1. Hello guest! Are you a Tortoise enthusiast? If so, we invite you to join our community! Our site is specifically designed for you and it's a great place for Tortoise keepers to meet online. Once you join you'll be able to post messages, upload pictures of your Tortoise and enclosure and have a great time with other Tortoise keepers. Sign up today! If you have any questions, problems, or other concerns email us using the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of this page!

Help! Ant infestation remedy?

Discussion in 'Lizards' started by Madortoise, May 8, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Madortoise

    Madortoise New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Messages:
    682
    Hey lizzard/gecko peeps!
    My poor guys ...:( I am not sure how much they are bothered but the ants (common ants) are coming into their tank to get to the water cup since it's been hot. It's been going on for 2 days now and it's driving me crazy.
    I put a few terro-x ant liquid trap outside of their tank and by the window where the ants are coming from. That's working but still some are still in their tank. In Pangea website I saw folks suggesting peppermint oil diluted w/water to spray or borax. I think I read in a book somewhere that cresteds were first thought to be extinct partly due to foreign infestations of ants...etc...can these common ants hurt them? Geckos are staying up on branches so I can't see if they are bitten or anything. I do know these ants bite when it crawls on me.
    Thanks for your input in advance!
    [​IMG]
  2. N2TORTS

    N2TORTS Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    Messages:
    6,381
    Heres one idea! :p
    I have 1 couple year old, captive born bottle raised Tamandu Anteater for sale. Cost- $8000. Shipping is $250, or delivery may possibly be arranged (fuel and expenses covered).

    Call 217-531-8921 or visit us online at www.kensexotics.com

    *Boiling water at Nest site ... then a good OL wet Dry Vacume works well,,,

    JD~:D
  3. dmmj

    dmmj Active Member Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2008
    Messages:
    10,464
    Location:
    CA
    Usa plain old chalk on the top of the container ants wont cross chalk. make sure it is thick
  4. dreadyA

    dreadyA New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    Messages:
    646
    Location:
    southern cal.
    Hey mado! Nice geckos! i havent had any issues with ants. :[ hopefully they dont bite them. i doubt it, im sure they would go after the gecko diet instead!
  5. t_mclellan

    t_mclellan New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2008
    Messages:
    452
    Location:
    West Palm Beach. Florida
    Another "Green" solution, Horned Lizards or a Moloch, Depending on where you live.
  6. Tom

    Tom Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2010
    Messages:
    21,211
    Location:
    Southern California
    A few of them will stress your geckos, a lot of them could attack and kill your geckos. I had a skunk gecko nearly killed this way. Checked him in the morning, went to work all day, and came home to find him covered in ants and writhing in apparent pain. I grabbed him and stuck him under the tap to rinse them all off of him. He survived with no visible damage, but had I not come home when I did, I'm sure they would have killed him.

    This is what I do when that happens: Remove the enclosure from that area and then remove the animal from the enclosure. Then remove the ants from the enclosure. I dab and smash them individually with my finger or use a hot washcloth and wipe them away. Next go follow the trail to where it is coming into your house. Next I either plug the hole or put a tiny, accurate squirt of ant spray right in the hole. Then wipe up all the ants between the entrance into your house and your cage. Then I go back a second or third time and get all the ants I missed out of the enclosure. Finally, I watch that area like a hawk for repeated invasions.

    t_mclellan, I'm not saying I ever illegally kept a horny toad, but I might have heard that they usually won't eat those little itty bitty "Argentine Black Ants". They seem to show a preference for the big red ants or black ants that occur in their natural range. Plus, I don't think you'd want one in your crested gecko cage.

    Maybe Mado ought to try a Myrmecophaga tridactyla.
  7. Kayti

    Kayti New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Messages:
    319
    Location:
    Ashland, Oregon
    My CG's tank got infested with ants (as did my bathroom, bed, desk, and food shelf) and I found the only way to get rid of them was to pour contact-killing terro poison powder into the cracks I found them coming from. I also moved me gecko enclosure, and washed the whole thing out with hot water.
    I didn't want to use the bait you describe because 1) it's never worked with my ants, it just attracts more of them and 2) they keep on living after they eat the poison for a few hours- (it's designed for them to carry it back to the colony) -so they could track it into the gecko enclosure.
    I pour the poison, then vacuum it back up in 2-3 hours, because it's not meant to be used indoors, and I know my rats would get into it. Vacuuming leaves just a little bit of poison behind, enough to discourage the ants.
    We have massive ant problems, but they never come back to the same place twice.

    Hopefully you wont have to resort to poison though. I've tried the chalk trick with varying success- you could also go with pepper.
  8. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    37,853
    Location:
    Clovis, CA
    I buy this product:

    http://www.orangeguard.com/

    at Orchard Supply Hardware. I use it inside my tortoise houses and in the house around my baby habitats.

    Once I had a red ant invasion in one of my hospital pens outside on my car port. I had a box turtle in there and I had fed her some canned cat food that morning. When I went to close up in the evening, I found the cat food and under the feeding tile just covered in red (biting) ants. I took the shop vac and vacuumed as many ants as I could see, then I scraped away the cypress mulch on that end of the pen, sprayed heavily with the Orange Guard, then put clean cypress mulch about an inch thick over the sprayed area. I do have to admit that it doesn't seem to actually kill the ants or roaches, however, it does make them go to a different spot. They don't come back as long as the orange smell is still there.

    Outside, where the tortoises don't come into contact with the ants, I use Malathion or some other strong, and toxic bug killer.
  9. jackrat

    jackrat New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Messages:
    2,318
    Location:
    Hamburg,AR
    I use diatomacious earth.
  10. webskipper

    webskipper Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2009
    Messages:
    628
    Location:
    Old Pueblo
    Use win/dex to erase the ant trail to the cage and from wherever they are entering the house.

    Anything with vinegar will remove their scent trails.
  11. alfiethetortoise

    alfiethetortoise New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Messages:
    329
    Location:
    England
    I have a constant battle with common Ants coming into my kitchen once the weather gets warmer. This year, woke up on April 15th Kitchen was swarming! I use Ant powder all along where they are coming in. Boiling water on the nest if you know where it is. The Ants never get near the tortoise, but i hear that they hate the smell of e-cover anti bac spray, and wont go near it at all.
  12. t_mclellan

    t_mclellan New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2008
    Messages:
    452
    Location:
    West Palm Beach. Florida
    Tom;
    Myrmecophaga tridactyla? That's just silly! Think about the furniture! Mado would have fun keeping that guy in the cage too!

    Gecko's, Horny Toads & Anteaters its ANARCHY I tell ya!!
  13. Tom

    Tom Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2010
    Messages:
    21,211
    Location:
    Southern California
    Glad you got a laugh out of that.[hr]
    I live in a pretty bad area for ants. We get a dozen or more heavy invasions every year. I've tried all sorts of these natural remedies and none of them worked at all for me. Even pesticides don't work very well unless I stay very vigilant and pro-active about it. I hate using pesticides, but they would over run us if I didn't.
  14. Madortoise

    Madortoise New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Messages:
    682
    Thanks everyone!

    Those are all great ideas. I decided to keep it safe around the house and replenished w/terro-x liquid bait because it has no poison in it but has some particulates that they cannot digest and they die--I heard one zoo keeper said this is the only commercial product he uses around his animals. It's working slowly but surely.

    After I cleaned the tank and all the contents, I also used talk powder (I used the fancy sandlewood scented one but some said to mix baby powder w/borax) all over outside of the tank and near the tank so ants do not climb in there again---however, a few hours later I still saw a couple in there. @#$%%!!! Geckos are currently happy hunting for crickets and do not seem to be bothered by ants as I am.

    I think as you all say, it's essential for me to figure out where the nest is because it actually has been a reoccurring problem every summer (when it gets too hot) and winter (when it's too cold) in other parts of the house. I used to spray orange guard in bathroom & kitchen--forgot all about it; thanks for the reminder, Yvonne.

    Tom, I really really like the idea of having an ant eater roaming in my backyard. I read a book as a child about a creature that ate dreams and it looked just like an ant eater. I can't remember what that creature was called (Myrmecophaga tridactyla??) but somehow I developed this affection toward the ant eaters. $8000 is too steep for me to pay for it at this time, though. Maybe if you get a baby one. This should be another thread but I'm curious...how do you feed it, do you buy thousands of pounds of ants to keep it happy? How about if you start an ant vacuum rental service?
  15. Madortoise

    Madortoise New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Messages:
    682
    Yuck! I'm disgusted. :( Just as I thought they were all gone, they came back. This time not only inside of gecko tank but also attacking crickets in massive number all into the cricket keeper bin. Defenseless tiny crickets had no chance to escape; some of them were being pulled part. I felt so bad I had to shake all the crickets and ants out of there; hopefully some crickets had shaken ants off and jumped away. I hosed the bin down and I don't think I'll buy crickets for a while til the ants are under control. It's interesting how they don't go at all for the CG Diet. They smell yummy like fruits so you would think...but not.
    JD (not Tom, sorry) I need to borrow your ant eater seriously...
  16. t_mclellan

    t_mclellan New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2008
    Messages:
    452
    Location:
    West Palm Beach. Florida
    If your cricket bin is on legs, Put the legs in coffee can lids filled with water.
  17. Madortoise

    Madortoise New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Messages:
    682
    Hi there t_
    The keeper bin is too big to fit into the coffee can lids but it's a good idea. My husband said the same about using a tray filled with water for the gekko tank. It's like a castle defense system w/water.:D
  18. Madortoise

    Madortoise New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Messages:
    682
    Okay, here's the update. A few weeks ago, I had a water filled shoe-box size tupperware filled w/2" of water and had a critter bin full of crickets in them. It kept the ants away for a few days but I didn't pay attention for two whole days and when I woke up one morning, I realized that about a 18-20 baby crickets were all carried away by ants. The ants surpassed my expectation and used a piece of artificial plant to get into it (don't ask my why I had that in there). I followed the trail of ants into a kitchen floor and put more terro-x there. I have not had any ant problem for 2 wks now. I think it's finally over. Geckos are safe and happy.
  19. DeanS

    DeanS Active Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Messages:
    3,174
    Location:
    SoCal
    Go to Costco, buy a container of cinnamon sticks and line them up end-to-end around the outside perimeter of the terrarium.
  20. Madortoise

    Madortoise New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Messages:
    682
    Cinnamon Sticks. Ingenious! I'm all for the natural remedy and that should smell good. Thanks for the info DeanS.
Similar Threads: Help infestation
Forum Title Date
Lizards Bearded dragon help Jan 2, 2014
Lizards Leopard gecko help!!! Oct 8, 2013
Lizards Leopard Gecko, help? Sep 5, 2013
Lizards Need help with uromastyx laying eggs Jun 22, 2013
Lizards Help with Sick Geckos, Please. Jun 4, 2013

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page