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Ant Problem Solved

Buying a home is an exciting experience. That is until you realize that you not only signed away your life for 30 years but you’ve also gotta take care of it. Actually, that almost sounds like becoming a parent. Anywho, that home you thought seemed so perfect doesn’t seem so perfect anymore and you start to notice things about it that bother you and that you want to upgrade or fix. Actually, that almost sounds like the reality that smacked my wife in the face after she said, “I do.” Anywho, prior to home ownership, I used to spend my weekends tackling a To Do list, which usually consisted of unwinding from a week of work through a variety of activities most likely centered around food and beverages, surrounded by people I loved. After purchasing our home, I spent my weekends tackling a Honey Do list: painting, installing a new thermostat, replacing the garbage disposal (my nose hairs singed from that experience have yet to grow back), unclogging bathtubs (bad enough in and of itself, even worse when you’re pulling out hair from previous owners), fixing this, fixing that. We also had things break on us: our dishwasher, the wax sealing ring on the 1st floor bathroom that leaked onto the basement bathroom, and parts of our porch among others. And worst of all, there were strange odors left behind (thank You, God for the man or woman who created Febreze).

After a year or so of constantly battling our home, we reached a happy medium. Sure there were things that still bothered us, but we learned to live with them. We were happy with our home and we lived in relative tranquility. And then came the ants.

Not just ants, but hundreds of tiny little ants crawling all over our home. The strange thing was, they weren’t going to any food sources; they just seemed to enjoy strolling around our living room. I looked high and low for the reason they chose to invade our home but there was no good reason. No food. No sugar. No water. No dried up juice. To make matters worse, I couldn’t find where they were coming from. I asked my neighbors and some of them were having an issue as well and were having difficulty controlling them. But these ants don’t know me very well.

When I was a kid, my friends and I used to love killing those little caterpillars because they bled green, which we thought was slime. I hated when flies came in the house and while I wasn’t as awesome as Mr. Miyagi, I did swat flies with a vengeance. I hated mosquitoes so much that I would often go outside, do some jumping jacks to get some sweat going, and then kill the mosquitoes that would try to bite me. I never killed a lightning or lady bug though.

So you bet it was on. Initially, I tried just stomping on ’em and trying to wipe out their scent (I learned that part from A Bug’s Life). Nope. I tried several natural methods (orange peels, cayenne pepper, flour, and Vaseline). Nope. So I tried several ant baits but they didn’t seem to do anything. And then I found this:

Terro-fying for Ants

Terro Liquid Ant Baits (about $6.50 at Lowe’s or Home Depot). To give you an idea of what happened next, imagine a massive supply of Schlitz or Natty Light and pizza was set out in the middle of campus. Now imagine what the convergence of college students would look like. The ants tore through all six baits in no time. And then *poof* they were gone.

We later had these massive ants that were crawling over our porch. This is what happened.

I’m not sure if these ants were too fat or dumb to get out of the trap and take the bait back to their colony. After a few days, we had no more ants, and it stayed this way for about 2 years.

A few days ago, the small ants came back. And you bet I got some more Terro liquid ant bait. For you parents or pet owners out there, make sure you monitor the traps. The active ingredient isn’t that harmful but you certainly don’t want to expose them to it. Today, all the ants are gone.

If you’ve got an ant problem, I highly recommend Terro if no other methods are working. If you’re an expert on ants, I’d love to hear any other recommendations you have for future battles I may have.

Hope you have a great, ant-free, weekend!

  1. the buck
    June 11, 2010 at 9:14 am

    This review was: Useful(1) Funny(1) Cool(1)

    • Pop
      June 11, 2010 at 7:38 pm

      Sometimes I wish I could sort my blog entries by U, F, or C.

      • June 12, 2010 at 11:05 am

        It wouldn’t make sense to do that since they’d all be under all three categories… hee hee!

        • Pop
          June 12, 2010 at 2:00 pm

          Awww, thanks, Beth!

  2. Tu-Van
    June 11, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    We had the same problem in our house a month or so ago. Aside from getting our pest control guy to come over, we use a similar Borax liquid that we drip onto a piece of cardboard to give to the ants. I’ve never seen so many dead ants on a bait before using this stuff – it works like crazy!

    • Pop
      June 11, 2010 at 7:40 pm

      I know right? The first time I used it, I was legitimately freaked out at how many ants there were.

  3. June 11, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    Terro all the way. Before hosting dinner, I picked up about eight of these little suckers stuck to the floor around our dining room. Yes, the liquid stuff works. My husband 1)loves it 2)buys it 3)leaves it for me to clean up. Ha ha– I’m not complaining. We don’t have toddlers in the house (except when I watch the nephews or we have guests..) Fun post.

    • Pop
      June 11, 2010 at 7:51 pm

      You guys make a good team! I actually enjoy watching the ants. I feel like I should let out some sinister laugh when I do.

  4. Veronica
    June 11, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    Thank you! I will go get some of these. Every year we get ants in our bathroom, which I’ve always found odd b/c there is no source of food in there, so why do they keep coming back? Maybe for the water? Anyway, there aren’t a lot of them so we kinda just kill them as we see them but it will be nice to have them gone for good. The problem we have right now is these really odd flying insects that look like a cross between a gnat, a fly & a moth. They are quite small, about 1/3 the size of a fly, black and their wings are powdery. When you kill them, they leave a powdery smear on the wall. At first we only had a few but all of a sudden we have like a swarm of them in our basement! I’m thinking we’re going to have to use a bug bomb or something b/c the fly strips isn’t cutting it.

    • Pop
      June 12, 2010 at 2:01 pm

      Blech. Those sound terrible. I love our home and all, but fighting pests is no fun. We also have this cat that likes to hang around our house. I once put trash outside when I had guests over and I guess I didn’t quite get the lid closed all the way because the cat got through the bag and we had trash strewn all over our yard.

  5. June 14, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    Hi there! I work in public relations for Terro and stumbled across your blog posting – thanks for being such a Terro fan, and we also think your posting is Useful, Funny and Cool! We also love your photos – nice! We’d sure love to invite you to visit our blog at http://www.whatsbuggingstew.com. Stew is the Director of R&D at Terro, guest on countless garden & home talk shows and overall funny guy!

    • June 16, 2010 at 9:26 pm

      Hey Pop! I love that you got some corporate notice. I was about to say Terro should pay you for the great advertisement. 🙂 But true; they work!

  6. June 14, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    Thanks for the tip, I’ll have to remember Terro. We used to buy Grant’s ants but I can’t find it anymore and the other stuff doesn’t work. I live in the San Diego area, which sits on a gigantic ant hill. I have never, ever seen so many ants in my whole life anywhere else.

  7. June 15, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    Hi Pop-
    Very good to know, I’ll keep it in mind if I ever get ants. Right now I only ge tthe occasionanal sparrow in the fireplace.



  8. Carl D'Agostino
    June 16, 2010 at 10:39 am

    Yes, borax and baking soda too. ESPECIALLY for roaches. The way they work is that they give the bugs gas and bug butts are not anatomically designed to release gas and their abdomens explode and the other bugs eat their relatives and it creates a “blowing up” dynamic throughout the colony. Perhaps we should tell the President to have our boys sprinkle baking soda all over Afghanistan and we could bring the soldiers home which may not be good because they will have no jobs in this economy and that’s why the conspiracy people think war keeps unemployment down, which has some truth to it. I would not advertise on the net that you are doing this because the New Age psychologists and the socialist and the tree huggers will Bakker Act you for incarceration in the state looney bin for ANTi-social behavior.

  9. Veronica
    August 6, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    Our ant problem has escalated while our drain flies are dissipating, so now we are noticing how bad they have gotten. It’s beyond ridiculous. So we picked up some ant bait at Lowe’s. Trying to remember your recommendation, I thought I recognized the Terro package and picked that up, then saw another product that had heavier advertisement on the front about “killing the entire colony” so I put back the stuff I wasn’t even sure if it was what you recommended and got the other stuff. Big mistake! The ants could care less about the product we got and now that I went back to check your blog, I see indeed it was Tarro that I should have got. Another trip to Lowe’s for us! Thanks again for the reccomendation. We need it.

    • Pop
      August 7, 2010 at 12:22 am

      Sorry to hear about that, Veronica!

      How big are the ants? The one I showed above is of the pre-made traps; they also sell it in a bottle with little pieces of cardboard with Place Terro Here on them.If they are big, they’ll get stuck in the pre-made traps as you see in the pics above, so get the bottle type. If they’re the tiny ones, the traps work perfectly.

      Once you put the trap down, be prepared to be grossed out. It’ll be like one of the ants updated their Facebook status: “YO! Party @ Veronica’s! We’re getting our drank on! LOLZ!”b/c you’ll see tons of ants around the bait. After about a week or so, they’ll all be gone!

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