Another thing that brings ants inside in Texas is water. Do you have any leaks? Other than that, the best thing I can think is to seal any cracks you can find where they might be making their entrance. Hopefully you've already found them all when looking for good places to spread the diatomaceous earth.
Pay special attention to things like electrical outlets. Some species are actually attracted to electrical currents. It can cause expensive repairs to things like air conditioners here when the accumulated bodies of those that have been electrocuted start causing shorts.
Simone Gar wrote:Any idea how to deal with it without using toxic spray? We have tried DE (does nothing) and these little container ant traps (maybe reduces them?) and nothing works. What else can we try with ants in the house specifically kitchen (we don't leave food out).
We're trying lemon oil and if I remember to wipe things down with it it seems to help. We have the very very small ant, with a sharp smell if you touch them. They come in hoards at certain times, especially after a rain. They are carnivorous mostly...not drawn to sweets so much as a bit of chicken or grease. We try to keep things clean and dry and that does help but they are still around, waiting, I guess. These ants are under every outdoor pot and in the mulch in the garden. I don't mind them outdoors and am trying to get used to them in the house....checking my water glass and tea cup before using, etc. They are all over this town. We've never had a problem with ants like this before....
They are on the counter and floor. I like the lemon oil idea I don't have any but a orange oil cleaner I will try.
I have never heard of water or current to be attractive to ants. I will check for that!
They are outside too but as Judith said I don't mind them there.
I have only recently purchased tansy seeds, but in reading further about tansy, I have hesitations. In some states, it's illegal to plant tansy due to its invasiveness. Therefore, I have yet to plant my seeds.
So, we have to understand how ants cannot eat food directly. Didn't know that? Their pincers and not jaws, they are for cutting and holding food to take back to their queen that CAN eat. They also take food back to the nest to feed the slaves they have encircled and that feed them honey dew.
Some colonies love fats, some love sugar.
We want to get the food back to the nest--feed the queen and when she dies, they will all die--hive biology works that way.
So, take two small portions of grape jelly and peanut butter (cheap stuff is ok--we don't need to go all organic)
Get them warm if they were in the fridge-no need to heat them, just leave them on the counter for a while.
Get some borax powder
So, to 2 TBS of bait, add about 2 tsp borax and mix well. IF we kill the transporter with too much borax we defeat the purpose--we want them to take it back to the nest.
Take a small plastic lidded container--like a take out container and punch holes LOW all the way around. Layer in some paper towels and wet them. Then spread on half the paper towels a blob of peanut butter and half with jelly and kind of spread it around.
Then replace the lid--staying moist is important.
Then the detective must come out. Find WHERE they are coming into the house-ants leave pheromone trails to follow--you want to put the bait trap in that path.
Now comes the part that most folks wont like--the trap will be swarmed with ants....eating and taking food back to the nest....and about 4 days later--no more ants.