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Getting rid of ants in sugar

  1. Feb 2, 2008 #1

    Defennder

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    I have a container for sugar at home which always has ants crawling in it all the time. I don't know how they get into the sealed container but they always manage to get in. Does anyone know of a way of getting rid of the ants permanently, apart from tracking down their habitat and exterminating all the ants? Or at least keep them away from the sugar and savoury foods?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 2, 2008 #2
    Cleaning your cupboards and storing the sugar in a sealed container would work.
     
  4. Feb 2, 2008 #3

    Defennder

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    Actually it doesn't. Even if I get rid of them just once, they'll come back the next day. What should I use to clean up with?
     
  5. Feb 2, 2008 #4
    Get a completey new container, I'm assuming there the small black ants, (We called them piss ants) that is absolutely airtight, like one of the old ceramic things with the latch and the seal. We have one like that that was used for coffee.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2008
  6. Feb 3, 2008 #5
  7. Feb 3, 2008 #6

    Defennder

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    Haha!
     
  8. Feb 3, 2008 #7
    Got to thinking again. You could make sure there are ABSOLUTELY none in it, then put it in your fridge or freezer.
     
  9. Feb 3, 2008 #8
    How do you get ants in your kitchen?

    There must be a leak.

    My parent remodeled the kitchen last year. They had found why cockroaches kept on crawling in. There was a hole in the wall.
     
  10. Feb 3, 2008 #9
    A+++++++
     
  11. Feb 3, 2008 #10

    Defennder

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    Well, for one thing ants are a lot smaller than roaches. You mean you don't have ants in your kitchen at all?

    I kind of like binzing's idea. I think I'll do it.
     
  12. Feb 3, 2008 #11

    Defennder

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    Ok, but now that they're crawling all over the sugar, how do I get them out of it?
     
  13. Feb 3, 2008 #12
    Ants following a 'scent' path laid down to a food source. Wipe down the counter and as far back as you can see the ants on their path. Put the sugar container in an air tight 'zip' lock plastic bag. Spray the baseboards and the foundation of the house (if you live in a house). This also helps to disrupt the ants scent path. Change the location of where you keep the sugar (the frig isn't a bad idea for at least a while)

    Feynman had a section in 'Surely, You're Joking...' about some trouble with ants.
     
  14. Feb 3, 2008 #13

    Moonbear

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    First, I'd start by throwing out the sugar you have in the house...all of it! Are they getting into any other food in the cupboard where you store your sugar? Toss any of that too. And clean out everything else. Wipe down all the counters and cupboard shelves and outsides of any other containers you have with a bleach solution. Vacuum thoroughly...use the hose attachment to vacuum inside the cabinets and under fridge and stove, etc, to remove any stray ants and food crumbs they may thrive on. If you have carpet in the kitchen, now is a good time to do a thorough steam cleaning (the ants could have a trail through carpet that you can't see).

    Then, get jars with the rubber seals (like old-fashioned canning jars, but you can find plastic cannisters like that too). Since you already have an existing problem, I'd go for double sealing any dry foods, including sugar and flour. Put a ziploc type bag inside the jar, seal the sugar (or other food) inside that, then seal the jar (or you can do it the other way around...seal the jar inside a ziploc bag if you have a large enough bag to do it that way). Whenever you do anything in the kitchen, you'll have to be meticulous about cleaning up after yourself, making sure nothing is left spilled on the counters that can nourish returning or missed ants.

    rewebster's point of spraying the baseboards and foundation is good too, as well as inside window and door frames (easy places for ants to sneak in), some of the ground around the house, and around the places where any water or gas lines come in through the walls. If there are gaps around the water lines, get some of that foam sealer spray stuff (comes in a can) and squirt it in there to seal the spaces off. These are the most common ways that "critters" find their way into kitchens. If that doesn't resolve the problem, you may need to hire an exterminator with stronger insecticides and who can inject it into walls or other places they are coming in (that may require cleaning out the entire kitchen to allow an exterminator to spray the whole place and do a thorough job without contaminating food, plates, etc., and if you need to go to that extreme, you'll probably need to plan a few days stay someplace other than your home while the pesticides air out, and then another day to clean the surfaces in your kitchen of residue before you put anything back...at that point, I'd throw away anything that's not canned food so you don't bring back any stow aways to repopulate.)
     
  15. Feb 3, 2008 #14

    Defennder

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    Ugh, extreme spring cleaning. Sounds quite drastic. Just so you guys know, I've been drinking ants-flavoured beverages such as tea and coffee for some time now. For some reason, the ants actually die in the sugar after some time.
     
  16. Feb 3, 2008 #15

    lisab

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    Yes, they dehydrate. But if you're an ant, what a way to go!
     
  17. Feb 3, 2008 #16

    Math Is Hard

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    I've had more problems with them this week. :frown: I thought all the rain we've had would drown them, but it has only chased them into my apartment. They keep attacking my refrigerator. I come home and find a trail to the frig, and then open the freezer and find hundreds of them cryogenically suspended.:surprised

    Here are my little friends from South of the border:
    http://waynesword.palomar.edu/ww0403.htm
     
  18. Feb 3, 2008 #17
    Sean Connery did a movie about a species of ant (or ground up ants as the end result) that he was researching that may become extinct in the Amazon that proved to be a cure for cancer that was first found by the native when they were accidently eaten.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2008
  19. Feb 3, 2008 #18

    EnumaElish

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    Try putting half a bottle of beer on their path; it'll draw them in and they'll drown. It works for roaches and I am guessing it might work for ants.

    Thinking of it, a bowl of honey might also work (and be more humane?)

    As a global solution, pour boric acid liberally on their path and populated areas (widely available as an insect control powder). Find the cracks they are using to get in and fill them with "spackling paste," "rubber cement," or any other "putty/clay" material, then pour boric acid around. It's a long term battle (war of attrition); be prepared for a long fight -- you have to be determined.

    For mice use half a bottle of liquid (e.g. olive) oil. They'll drop in and drown.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2008
  20. Feb 3, 2008 #19

    Defennder

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    What species of ant is that?
     
  21. Feb 3, 2008 #20
    Simply add an inch of salt on top of the sugar. Problem solved.
     
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