Tips on how to kill ants when diatomaceous earth fails?

Rustynavel

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I have a ant problem in my enclosure. Idk where they are coming from and the powder isn't super effective with their numbers. I tried to remove all the substrate but they were back the next day. I don't have any around it and I cleaned the whole thing out so I don't understand where they come from.
 

ZenHerper

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Diatomaceous earth works if you use a thick enough layer that the ants have to get the powder all over their bodies crossing through it (they then carry it back to their nests and it gets all over the colony). Diatoms work by slowly cutting between the body cells; it is not an instant-kill process. You have to use a high enough and wide enough amount to make a sort of fence/rampart around the protected area. Don't leave any gaps - ants will find them and avoid the powder.

Cinnamon works. Make a wee boarder fence-lump, not a dusting...wide enough they can't stretch over it; no gaps to pass through.

But indoors I'd want to know where they're coming from...unfortunately, most ants travel by night.

Couple of things to try:

*Put down some lengths of double-sided tape (the wide stuff they make for carpets) around the enclosure (or around the bottom of the enclosure). Don't leave even the tiniest gap. Ants will get stuck to the tape, and that may give you an indication of what wall/baseboard/window they are coming in.

*Use a pet-safe spray around your doors, baseboards, and windows like this:

*If the enclosure is wet-proof, use a thick line of petroleum jelly around the top edge (inside or outside, whichever is easiest). This will either repel or trap insects.
 

Lyn W

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They could be in the substrate. What do you use?
I soak new coco coir and orchid bark in boiling water to kill off any insects like ants and eggs before putting it in the enclosure. Some people bake it in the oven.
 

ZenHerper

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They could be in the substrate. What do you use?
I soak new coco coir and orchid bark in boiling water to kill off any insects like ants and eggs before putting it in the enclosure. Some people bake it in the oven.
It would be especially easy to have ants ride along in bags of bark bought at garden shops.
 
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