My new apartment is infested with ANTS!!!

Just moved into a beautiful new place. 35th floor, with a view of the harbor and Toronto skyline that would make a painter drool. Really big place, too, with a perfect layout. It’s right in the city, right over a subway station, nice neighborhood, just perfect…

Except, of course, for the fact that we’re sharing it with fucking Alvin the Ant and fifty million of his best fucking friends!!!

Yes, the place is overrun with ants. Hundreds, thousands, possibily millions of ants, ants in the bedrooms, ants in the kitchen. They’re tiny little brownish ants, nearly invisible. We have identified them as Pharaoh ants, Monomorium pharaonis, which apparently love apartment buildings. And naturally, the little bastards are hard to kill, because if you spray them they get frightened and start new nests with new queens. Oh, isn’t that just fucking loverly? And did I mention they won’t take most commercially available baits?

And so what does the superintendent do about this? Well, here you go:


RICKJAY enters.

There are ants in my apartment.

Here, sign this form.

When are they going to kill the ants?

I dunno, next week I guess.

How did they get here? How long have they been here?

We think maybe in dog food. It’s not a problem.* (DIRECT QUOTE)

Of course it’s a problem. There are ants in my apartment. What do you mean dog food? That isn’t what I read.

Yeah, okay.

So it’s Tuesday, August 6, and have the exterminators been called? NOPE! Four days later, and how many babies do you think the queen momma ant(s) have had since then? Fifty zillion? Based on the way the ants are rallying, I’d say that’s a good guess! So I call again today. “Maybe they get there on Thursday.” says the super, by which time I will be knee deep in ants. Oh, and did I mention these ants are known to nest in furniture? It’s that just fucking wonderful? My new bed I paid a thousand dollars for just became an ant bus.

So I start talking to the other residents. Guess what? They all have ants, too! Whaddyafuckinknow, huh? Gosh, that’s a shock. And some for a FUCKING YEAR WITH THE FUCKING ANTS. And you know what building management does? Nothing! Jack-diddly-fuck! If someone complains loud enough they send an exterminator to bait the ONE apartment. There has never been a buildingwide extermination effort, which of course is the only effort that will work.

Well, that’s A) illegal, and B) disgusting. The LAW says they have to eliminate the vermin with all speed and there’s no legal excuse not to. But I figure, shit, maybe I’m expecting too much. Maybe bugs are part of living in the big city. So Mrs. RickJay calls the Toronto city government people.

Hello, I moved into a new apartment and there are ants here.

There are what there?


There are ANTS in your apartment? Eww. How long have they been there?

A year.

There have been ants in the apartment for a YEAR?

So we hear. What do we…

We’re sending a health inspector right away. That’s disgusting.

So apparently I AM living in Ant Central, and my slovenly landlord has done next to nothing to eradicate this problem. The lazy old couple who’re the supers in my building, who don’t bother calling the exterminator for days (and apparently sometimes weeks) after getting complaints have allowed the hideous little fuckers to multiply and spread throughout my building. My beautiful, clean apartment is infested with disgusting, gross bugs. Had they done something before maybe it would have been solved easily, but noooo, and now we may face a year-long battle. Of course, since the fucking things could be in my furniture, if I move I could take them with me and I’d have to go to the Housing Tribunal to have the lease broken anyway.

So in review:

  1. I am paying good money for a three bedroom apartment infested with disgusting insects.

  2. I was not informed there was an ant problem despite SPECIFICALLY ASKING before I signed the lease if the building had any pest problems, so not only am I getting illegally screwed, I was defrauded.

  3. My landlord is apparently too busy to clean up the fucking ants and now there are ants in my goddamn food.

  4. I am going to fucking sue. I am going to sue for rent abatement, I am going to sue for damages if I find my furniture infested, and I am going to sue for a city and/or provincial order of extermination, and when I mean “extermination,” I mean no ants in my apartment, ever. None of the bullshit other residents have gone through where they treat it once and it’s okay for two months but the ants come back because they didn’t do followup.

You vile, dirty motherfuckers, making my apartment filthy and gross with your inhuman, putrid ways. And fuck the ants, too.


Until you get satisfaction from an official source… I’d suggest bleach. Lots of chlorine bleach. Wash from the edges of each room to the center. It’s the best way to erase the scent trails ants use to tell other ants where good stuff is.

If you find an ant “hole”, use a syringe and send bleach down.

As always, when using bleach in any quantities observe proper safety/ventilation procedures.

OK first thing to remember is

Ants aren’t stupid

They are a different kettle of fish to other common pests such as roaches. Roaches are dumb but ants… ants need to be treated with respect.

Never underestimate an ant.

Next thing to bear in mind is that, when considering an ant, it is wrong to think of an individual ant. You need to think of a whole ant colony as one living creature.

One individual ant doesn’t add up to much, but an ant colony is a formidable foe.

The Pharoah ant is tricky because there may be many queens in a single nest. Usually ants will only have one queen.

However the queen is the key.

As with anything in life, knowledge is everything. In this case, you need to know about ants. The thing about ants is that occasionally they will decide to move house. They tend to do this when they find somewhere nicer to live.

If the queen moves then the whole colony moves with her. So you need to persuade them all to move out of your apartment and into somewhere nicer.

Extermination doesn’t always work with ants. From that link above:

If you’re gonna outfox an ant, you need to be smarter than they are. An easy task, you think. Surely I’m smarter than an ant, you think. Think again.

Remember, ants aren’t stupid. They are in fact, (IMO) one of the most fascinating creatures in all of nature. Some of the things ants do are quite awesome. The queens (of some species) can live for 15-20 years.

So the question is how do you persuade them to move out of your apartment? The answer is you ask them nicely.

You build them a nice new home to move into ie you build an ant nest and fill it with nice things to eat sweets etc. For some bizarre reason, pharoah ants seem especially partial to hospital bandages.

After a while, they’ll send a scout ant over to investigate the new food source. The scout will report back that all seems well and then they’ll send over a high level delegation to investigate further.

Eventually, if they like the new place, you will see a whole army of ants all move into their new apartment. Somewhere in the midst of this army will be the queens. You’ll know the queens because they’ll be bigger and well protected.

Once the queens have moved in, then that’s it - you’ve captured the colony. You can now remove the colony to somewhere a long way away from your own apartment.

Ants are a warrior species. You can try to fight them if you like but that’s just meeting them on their home territory. Ants aren’t scared of a fight.

However, politely asking them to leave may just do the trick. This will be the only tactic they aren’t expecting.

I used flea killer (the kind used for dogs) on ants once. It was permanently effective. I also used hairspray on flies.

I’m just wondering how living over a subway station helped make your apartment perfect.

I’ve got ants in my dishwasher. It seemed like a bit of an annoyance.

I’ve got a sense of perspective now.

::goes back to rinsing washed dishes::

I’ve got ants in my dishwasher. It seemed like a bit of an annoyance.

I’ve got a sense of perspective now.

::goes back to rinsing washed dishes::

Um, because it’s Toronto and because it’s convenient? It’s not like he’s living next to the El or anything.

Re: the ants. Good luck, RickJay. No one should have to live like that.

I get carpet beetles. They’ve turned my dining room into their secret burial ground.

Actually, I haven’t been in my apartment for 3 months. I’ll probably find a stack of them when I get back next week.

That really sucks but it could be worse. If I had to be over run with zillions of insects, ants would probably be the least gross of any.

I sometimes get ants in my apartment too, but not very many at once so ordinary ant traps work well enough.

There was an ‘Ant’ thread on GQ a few days ago.

Yet 2nd reply on this thread, Jojo nailed most of the GQ Ant stuffs.

The only aspect Jojo didn’t cover was that too much ant-traps and poison will ‘spook’ the Queen. Pheremones (“My subjects are dying!”) will exude, and she and her so-far-inactive sister Queens may sprout wings and make new nests.

As this is the Pit, and your objective is to have the ants relocate to somewhere else - that might be enough. But yeah, don’t leave any food (even dog food) around and vacuum up the crumbs.

I suggest you email DAVEW0071…I think his email is listed…he is an exterminator and might be able to give you a few helpful hints. He is a darling man and even if he can’t help you he won’t yell at you for emailing him. Tell him Scotti sent you. :}

Not to be overly homicidal (pesticidal?) or anything, but wouldn’t it be more efficient, not to mention satisfying, to toss the whole mess into a bonfire at this point?

Personally, when I had ants, my roommate’s boyfriend just brought over his vacuum cleaner and sucked up the whole long line of ants (probably about 25 feet long and busy at this point), then squirted a couple seconds worth of Raid into the nozzle too boot. Just like that, hundreds, if not thousands of ants, gone.

A couple times of this and our ant problem was solved. I don’t know if they starved to death - ants reproduce fast, but they don’t reproduce that fast; we might have killed all their adult gatherers - or they decided that our apartment just wasn’t worth it and moved next door. Either way, a quick, neat, and efficient method of de-antification.

Buy an ant eater.

<looks around>

WHAT! It’ll work…
Oh and don’t forget: Go out and buy caulk. Lots of caulk. And seal up every gap in your walls. Cause if the whole building has an ant problem then they are probably moving from apt to apt much like roaches. If you manage to seal your apt off so the ants can’t get through the walls then you should be able to kill them if you fog the apt. Or you can hoover them up or bait them or whatever. Basically get em trapped and begin your Jihad!

And don’t forget to sue the crap out of the apt mangement.

Bah. If it ain’t fireants, there’s nothin’ to worry about. Unless they’re actively trying to kill you, you’re okay. :slight_smile:

A couple of years back I lived in an apartment that was right on the shore of a lake. We had TONS of roaches. We tried everything- bombs, borax, flamethrowers…

Then finally we decided to try biological weaponry. We caught a whole bunch of gekkos from outside, and set 'em loose in the house… within a month, there were NO roaches- just a lot of fat, happy gekkos.

They were cuter than the roaches, so we let THEM stay. We kept threatening to get a cat, though…

A shop vac is especially good for vacuuming up insects and other small vermin.

What I want to know is, why hasn’t Hail Ants posted here yet?

Vinegar is good too. Non-toxic, and more effective when heated in the microwave.

If you find the nest, just send a bunch of hot vinegar down there. No more ants.

Then caulk.

I’ve said this before, but I prefer Napalm. Lots of it. You can never be too sure with bugs.