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Ants! Terrified and so frustrated

Ephy

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Just in the last week, I've been spotting ants. They look like either black ants or carpenter ants. I have no idea. I never see them carrying food and I can only guess they might be coming up from under the linoleum which has buckled in several places under the floor water heater elements.

I have lived in this apartment for years now and never had this problem before, why is this happening? I don't even live on the ground floor.

My husband is convinced it is due to he other sloppy neighbours. Either way I want them gone!

We are not messy by any means so I am so confused why this happening now and more importantly just how in the world am I going to get rid of them???

I am terrified of using some kind of poison that they pick up and carry back to their nests because my house sparrow is an excellent bug hunter. Anything he sees moving, he snatches and EATS immediately! Spiders, flies, Beatles....anything

When I see him do it, I have to chase him around the apartment to get it away from him as soon as I can but he is so quick he gobbles it down.

I don't want to try treating these ants with poison and he spots one and eats it...or even if I'm not here and it crawls into his cage...i don't know what to do..and I'm freaking out!

What should I do??? Please help
 

April

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Odds are they are living in the walls and coming from there under the buckled floor. I've dealt with this issue myself for years in this apt because the buildings are old and the foundation is cracked. I can't recommend Liquid Terro ant baits enough you just put them down by the trail and they will go in get covered in the poison and take it back to the nest and help to kill off the nest. I know you've said your house sparrow will eat them but it takes roughly 1 to 3 days in my experience for them to stop coming to the bait because they've died off so it maybe worth it to keep your sparrow caged until you don't see them any more for extra safety.
Alternatively and what has been my most successful attempt so far is that I kept Bosco out of my apt for a week and had a pest control come in and absolutely spray every single area of the apt to really knock them down and kill them off more quickly and effectively than the bait traps ever did.
That is a pain I know but its been months now and I haven't seen a single one and life has been so much better.
 

Ephy

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Odds are they are living in the walls and coming from there under the buckled floor. I've dealt with this issue myself for years in this apt because the buildings are old and the foundation is cracked. I can't recommend Liquid Terro ant baits enough you just put them down by the trail and they will go in get covered in the poison and take it back to the nest and help to kill off the nest. I know you've said your house sparrow will eat them but it takes roughly 1 to 3 days in my experience for them to stop coming to the bait because they've died off so it maybe worth it to keep your sparrow caged until you don't see them any more for extra safety.
Alternatively and what has been my most successful attempt so far is that I kept Bosco out of my apt for a week and had a pest control come in and absolutely spray every single area of the apt to really knock them down and kill them off more quickly and effectively than the bait traps ever did.
That is a pain I know but its been months now and I haven't seen a single one and life has been so much better.
Thanks for the quick reply! Unfortunately, I dont have anywhere I can take my birds except like maybe a hotel. But with my luck, i will end up coming back with bedbugs!

I'm also worried that the ants might make their way into his cage and I wouldn't even know it.

His cage is huge and because of the size, it sits on wheels quite low to the floor. He would pounce on them in an instant.

This building is quite old too...but this is the first time in my life I have ever had to deal with ants! I've already scrubbed every corner 3 times with different floor cleaners, killed every ant I see and have bug sticky traps on order to hopefully put up a temporary boundary from where I can only assume they may be entering from.

But, needing someone to come and spray, omg. I can't even imagine this is so awful.

Thanks again for your response.
 

Mizzely

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The active ingredient in Terro is Borax which is bad for bugs but relatively harmless for birds, people, and animals.

You could also look for Avian Insect Liquidator by Vetafarm. I believe it is safe even if you sprayed it on your bird, but you'll have to look into it more.
 

April

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Thanks for the quick reply! Unfortunately, I dont have anywhere I can take my birds except like maybe a hotel. But with my luck, i will end up coming back with bedbugs!

I'm also worried that the ants might make their way into his cage and I wouldn't even know it.

His cage is huge and because of the size, it sits on wheels quite low to the floor. He would pounce on them in an instant.

This building is quite old too...but this is the first time in my life I have ever had to deal with ants! I've already scrubbed every corner 3 times with different floor cleaners, killed every ant I see and have bug sticky traps on order to hopefully put up a temporary boundary from where I can only assume they may be entering from.

But, needing someone to come and spray, omg. I can't even imagine this is so awful.

Thanks again for your response.
I completely understand the bedbug fear that's something that's always in the back of my mind living in an apt and never knowing what your neighbors could be bringing home and will effect you I shudder to think of it,thats a big reason that I won't go somewhere that I'd have to stay at a hotel because that's just too big a risk in my opinion.

Do you have a vet that you go too? It's worth looking into seeing if they do any boarding.

You could try putting the legs of the cage in cups of water so they can't crawl up the legs,that happened to me a few years ago on Thanksgiving morning in fact they'd never in all my years done this but it went from seeing a single one on the carpet the night before to literally having Zazu's tray covered in at least 100 of them the next morning I seriously almost had a mental breakdown it was beyond horrible.

I've also had a lot of luck with powdered Cinnamon helping to repel them,they don't like it I believe it burns them so I use it as a barrier to stop them from progressing farther into the room by encircling the known holes they come out of.
 

Ephy

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The active ingredient in Terro is Borax which is bad for bugs but relatively harmless for birds, people, and animals.

You could also look for Avian Insect Liquidator by Vetafarm. I believe it is safe even if you sprayed it on your bird, but you'll have to look into it more.
I have never heard of it, but I will look into this thank you!
 

Ephy

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I completely understand the bedbug fear that's something that's always in the back of my mind living in an apt and never knowing what your neighbors could be bringing home and will effect you I shudder to think of it,thats a big reason that I won't go somewhere that I'd have to stay at a hotel because that's just too big a risk in my opinion.

Do you have a vet that you go too? It's worth looking into seeing if they do any boarding.

You could try putting the legs of the cage in cups of water so they can't crawl up the legs,that happened to me a few years ago on Thanksgiving morning in fact they'd never in all my years done this but it went from seeing a single one on the carpet the night before to literally having Zazu's tray covered in at least 100 of them the next morning I seriously almost had a mental breakdown it was beyond horrible.

I've also had a lot of luck with powdered Cinnamon helping to repel them,they don't like it I believe it burns them so I use it as a barrier to stop them from progressing farther into the room by encircling the known holes they come out of.
I am exactly already on your thought train about putting their cage legs into some kind of moat. Not sure yet how Iam going to do it, but I'm already seriously trying to figure this out, lol.

Yeah i hate bugs, all bugs and I am super paranoid about anything bedbug, roaches, ants, lol everything. I hate bugs!

I have tons of cinnamon! Thank you, I am going to try this too!

I can't stand the thought that they are more active at night, freaks me out. Stupid me, I also googled birds seed and ants, and read they like bird seed...of course they do!! Ugh, my birds are so messy too!
 

Shezbug

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I did not find AIL to kill the ants we had come in the house so I used some DE where ever I saw them and they were gone in no time.
 

Ephy

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I did not find AIL to kill the ants we had come in the house so I used some DE where ever I saw them and they were gone in no time.
This is good news then! I also have this on order for stuffing in the buckled linoleum. I got the food grade kind.....hopefully they are all the same?

Feel like I am at war here, lol. Got to pull out everything but I am still worried it's not going to sort out the problem at its source.
 

Shezbug

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I am exactly already on your thought train about putting their cage legs into some kind of moat. Not sure yet how Iam going to do it, but I'm already seriously trying to figure this out, lol.

Yeah i hate bugs, all bugs and I am super paranoid about anything bedbug, roaches, ants, lol everything. I hate bugs!

I have tons of cinnamon! Thank you, I am going to try this too!

I can't stand the thought that they are more active at night, freaks me out. Stupid me, I also googled birds seed and ants, and read they like bird seed...of course they do!! Ugh, my birds are so messy too!
So you do not ruin the wheels or legs of your cage, put the legs into some smaller containers then put those containers into larger ones with water in them- this way the actual cage legs stay dry but the moat is still in effect. I used DE around the cage wheels and other places I saw activity and they were dead in no time at all.
 

April

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I am exactly already on your thought train about putting their cage legs into some kind of moat. Not sure yet how Iam going to do it, but I'm already seriously trying to figure this out, lol.

Yeah i hate bugs, all bugs and I am super paranoid about anything bedbug, roaches, ants, lol everything. I hate bugs!

I have tons of cinnamon! Thank you, I am going to try this too!

I can't stand the thought that they are more active at night, freaks me out. Stupid me, I also googled birds seed and ants, and read they like bird seed...of course they do!! Ugh, my birds are so messy too!
I've found that vacuuming twice a day the middle of the day and at night right before bed and putting washcloths that are big enough to go slightly past the wheels under the cage and then extending a good amount out from the cage works wonders in keeping seed and pellets from bouncing in the carpet and making it a walking smorgasbord for them. It's simple to just pick the washcloths up and shake the debris in the trash and then replacing it.
 

Ephy

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So you do not ruin the wheels or legs of your cage, put the legs into some smaller containers then put those containers into larger ones with water in them- this way the actual cage legs stay dry but the moat is still in effect. I used DE around the cage wheels and other places I saw activity and they were dead in no time at all.
Thank you so much, this is really helpful!
 

Ephy

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I've found that vacuuming twice a day the middle of the day and at night right before bed and putting washcloths that are big enough to go slightly past the wheels under the cage and then extending a good amount out from the cage works wonders in keeping seed and pellets from bouncing in the carpet and making it a walking smorgasbord for them. It's simple to just pick the washcloths up and shake the debris in the trash and then replacing it.
The way they spread the seed is insane. I use to have a carpet under them and would run one of those auto vacuum cleaners until it died on me one day. It was amazing!

I really need to get a new one actually and have been putting it off, but it really did help keep the seed situation at bay.

Time to start another amazon cart, lol. Thank you for this! I forgot how amazing those little vacuums are and they have improved so much!

Thank you
 

Shezbug

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The active ingredient in Terro is Borax which is bad for bugs but relatively harmless for birds, people, and animals.

You could also look for Avian Insect Liquidator by Vetafarm. I believe it is safe even if you sprayed it on your bird, but you'll have to look into it more.
Says it can be used directly on the bird, this is the exact wording I found for it:

  • A convenient spray that penetrates below the feathers to where mites and lice hide
 

April

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The way they spread the seed is insane. I use to have a carpet under them and would run one of those auto vacuum cleaners until it died on me one day. It was amazing!

I really need to get a new one actually and have been putting it off, but it really did help keep the seed situation at bay.

Time to start another amazon cart, lol. Thank you for this! I forgot how amazing those little vacuums are and they have improved so much!

Thank you
You're so welcome! I really hope your able to get a handle on this. 10 years now I've delt with ants and it really is a never ending war that you have to wage on them.
 

Shannan

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I use DE as well with good results. I also heavily spray the ants and their pathways with vinegar water. It seems to ruin their paths and the ants that I directly spray do not seem to do well. I spray, let it sit and then wipe with a paper towel. Do remember the DE works when dry so you may have to re apply if it gets wet.
 

Ephy

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Thanks for everyone's help with this..I just wanted to give a quick update.

It's so wierd but I haven't had ants since. There were a few here and there a couple days later but that was it. I double sided taped off the area where I assumed they might have been getting in and never caught anything.

Funny enough, I actually bought a large potted flower and brought it inside one night and it was the same night I saw my first ant....I am starting to think the ants problem could have been all from that potted plant and problem was solved after I killed them all and put the plant outside.

Either way so happy it's not a problem anymore!

Lesson learned, really check new plants for bugs/ant infestations before bringing them inside..I guess I learned the hardway! Oops
 

Aviphile

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I did not find AIL to kill the ants we had come in the house so I used some DE where ever I saw them and they were gone in no time.
I blend DE, powdered sugar and borax together in a container and I use the little condiment cups with lids and I use a hole punch to put a couple of holes in the side and sit them all around in the house in out of the way places.

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