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Eeeewwww, Ants!

Discussion in 'Grooming & General Cat Care' started by LittleShadow, Jan 22, 2019.

  1. LittleShadow

    LittleShadow Thread Starter TCS Member Adult Cat

    Dec 28, 2018
    Help! It's been raining hard here, and sometimes drowned out ants decide that even without an easy food source, human homes make nice, dry nests. Guess who the lucky host is today? :cringe: Are there any ant bombs that don't leave harmful to pets residue? Molly would, of course, be outside in her catio and nowhere near the bomb, but I don't want her to get sick when I let her back in.

    So far, the ants seem totally limited to my bedroom (eeeewwwwwwwww.....) and I've put down ant spray at the doorway to try to prevent them from moving into the rest of the house. I'm also asthmatic, and there really isn't much to entice the ants, other than the dry/warm, so I'm hoping that even a safer/less effective option would work. I don't want to just spray cans and cans of spray, but I'm certainly not okay with ants in my bedroom either. Breathing the fumes as I spray usually makes me ill. I'd prefer bombs, because I can set them, leave, then clean up after and hopefully trigger my asthma less. Help?

  2. FeebysOwner

    FeebysOwner TCS Member Top Cat

    Jun 13, 2018
    Central FL (Born in OH)
    Hi. Don't know where you live, but down here in Florida I use Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer - mostly just routinely once a year; sometimes if I am in the mood to be overly productive, I'll do it twice. It can be found most anywhere - Walmart, Home Depot, etc. I spray it around the perimeter inside - of all the outside walls. Don't get ants, or if I do, it is a random one or two.


  3. mrsgreenjeens

    mrsgreenjeens Every Life Should Have Nine Cats Staff Member Advisor

    Aug 13, 2009

  4. FelisCatus

    FelisCatus RIP </3 Alpha Cat

    Dec 27, 2018
    Diatomaceous earth (food grade ONLY) should be your only real answer. It’s natural and will kill any household bugs. Another benefit is if your kitty licks it (not that they would) it will kill internal parasites too.

    Sprinkle it all along the windows/entrances and anywhere you don’t want them. They don’t die instantly but at least it’s not harsh chemicals that could harm your kitty cat.

  5. neely

    neely May the purr be with you Staff Member Forum Helper

    Dec 22, 2005
    A co-worker told me to about using cinnamon to prevent ants inside the house. They usually come in the kitchen between the backsplash and counter so I put cinnamon all over the kitchen counter. It's more of a deterrent for the ants and helps put up a barrier.

  6. Kflowers

    Kflowers TCS Member Top Cat

    Jul 28, 2018
    Can you track the line of ants to where they are going and back to where they came inside? If so, you can break the chemical trail they leave each other. But this only works if you can figure out what they want.

    With one group we had it was the honey. Had to put the honey jar inside another jar. Wipe the trail and re-caulk the window frame where it didn't quite meet the wall.

    The most recent set don't care about sugar they want meat, or to be more precise tuna and cat food.

  7. LittleShadow

    LittleShadow Thread Starter TCS Member Adult Cat

    Dec 28, 2018
    Far as I can tell, they're not after any food source. My bathroom trash was untouched, and there are none near my makeup or candles, which could be a source of "food" scent. ...they seem to be milling around in confusion, and heading for any dark areas they can find. Under rugs, dresser, etc. Best guess for entry point would be the door to the backyard, but there are no ants around there. Maybe from somewhere under the baseboards? I'm not sure with that, because they may just be seeking dark areas. I had similar experiences like this at my old house, when we'd get ants whenever it rained heavily in winter, rather than around left out food in summer like most people seem to get.

    There are no real....lines, either. It's like someone took a salt shaker of ants and just sort of dusted them around the room, and after that they went under the nearest object. I saw one, lifted the small rug it was near, and there were about 20 ants just being completely still until I poked one to see if it was alive. Yep. Eugh. My luggage in the corner had ants under it, it has since been taken to the garage and sprayed down, it had no food in it, and the ants were just...under it, not moving until I picked it up. A small spray of mint ant spray under the nightstand smoked out some ants, but none were carrying anything, and again, no food around there.

  8. Kflowers

    Kflowers TCS Member Top Cat

    Jul 28, 2018
    ugh ugh ugh ugh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Adam's flea mist will kill them. Cruel since they don't seem to want to be there, but they won't leave.

    We had them, apparently, come in through the electrical outlet. --scream-- wait, scream again!!!!!!!!!!

    Does the mint spray kill them or, at least, make them run outside?
    Our last batch would have considered it perfume and come back to demand Chanel No. 5.

  9. LittleShadow

    LittleShadow Thread Starter TCS Member Adult Cat

    Dec 28, 2018
    I've used the mint spray before, it's a kitchen safe spray. I have to lay it down pretty heavily, and it isn't as fast acting as other sprays, and leaves the floor slick and slippery, but it doesn't immediately trigger an asthma attack. It will give me a nasty headache after a bit though. I leave it down for a day, then wipe it up, wait a day to see if more show up, then clean again because one cleaning isn't enough to fix the slippery floor issue.

    If I have to, I can use it to douse my bedroom if I wear my breathing mask while I apply it, but with that much spray in an enclosed space it will probably be at least a week before my bedroom will be habitable again without risking migraine or asthma attack, possibly longer if the rain doesn't break and I can't open my windows to air out my room. I figured I'd see if any of you guys here had better ideas first, but if not....well....at least after the mint spray fades past the initial "sledgehammer made of mint" stage, the residual odor is actually fairly pleasant.

  10. Kflowers

    Kflowers TCS Member Top Cat

    Jul 28, 2018
    I expect the Adam's flea mist might have the same affect. It's an alcohol base and has a sharp smell that is better than the no-chew scents, but is strong. Many people, some of whom I'm related to, hate it.

    I wore it as a perfume for several years in the 70s before there were 'safe' flea meds. I soaked the house down with it and vacuumed every day, but I was after fleas.

  11. SpoiledKits

    SpoiledKits TCS Member Kitten

    Jan 21, 2019
    Hi there! :wave2:
    Ants are one of my hobbies. I enjoy watching them and catching ant queens.

    I can definitely understand why you wouldn't want them in your house, however doing an "ant bomb" or spraying ants with pesticide will not solve the problem in the long term. It will only kill the visible ants. There are many more ants in the colony that will replace any stragglers you happen to kill.

    You can make a mixture/paste of peanut butter and borax. (Side note: I honestly do not know if cats eat peanut butter?? So perhaps put the mixture in a place that isn't kitty-accessible)

    Anyhow, I use this peanut butter/borax mix at my office since we have ant problems every summer. The worker ants will find the peanut butter/borax mixture and take it back to the queen to feed the colony. The helper ants will start feeding the mixture to the baby ants and they will all start slowly dying. You need to kill the ants at the source (aka the queen who is laying all the eggs). This process will take several weeks to make a noticable difference and you will need to replace the mixture every couple days. It may seem like it's not working at first because all the troops will be called up to start gathering the peanut butter. :soldier: But trust me, borax is the main ingredient in most commercial ant killers and the only way to really get rid of an ant colony is to kill the queen.

    And just to put in a good word for my ants - they are actually considered beneficial insects. If they aren't bothering you when you're outside, please leave them be. If they are in your house or causing a nuisance when you are outside, I would call them fair game. :salute:

  12. LittleShadow

    LittleShadow Thread Starter TCS Member Adult Cat

    Dec 28, 2018
    Thanks @SpoiledKits ! I'm the sort who catches non-poisonous spiders and releases them outside, and I don't really blame the ants for coming in to get out of the rain. I mean, I'm grossed out and I'm not about to just...cohabitate with them, but I'm not mad at them for thinking "Hey, strange warmdryhollow tree! Whoohoo!" I just....well, they're gonna lose this territory battle. My nest.

    But if I can make rainy outside more appealing than my room and they only "invade" in the sense of a small invasion happening once in a blue moon...well, I feel like it's sort of mean of me to kill their whole colony for the intrusion? The ones in my room are fair game to me, but the rest of the colony isn't doing me any harm by simply existing and is helping with their place in nature.

    I went ahead and just masked up and used my mint spray since I had it handy, and I'm not seeing movement today. If they don't reappear when I wipe everything down again, I'd rather leave them to do their thing outside where they belong than trick them into carrying poison back to their nest if making my nest too smelly for them is enough to solve the problem. It's certainly too smelly for me in there right now, I can smell it down the hall with the door closed, and I had to mask up to check the room, but it seems to be working for now. I also never did find their 'trail', just a lot of confused seeming milling about.

    Also...not sure I'd want to sleep on the couch long enough for the bait method to work...it's comfortable, but not THAT comfortable...

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