Woke up this morning to find huge swarms of ants hanging out on the windowsill in the living room…mostly tiny little guys, but also a bunch of big ones with wings (that appeared to be, thank Og, nonfunctional). There appeared to be some cracks in the windowsill that they were coming out of. After a brief but gross struggle, we removed the invaders and slapped packing tape over the cracks. Fortunately, we had our handyman coming in for another matter already, and he is going to replace our packing tape with a more permanent caulk arrangement.
My question is: Assuming that this “solves” the problem in the sense that we no longer have big hordes of ants in our living space, what, if anything, do we need to do further? Clearly there is a nest in the walls of our house; is this just part of the urban ecology, or do we need to call in the exterminators to prevent worse problems down the line? We have lived in this house almost two years, and on a few previous occasions have seen swarms of ants on the outside of the wall next to the window.
Your entomological assistance is appreciated.
One word- Terro. Their stuff always works for me.
Terro is the best, but it really only works for sugar-eating ants; not sure if it’ll work on the bigger ones. Ants drink the stuff, take it to the nest, share it with their buddies, and in two or three days, the entire colony is dead. The downside is that in order for that to happen, you have to resist the urge to smash the little suckers for a while. Let 'em feed and walk away, and they’ll all be gone in no time.
My mother used Borax. I sprinkled it around the foundation of her house, and she puts it wherever they congregate inside, and her problem has almost completely gone away. This was just a couple of weeks ago, so it’s probably going to continue to get better. Borax is available in the laundry product aisle of your grocery store. Bora-teem (don’t know if I spelled that right) is the brand she got.
They are coming in from the outside, seal your outside cracks but before that check around the window for rotted wood,are there pipes in the wall sweating and dripping. Moist environments attract teh buggers.
I have caprenter ants coming in from a old oak tree outside, this is their summer let, my house. Scary is discovering big black ants in your spice and baking cupboards suckling on the honeyjar. The got te vacuum hose.
Ninja ants, they still show up, reconnoittering trying to re invade. They try to blend in moving quick then sitting still - a spook in the corner of my eye. i smash the state, and buy more ant traps.
I think the wings could mean they were termites? Be certain of that. Otherwise, I second Terro. It’s the cheapest and the best.
It could or they could have just been male drone ants. Sometimes they’ll get on the move looking to establish new colonies with some proto-queens.
Ugh, I have this problem too. Ants coming in from the back porch and front porch, and they are just living in the walls. Sometimes they spill out into the kitchen.
We have a contract with an exterminator who clearly hadn’t been doing his job (they come while we’re at work, sometimes without prior notice so we can at least try to get time off to be present). So we called him and made him come do his job for real and he put out poison bait for them to carry to their nests. Hopefully this will work for us. They were in the bathroom tub drinking the water after a shower, for crying out loud. Just coming out of the wall.
They will likely get in if they want in. Just like mice. The main thing I do is make sure they don’t have a food source. No unsealed containers of food left out, no crumbs, no drips, nothing.
I also find where they’re coming in and spray it with Orange Guard, it’s expensive but non-toxic. You can also often go outside and see a trail leading up to your houses foundation, spray that too.
Sodium Borate (Borax) and similar substances work well. Adding sugar to attract the ants may encourage them consume it and carry it back to the nest. You can also use Diatomaceous Earth, or just plain salt. Both of those are powerful dessicants that ants will avoid. You may want to contact an exterminator if there is a chance the ants have bored into wood in your house. In that case surface treatments might drive the ants deeper into the woodwork. If you have ecological or health concerns about the use of pesticides, exterminators should have multiple options for you. You can also check with local government agencies such as an Agricultural Dept. if ants are common problem in your area.