I need to distract the ants in my house

So. The previous owners neglected to tell us about the MASSIVE ant infestation of our new house. They are coming in the tops of windows, through the plumbing, through every single available crack. Sealing them out is impossible-- it’s a 135 year old house.

I’ll be calling an exterminator shortly, but here is my problem:

We are going on vacation next week, for the week. We have a petsitter coming to take care of our cats. I am not comfortable filling the house with pesticide and then leaving them unattended for 23 hours a day for a week. I want to be around incase someone gets sick.

However, every morning I must clean up the ant train to the cat food & cat litter, sprinkle thier new entryway with baby powder to block them. Sometimes it takes them a day or two to find a new entrance, but they always do. I walked around the house today trying to ID all the places they could get in, and it seems hopeless. There’s a crack/gap every six inches.

I can’t simply remove the cat food and litter. I can’t expect the cat sitter to clean up the ant trails every day. I got to thinking, what if I gave them a food source outside? The ants I mean. Just for the week. Like a big bowl of cat food or something. Would that keep them out of my kitchen for a week? I just need the week. Then I can have an exterminator come and slaughter them.

Put out Raid Ant Control disks every place you see active trails. They really work. The ants take the food back to the nest, and it kills everything, including the queen. If you eliminate the nests, your problem gets down to reasonable size.

So far, they’ve ignored every single one of the bait things I put down.

Can you describe the ants for us? Different types prefer different baits.

The only thing that ever worked for me with ants was the syrupy poison that comes in little bottles. It’s the only poison I’ve used where the ants actually stopped to eat it.
I’d put big blobs of it and lines of it on your outside window ledges, doorsteps, etc.
I’d put some indoors too but put it behind something heavy that the cats can’t move like the microwave oven.
The next days you’ll probably be disgusted by the swarms of ants that are eating their last dinner. However, resist the temptation to start killing them while they’re feeding. Let them get good and full of poison and take loads of it back to the nests.
It takes about a week but they’ll all disappear.

Also, take care not to leave any food or dirty dishes laying around. Make sure the poison is the only food source. Put kitty’s food on top of a table or somewhere difficult for the ants to reach.

They’re pretty small, and brown. They LOVE the cat food. They get into the litter sometimes (it’s corn based). They also get in the outside trash. They also come in through the plumbing, but they never leave the up stairs bathroom (there’s no food up there)

Put the food on a table with the legs resting in big bowls of water. There will be no way for the ants to get to it.

Of course you have to make sure that the table won’t be damaged by the water. You may be able to get one of those cheap plastic outdoor tables for this.

Also your sitter may have to top up the water once in a while.

I think putting the table legs on cupped pieces of tin foil will work also.

Types of ants, and the baits they like.

This stuff did wonders for our ant problem, and it’s supposedly ok for pets after a couple hours. But our ants were big and black, not small and brown, so YMMV.

Or, you could place the food bowl in a larger bowl of water (making sure the cat can still reach it). It can get kind of messy if the food gets in the water, but it works if you don’t have a table you can get wet.