black ants are commonly known by a variety of names: “sugar
ants”, “piss ants” or “sweet ants”, and are referred to simply as
“nuisance ants” by the pest control people.

A good article about small ant control can be found at:
U-Spray Inc.
 This article contains a lot of useful information about their
behavior and characteristics--handy things to know as you gird
yourself to do battle. While this article appears on a North American
(Georgia, specifically) pest control site, many of these less exotic
“nuisance ants” are commonly found in New South Wales as well.
Argentine, Fire, Pharaoh and Carpenter are some of the types that are
specifically mentioned as appearing in both parts of the world.

The most common species of ants found around the home in your neck of
the woods appear to be Argentine, Coastal Brown, Pharaohs, Singapore,
Whitefooted House & Carpenter.

Manly Warrington Pest Control

From Coleoptera, an interesting entomological site, I found mention of
an old South African trick to stop little black "sugar ants" from
coming into the house:

“Find out where they are coming in and put a "barrier" of ordinary
talcum powder across the entrance route, e.g. on windowsills,
door-frames etc. It doesn't have to be very thick or wide, but don't
leave gaps.

“Don't know why it works, but they won't cross the line. I taught this
to my American step-daughter when her little girl was a baby and she
didn't want to use poison around the house. She was a bit dubious when
I told her on the telephone, but she soon phoned back to tell me it

The same source also mentioned putting a mixture of bayleaves and
listerine mouthwash in the corners of your food pantry to keep the
ants out of the flour and sugar.

Coleoptera: Home Remedies

I also found a reference to the talcum powder or baby powder remedy on
another site, the diy “do it yourself network” forum.

The respondent mentioned using the baby powder treatment in her home,
as well as circling the tires of her motorhome to prevent ants
entering when camping.

On that same thread, another person mentioned mixing equal parts of
bread yeast, sugar and honey, and putting small amounts of this
mixture about where you are seeing the ants. They are attracted by the
sugar, and killed off by the yeast.


Boric acid and honey was mentioned on the website of Lassen
Technologies. Use equal proportions and place as for the yeast and
honey mixture.

They also mentioned using the peel of a cucumber to block the path
that the ants usually take as they parade through your home.
Scientists say that ants do not like cucumbers because they contain
volatile terpenoids (also found in citrus skins), which make cucumbers

This site also listed talcum powder as being among the things that
ants do not like. I think we may be on to something with the talcum
powder, as it seems to be a universal remedy, showing up
repeatedly--usually an indication that it works!

Resources for the Chemically Injured, Chemically Sensitive or
Environmentally Ill
Lassen Technologies

I live on Cape Cod, Massachusetts on water and surrounded by woods.
Tourists aren’t the only ones who find this area  irresistible. Bugs
love it here too. I have been waging war on the tiny livestock ever
since I moved here. One of the best investments I have made in pest
control is to install one those little electronic pest repellers on
each floor. They emit an ultrasonic tone that convinces bugs to set up
housekeeping elsewhere. I was skeptical at first, but this is the
first year that the ants did not invade in the spring, and the spiders
have all but disappeared. Not exactly an old granny remedy, but it

Here in the US, you can buy them for about US$20 at home centers,
hardware stores, and even discount stores.

I hope that you will find something here to help with your problem. If
I can clarify any of this for you, please do not hesitate to ask.

John of Melbourne, May Your Home Become Evermore a Pest-Free Zone!



Search criteria:

+”sugar ants” +”home remedy”
ants  pest control home remedy

Clarification of Answer by bethc-ga on 15 Jul 2002 11:17 PDT
Sir John of Melbourne,

Thanks so much for the kind words and all those pretty stars! I'm
really interested to know if you enjoy success with any of these
strategies. Sally-forth, and let us know.

johnfrommelbourne-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Well Beth I asked for alternative innovative methods and thats what
you gave me, and then several choices either directly, or through the
links provided.
 As usual I have rated the answer with reference to the time and
effort put in/quality of answer  relative to the fee offered,  and
with those two items in mind I could not give you any less than five
stars.  Thanks very much. I will be trying one or more of these
methods very soon. You suggested that if I want any clarification you
could oblidge there also so I may just take you up on that offer

 John From Melbourne

Subject: Re: How do I rid my apartment of ants???
From: bobthedispatcher-ga on 15 Jul 2002 12:07 PDT
From personal experience, I get an annual incursion of the little
pests every spring:

They hate ground cinnamon - get a big jar (real cheap at a restaurant
supply place!) I've used it to make a circle around the house!

Vinegar: They won't walk onto a counter or other area washed or
sprayed with vinegar - though the effect dies off in a day or so. They
tend to follow a trail left by other ants to find the food supply, so
wiping off the trail (just look where the ants are walking) with
vinegar really messes them up.
By the way, vinegar is also great for cleaning windows!

Never had luck with yeast & honey (or molasses) mixture
but have used sugar (10x confectioners is best), boric acid, and cocoa
powder mix, great stuffed in cracks - minimal effect on kids & pests -
kills ants.
Subject: Re: How do I rid my apartment of ants???
From: insideinfo-ga on 17 Jul 2002 00:08 PDT
I have used boric acid very successfully in my house. But that is a
house. You have another issue which is neighbors. If you control the
amount of loose food and bags they can get in, your neighbors may not
be doing the same. I say try limiting the amount of food they can get
to. Use sealed containers for the obvious stuff, make sure there is no
powder or food loose anywhere. I would try some boric acid at all
windows, doors and areas you think they might be getting in. It is
poison to them and becomes the closest easy food. If that does not
work I would contact your landlord or management company as they may
need to have all tenants clean and then spray all apartments at the
same time. Cockroaches and other pests in urban areas are very
persistent as your neighbors may not help in keeping them out and
keeping them starving.
Subject: Re: How do I rid my apartment of ants???
From: johnfrommelbourne-ga on 17 Jul 2002 05:16 PDT
Just once more thanks again Answerer and the two commenters to date
who were also most helpful. Much appreciated. I will certainly be
trying the methods offered and get back to you via this page as to ho
they worked.

  John From Melbourne
Subject: Re: How do I rid my apartment of ants???
From: oohrubberducky-ga on 30 Dec 2003 13:49 PST
I'd just like to thank the people who posted comments to John from
Melbourne's question..I have been invaded by ants just like him..I
tried the Talc powder..i've had amazing results! They are running off
like crazy some dying..I hope this rids them! If not i'm off to try
some of your other suggestions..thanks so much!!
Subject: Re: How do I rid my apartment of ants???
From: rambalu-ga on 21 Feb 2004 03:01 PST
Yes! it works greatly.......Ants wont cross the I used
talcum powder line to control ants into my kitchen...
Subject: Re: How do I rid my apartment of ants???
From: deadwisdom-ga on 31 Mar 2004 21:35 PST
I believe the reason why some of these home remedies work is because
ants follow eachother by a chemical scent that they place on the
ground.  If you put a line of something the confuses the scent or
eradicates it, you effectively kill the communication.  I used a
simple bar of soap once which worked well.  One ant might cross, but
when he leaves a trail of "this way to good sugar", other ants and
even him will lose the trail when they follow it and it hits the line.
 (Imagine the old idea of when you're getting chased by dogs, to go
into the river so they lose the scent; same idea except you are making
the river!)

Disclaimer: This is my own theory; I have no credibility on the
subject save for past experience and thinking on't.
Subject: Re: How do I rid my apartment of ants???
From: johnfrommelbourne-ga on 01 Apr 2004 07:44 PST
But it sounds reasonable dead wisdom.  JFM
Subject: Re: How do I rid my apartment of ants???
From: leapinglambs-ga on 03 Apr 2004 12:58 PST
Fantastic stuff this!  We have those teeny wee ants dancing round our
kitchen even now, and we've tried near everything to get them to go
their own home.

Thanks VERY much!
Subject: Re: How do I rid my apartment of ants???
From: eria555-ga on 16 Jan 2005 16:07 PST
Thanks everyone but my answer is very different.
1 packet of water  mixed it with white king and powder soup 
leave it next to your door step


Eria Buubutei Kiribati
Subject: Re: How do I rid my apartment of ants???
From: johnfrommelbourne-ga on 16 Jan 2005 21:03 PST
.and thanks for that too you there in Kirribati, another beautiful
country no doubt!!

Subject: Re: How do I rid my apartment of ants???
From: danxp4-ga on 18 Jan 2005 15:23 PST
Use ant traps
Subject: Re: How do I rid my apartment of ants???
From: johnfrommelbourne-ga on 26 Jan 2005 09:51 PST
Just saw someone use West Australian ANT SAND, like real sand but
smells horible. Ants were gone the next day and have not returned
after a week already.


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