View Full Version : Argentine ants

Sarah Madara
12-29-2010, 01:25 AM
They are crawling all over my lovely office, which is a walled off section of the detached garage and not very well sealed up, I'm afraid. I'm watching a thick trail of them go for my Terro bait and hoping.

(Argentine ants are sometimes called sugar ants. They are tiny, and hard to get rid of because they have multiple queens and exist in a state-wide supercolony - smaller colonies join forces instead of waging war on each other. I've spent a lot of time googling these suckers lately.)

The other day I failed to notice the inch-thick trail crawling across my black desk until after I'd set up my laptop and keyboard and notebook and realized everything - including me - was covered with them. I got no writing done that night.

After the last Raid battle my office was littered with literally thousands of dead ant bodies.


Just had to vent :(

12-29-2010, 02:07 AM
Ants are really annoying. I hear you. *pat*

12-29-2010, 03:31 AM
I sure don't have as many as sarah, but there's this one ant who drives me up a wall. She wears the most awful perfume and always comes over un-announced.

I tried Raid, it didn't work. What's this Terro stuff?


Sarah Madara
12-29-2010, 03:44 AM
I sure don't have as many as sarah, but there's this one ant who drives me up a wall. She wears the most awful perfume and always comes over un-announced.

I tried Raid, it didn't work. What's this Terro stuff?


Terro is a bait; it is essentially boric acid mixed in food. It usually works great on the 6-legged ant, but the perfume-wearing homophone might taste the stuff. Plus that would be, you know, wrong :)

12-29-2010, 03:55 AM
I know.

I remember when Terro was arsenic mixed in sugar syrup. A few people used it as a poison to commit murder. Now it contains boric acid which will still make you sick, but you'd have to ingest a whole lot of it to kill.


12-30-2010, 10:37 PM
Wow! Sounds like you need an anteater (http://lolmart.com/product/lolmart-anteater-ive-got-this-s-under-control/) to help you (pardon his language).

12-31-2010, 12:00 AM
Believe it or not, I've heard ants will not cross ground up chalk. Perhaps a liberal coating around your office

12-31-2010, 09:30 AM
Better Argentine than Brazilian - at least those little guys do not pack a sting that makes you cry. :(

12-31-2010, 10:07 AM
Just be glad they aren't fire ants. Are you in Argentina, or just using the name to describe them?

12-31-2010, 11:16 AM
If you follow their trail you may discover they are going to something. When this happened to me, I found they were going to the honey jar (solvedthat problem by putting the honey jar inside a coffee jar with a screw type lid). Then I back tracked to where they were coming into the house and discovered the carpenter had failed to completely caulk the outter edge of the new window. Did that.

You do need to break - clean - a large section of their path/trail because the follow a chemical scent and will keep going on the same trail until they've collected all of whatever it was they discovered.

Then, and this only works if you don't have cats, I spread a thin row of catnip along the edge of the window. I've been told ants won't cross catnip. They didn't but the caulking and sealing the honey might have done it.

In the hot weather they sometimes come inside looking for water. A shallow pan in the backyard will give them water.

Now here is why you might think twice before killing off your little sugar ants. I've been told by 'bug' specialists that a colony of one sort of ant will fight off a colony of another sort. So if you have a large colony of sugar ants they will do everything they can to fight off fire ants and keep your yard for themselves.

If you do have fire ants you can buy insant grits and sprinkle them around the mound. Eating instant grits seems to kill them. Don't put a lot out, you don't need to and you don't want the birds eating the to-be-hydrated grits, not good for birds or pets.

Disclaimer - no degree, just lived in the south USA for my entire and ants are a constant.

12-31-2010, 05:02 PM
I once found a whole colony of Canadian ants in my backyard. They were very quiet and polite, and always wore plaid flannel shirts. Drank a lot of beer, too.

12-31-2010, 08:09 PM
Ants creep me out, because there are usually so many of them. We lived in a house a few years ago and had an ant problem. My son was crawling at the time, and I found him covered in ants in the living room. Called an exterminator that day. Sprayed around the house, and set these traps in the yard, and we didn't see any more ants that summer. He told us not to bother just killing the ones in the house, because the queen will just keep sending more out.

Sarah Madara
12-31-2010, 10:11 PM
Thanks for the tips, guys.

I am not in Argentina, I'm in Southern California. Argentine ants are a huge problem here; apparently they were introduced in the 1800's, and because all of the colonies in CA are closely related (genetically), they don't compete with each other. So they've formed supercolonies, which are slowly getting rid of all the other ant species. That's more of an environmental concern than a homeowner's concern. The problem for homeowners is that colonies can be very large with multiple queens. I see queens wandering around foraging for food. Apparently other ant species don't let their queens hunt because there is only one! Not so with these babies. They've got queens to spare.

I don't think we have fire ants around here but I'll have to check that.

They come in when it rains, and their nest gets flooded. They also seek food, but even when there isn't anything in the office (I don't keep any food there, but I do have to be sure there aren't wrappers in the trash), they will come in to stay dry. It's been a very rainy season.

The Terro worked! For now, at least. They ate it up and now I've got piles of dead ants to clean today :)

Happy New Year!