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Thread: Ants

  1. #1
    VOLDADDY is offline Lifetime Member Weir Watcher VOLDADDY 1 star
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    Default Ants

    I have ants around the coping of my pool CONSTANTLY. I want to kill them but am leery of spraying any type of spray that close to my water. I can only imagine how many are down under my pool. Anybody else have/had the same issue? If so, how did you get rid of them?

  2. #2
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    Post Re: Ants

    I can't say I got rid of them completely but they are not near the problem they were a few weeks ago. I tried ant bait, the little tins, the ants avoided them. I tried DE along the the deck in the crack around the outside of the pool which helped somewhat but not good enough. I know of nothing to put in the water, I just keep skimming them out. They probably live in the dirt under my concrete deck.

    I did an internet search on killing ants and came up with lots of BORAX recipes to kill ants. I tried a home-made remedy and saw some action. BORAX, yes "twenty mule team", the same stuff talked about on this forum! The trick is to limit the BORAX to about 1-5% in a solution of water thickened with something sweet to attract the ants. (I used about 1tsp BORAX to 1cup water) Boil the water first to dissolve the borax in it, then add honey or jelly or whatever you have, I used grape jelly to thickin the solution. Put it in something shallow like upside down can lids and put in the ant trails on your deck, I assume you see ants there to.

    The trick is to use a dilute enough concoction that the worker ants can carry it home to their queens so it kills the queens to. But not so concentrated that it kills the workers before they can carry it home to the queens.

    If your worried about pets or wildlife getting in to it, just cut some small holes in an empty coffee can with a lid and put your concoction in that. It's not really that toxic to animals though. I actually poured small amounts into the cracks betweeen the concrete sections and the ants found it easily there and went nuts for it.

    It took a while before the ants were interested in it at all but after moving it around they eventually went for it. When they finally do, don't be surprised if you see even more ants untill suddenly one day they will almost be gone.

    It depends what kind of ants you have, I had big black ones and then little red ones. It's definitely worth a try, cheap and it's good to have BORAX on hand for the pool to increase pH if you ever need to.

    Good luck, I hope you find a solution! I would not actually put anything in the water, easier to just skim and bag ants out then to risk major water issures!
    Amelia

  3. #3
    mbar's Avatar
    mbar is offline PF Support Team Whizbang Spinner mbar 3 stars mbar 3 stars mbar 3 stars mbar 3 stars
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    Default Re: Ants

    Thanks Amelia, I will use that trick today! I never had a problem with ants till this year, and I have been leary to use any kind of chemical too. What a great piece of info.
    Northeast PA
    16'x32' kidney 16K gal IG fiberglass pool; Bleach; Hayward 200lb sand filter; Hayward pump; 24hrs; Pf200; well; summer: none; winter: mesh; ; PF:7.5

  4. #4
    matt4x4 is offline Lifetime Member Whizbang Spinner matt4x4 2 stars matt4x4 2 stars
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    Default Re: Ants

    Ants like to be near water sources, if you have a dripping hose reel, guaranteed you will get an anthill under it!
    Nice concoction, I will try that! I've been using DE successfully too, the DE cuts the exoskeletal structure, infection and death set in shortly after.

  5. #5
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    Post Re: Ants

    Good Luck you guys, I hope it works for you! I made "multiple feeding areas" for my ants. I have to get some more "home cooked meals" out there for my ants today to! I live in a very wooded area in Michigan so will always have this problem, more of THEM than Us!....AND I refuse to use any commercial pesticides (or weed killer) in order to protect the health of my dogs. I believe those chemicals are correlated with an increase in cancer in dogs, as well as people and the pests always become immune anyway. (Yard looks like hell but pool and dogs are healthy and beautiful)

    I just thought of a couple other things. I have always loved to grow my own herbs for the kitchen and mint is one of my favorites. In particular I like chocolate mint plants, they are smaller, not as tall and ugly. Ants avoid mint and I have always planted it around the outside of the house to help keep them out. I hardly ever have them in the house now! Catnip is a type of mint also but I have enough neighborhood cats coming around the other side of the house where the catnip is and they drive my dogs nuts!

    I think I'll try planting more mint around my pool area. Mint is very hearty and tends to take over anything else though, and does attract bees if allowed to flower. Easy, easy to grow, cheap and propagates easily from cuttings or just sticking the tall stems back in the dirt.

    Heck, maybe I'll try sticking a few sprigs of mint in the gaps of the coping and the liner-lock.

    Another thing I found in web-searches is that ants won't cross a line where vinegar has been wiped, like if you wipe your doorways with white vinegar.
    I have never tried this but I think I will try wiping my pool coping with it. I don't think it could hurt anything. I don't know what it would do to the pool water but I don't plan on spilling it and it will dry quickly. I'll let you know if I see any difference in my ant population.

    On to spend my day enjoying my pool, Amelia.
    (Too much time on my hands, but that's just fine when it's POOL SEASON!)

  6. #6
    elsie is offline Registered+ Widget Weaver elsie 0
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    Default Re: Ants

    A couple of years ago I had an ant problem too. Subsequently had a liner leak. I had already covered the pool for the winter by that time, so had a leak detection guy out to put on a dry suit and sleuth out the leak in the cold water under the cover to patch. He said that the leak was caused by ants behind the liner.

    I usually get ants every year, just not this year. Since I have several pets, I put out the common ant bait traps bought in a hardware store, and in about 48 hours the ants are gone.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Ants

    How I love this forum!

    Just spent some $$ having one of those leak detector/fixer guys come take care of my pool. I had 3 areas with holes and he said that it was ants eating the liner. Just so happens I have tons of Borax and DE hanging around, so I'll be on this tomorrow.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Ants

    Amelia, would or does spearmint and peppermint work? I have an ant problem
    that just wont go away and would consider planting it all around my house.
    Thanks, Joe

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