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Old 05-06-2014, 11:16 AM   #1
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Ants in mah pants....literally

Okley dokely

get your popcorn out as this one is long
So I finally got to go out on a 3 day trip to the local campgrounds to test out all of my upgrades and to see if my oldest daughter (just turned four) could handle being cooped up with me for a couple of days without mom.

So on the first day absolutely no issues, both of the new Engel fridges worked like a champ (they should at what they cost) those, + lights, Microwave, water pumps et all off of battery + solar

ran the ac unit on low from 1400 ~1600 just to knock the humidity down and strangely enough had to run the furnace in the evening on low from about 2330 until about 0600 to knock of the chill... all was great, no rain my daughter was enjoying herself, had a bunch of friends of all ages sharing a common campsite, but they are a well behaved bunch life is great....

so on the second night my daughter spills some fruit cocktail juice ( I think as that was her snack after dinner) in the rear of the camper on top of the Engel fridges. I later found paper towels in the trash (evidence of her trying to clean it up, as a 4 y/o bless her heart for trying).

but here is where it gets funny I neatly folded my pants at night on top of the fridge, which is right next to the door.... the next morning I woke up went and grabbed my pants and a mass of moving black something caught my half awake brain..... My friends; who a couple of them were up making coffee at 0600 said this " your door flung open you threw your pants out yelling something and started chucking something out of the camper.....what was going on? well it seems that my camper is not ant proof, and in one "nights" time they had reconned, located and were busy cleaning up the reminants of the spilled fruit cocktail juice under my pants, and on top of the fridge units. Me being half awake and being more intent on repelling the invasion then being concerned with my appearance standing in the door way with nothing but my socks and titey whities to cover myself was according to my friends even funnier than some of the things that typically go on at a campgrounds

So I had Ants in my pants quite litterally, and on my arms, back and a few other places they crawled while I was eveictng them by the handfull.

So next question, how do I keep the really small ants out? these are little tiny fellars the ones about a 1/16" or so in size, but man do they travel in packs.

can I sprinkle something around the trailer to deter them, as I am sure if Kayla (oldest daughter) can draw them that quickly, her younger sister Leah will have them marching in ranks ready to take over the entire campsite
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Old 05-06-2014, 11:34 AM   #2
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We have an ant problem in the RV resort we stay at. We call them sugar ants and they are fast and seem to be able to get into anything.

I use a product called Home Defense Max. It comes in a liquid with spray bottle. I spray it on the tires, frame by the tires, landing gear, sewer connection and electric cord. I think with a 4yo you would want to check the product warnings fairly carefully and satisfy yourself with the safety.

Prior to that we used to sprinkle Comet around the same places. It seemed to work as well but did not last long as the first wind would blow it away.
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Old 05-06-2014, 11:56 AM   #3
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edited Prior to that we used to sprinkle Comet around the same places. It seemed to work as well but did not last long as the first wind would blow it away.

Gordon, do you mean comet as in comet scrubbing powder?

I tow to different campgrounds each time, so something cheap i can dump around the trailer would be nice

Also thanks and a shout out to Macantic for a quick PMed answer as well
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Old 05-06-2014, 12:21 PM   #4
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We use Home Defense and still use Comet (yes the cleanser). Seems ants aren't all that crazy about the chlorine component, but I am not an expert by any means.

Consider yourself lucky they were not fire ants!
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Old 05-06-2014, 12:22 PM   #5
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Our local corp of engineer park recommends use of kitchen cleanser like comet or Ajax around the touch points. We have Argentine ants which are an invasive type. They also recommend using Vaseline on the water hose and power plug. I usually cover an an inch of each. The ants can't pass through the goopy substance.

Recently, I discovered lime does the same thing Ajax cleanser and is good for the environment
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Old 05-06-2014, 12:33 PM   #6
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I don't see a location in your avatar, O.P....are you in Texas?

If so, are your ants the "crazy ants" I've been reading about that are becoming such a scourge down there? Link to story/video
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Old 05-06-2014, 12:35 PM   #7
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I think it's the Borax they hate. Also, Terro ant bait is really good stuff.
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Old 05-06-2014, 12:53 PM   #8
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Gordon, do you mean comet as in comet scrubbing powder?

I tow to different campgrounds each time, so something cheap i can dump around the trailer would be nice

Also thanks and a shout out to Macantic for a quick PMed answer as well
Yes - the scrubbing powder.
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Old 05-06-2014, 01:12 PM   #9
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Okley dokely
So next question, how do I keep the really small ants out? these are little tiny fellars the ones about a 1/16" or so in size, but man do they travel in packs.
kenn_chan
Could they be Raspberry ants (aka: tawny crazy ants)?
see: Rasberry crazy ant - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
That is alarming information, (especially because they are attracted to electrical/electronic components, of which there are many in most RVs).

In early Feb of '12 we picked up an infestation of those little "creepy critters" at the Lake Somerville COE campground in Texas.
1,000s of them got into our coach in just 2 days.
(I can live with a few tiny ants, but 1000s of them are frightening). They got into nearly everything, including unopened food bags/boxes, a Tupperware butter dish, and a sealed container of "store bought" doughnuts.
At times we found so many on the kitchen counter top, that it looked like some one had scattered a box if "living pepper" on the counter.
(The only place they didn't go was inside the refrigerator/freezer).
We tried everything to get rid of them, with no success....
(They avoided Terro bait/poison, and Borax didn't deter them).

Finally we returned to Wisconsin, (where it was below freezing for another month), and froze them to death.

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Old 05-06-2014, 03:21 PM   #10
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Mel-this is the invasive species that I referred to above (Argentine ants as per the COE website)
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Old 05-07-2014, 02:25 AM   #11
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Talking

To all with suggestions, many thanks. To those with questions: I currently live outside of Yokosuka Japan where I work on the local US Navy Base. (Former Marine, somebody's gotta take care of the Sailors, they need adult supervision )

The ants looked like your garden variety black ants less than a 1/4" for the biggest and most much smaller. They never really bit me, or I just didn't feel it, not sure which. It was just a shock at 0600 prior to a proper cup of coffee to find my mobile castle under attack by ants.

I am deffinitely going to take the above suggestions to heart, because next month I take Wifey and both girls to Hokaido. with two rug monsters spilling everything placed in their hands I really do not want a daily repeat of what happened, might even make eating inside off limits except for in absolutely terrible weather situations.

"no sailors were harmed in the above listed story, all Sailors were properly fed and cared for IAW Standard Naval Regulations 5100.3D (proper care and feeding of squids when on recreational maneuvers)" he he he.

Ken Morgan
Yokosuka Naval Base
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Old 05-07-2014, 06:26 AM   #12
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Check out diatomatous earth it's not a poison so it's safe around children and pets. Just make sure it is food grade not the kind they use in pool filters. Goggle it great stuff and safe to use.
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Old 05-14-2014, 07:13 AM   #13
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We got invaded by ants last weekend. I saw them outside first, then noticed some going up the stabilizer jacks. I found a few crawling down inside the heat vents, but nothing too bad.

From a previous tip, I used Windex (vinegar, not amonia) and it does a great job of not only killing them but also wiping out their scent-trail which others follow.

Also, the best preventative thing I've seen is to buy some Ortho Bug-B-Gone powder at Home Depot and sprinkle a ring around the jacks and tires. It comes in a can with a shaker opening. Safe for garden vegetables, etc. This prevents any bugs from getting in!
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Old 05-14-2014, 03:07 PM   #14
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Just gonna quickly hijack your post to mention the time I woke up and found a toad in the pocket of my shorts. Camper sealed up tight, still a mystery how he got there...
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