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Old 06-07-2020, 05:55 PM   #1
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Ant problem

I have a 2016 rv, which I keep in tip top condition. I have a seasonal in the Pocono mountains. Every time I leave I spray ant killer around the inside and outside of the perimeter. The following week I come back there is usually over 100 dead ants inside. I opened up heating vents and put bait traps in, and taped them up.,I went up on the roof and screened everything in, I opened up every compartment inside and out,and sprayed and put traps in. I Opened up the vent to the outside refrigerator and there was 2 dead queen ants in there. Every compartment in this rv has traps, and screened in .There is nothing more I can do. Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks
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Old 06-07-2020, 06:10 PM   #2
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Get better killer
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Old 06-07-2020, 08:52 PM   #3
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I had ants in my TT and could not figure out where they were coming from. I had my house tented for termites and got them to include the TT. Post fumigation inspection showed they were living in the bathroom door. There is a tiny vent hole in the bottom of the door they went in to. Fumigation fixed the problem. Prior to that I looked in every place I could find.
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Old 06-07-2020, 09:14 PM   #4
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Old 06-07-2020, 09:59 PM   #5
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You may have to change baits. Depending on the ant and the time of the year they forage for either sugar or protein. To determine what bait is best, find a trail or some active ants and lace the bait nearby. Watch how they react. You may also need to apply granular bait around the rig. If you are using household sprays such as Raid, ants will avoid the spray. You need to search for non-repellant ant spray. Unlikely you'll find a spray that will last season.

One good spray with residual action is Tempo. You'll need to mix it with water. It's completely odorless and a little goes a long way. I haven't used it personally, but I've heard good things about Ortho Home Defense.

One bait I've had excellent results with is Combat Max Ant Killing Gel. It's a yellowish clear liquid gel in a syringe and it's easy to test because you place a dot near some ants and see if they take it. I find they usually line up like pigs at a trough. It's not so good for long term use because it dries out, or they'll eat it all and it'll be gone in no time.

If your rig is parked on a hard surface you can put boards under the tires and coat the board in Tanglefoot tree guard which is sticky. If it's dry you can do the same with boards and ring the board with boric acid.

Long term control in anything that is left unattended for a long period of time is difficult because treatments lose effectiveness with time.
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Old 06-07-2020, 10:08 PM   #6
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we had a cabin at a local lake boat access only so we weren't their steady. one summer we went to the cabin and it was crawling with ants. so many we couldn't stand to be in there. they were everywhere and in everything. we went to town and bought some flea bombs, went back to the cabin opened everything up and set 4 of them off. came back the next weekend and I could not believe the ants. they were a 1/2 on the floor we had an open beam ceiling with tongue and groove and they had gotten in the ceiling. everything was dead and we never had ants again the rest of the year.
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Old 06-08-2020, 06:16 AM   #7
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We use Comet cleanser around the outside to stop ants and if they get inside we use baby powder. They won't cross it because the can't breath. This is what we use because we have dogs and do not want to spray inside.
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Old 06-08-2020, 06:20 AM   #8
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We also use the Terro ant killer. The ants carry it back to the nest and wipes them out.

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Old 06-08-2020, 08:30 AM   #9
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I recommend Terro also. Just donít freak out when you wake up and see a feeding frenzy at the 24hour free buffet. It is doing its job and they will soon pass.
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Old 06-08-2020, 09:08 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Jake21 View Post
I recommend Terro also. Just donít freak out when you wake up and see a feeding frenzy at the 24hour free buffet. It is doing its job and they will soon pass.
And you have to give it time to kill the nest. My bug guy said give it 3 weeks. If you still see ants, call me back.
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Old 06-09-2020, 05:00 PM   #11
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I can't offer a suggestion other than try something different and keep at it. I was at 2 different campgrounds over the last 3 wks and in both the little black ants were unbelievable

they were crawling up the stabilizers, the jack, the power cord, I sprayed ant and roach killer daily and never made a dent. They ignored the Amdro ant bait gel, they played on the ant traps.

I finally starting switching between 2 different sprays daily and after about a week they were gone.
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Old 06-09-2020, 07:13 PM   #12
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Dealing with ants is similar to dealing with rodents in that it's a multi prong approach. The main difference is with rodents the first step is exclusion - doing your best to seal up entry points. It's the same with ants but is way more difficult to seal up little itty, bitty, holes so your exclusion tactics change to doing some kind of barrier. Comet cleanser works because it's diatomaceous earth with soap and bleach, or you could go to a nursery and buy plain diatomaceous earth. Ring whatever is touching the ground but make sure the ring completely covers the ground right up to the edge of the tires or jack pads so the ants can't burrow underneath and come up inside the ring. The Tanglefoot I mentioned works as a barrier but can become ineffective when covered in dust and debris, same with chemical or barriers like diatomaceous earth.

If you are concerned about pets or children, you can still use pesticides but you'll have to do detective work and use them selectively. I used to do pest control for an institution that in some areas had children right down to infants so had to be very careful as to where and what I used. The Tempo I mentioned above was one that is actually approved for use in food service facilities (not food prep surfaces) and I used it in kitchens and cafeterias but again, with selective care as to where it was applied. I found that the vast majority of the time, I could find entry spots or trails that had limited or no regular access. One thing that is very important with any pesticide is read and follow the label. It can be confusing, but it will guide you. It didn't matter how long I'd being using a product or doing pest control, I always checked the labels - in fact the subject of labels was one that was part of every recert class we took.

The key is to change the mindset the ads teach you to have - that you see a bug, and you hose it with some super spray, and your problems are solved. Before treating I spent as much time as needed with a flashlight, on my hands and knees, sometimes just sitting down and watching a couple lone ants to see where they were going. Ants lay pheromone trails and once the scouts find a food source the trail becomes an invisible road. Take the time to follow that road and it'll often lead to a place you can treat with a spray or bait that is out of reach of a pet or a kid.

Another pet safe trick is make a bait station out of some small container and poke holes around the base. That'll give ants access but keep the bait away from pets. Also be aware that pesticides are dosed on a body weight ratio and as long as you aren't using huge amounts way above label rates, toxicity will be extremely low for any animal.

Ants clean their entry points and that can be a clue as to what pin sized hole is the one they are using. There's won't be any dust, or fuzz around the hole. Ants also sense vibration, and if you are watching a hole and suspect it an entry point, just sit down and make yourself comfortable for a few minutes and watch. You may be rewarded with a tiny head poking out to look around.

As I mentioned above, you may have to be willing to try a few different brands or types of baits. I found the ants in my area - both Odorous House ants, and Pavement ants, would completely ignore the Terro liquid baits with the exception of a few times, but absolutely LOVE the Combat gel. I just killed a large nest with the gel that in the warm evenings would cover an area near the front door of my house with a seething brown mat of moving ants. When I showed my wife she said she saw, it but thought it was a pile of dirt next to the sidewalk pushed up by a mole. At one facility we had several large nests of thatching ants that I was able to control with a corn based granular bait, but the mound in my yard wouldn't touch the stuff. Again, it goes back to what they are doing in their life cycle. As you can see others have had great results with Terro.

I found that once I learned how to be a good ant detective, my success rates went way up. It takes some patience and good tracking skills.
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Old 06-09-2020, 08:16 PM   #13
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I never get thatcher ants inside the house/rv. They're all over outside, and their hills, four or five, are about 750yd away. They are several feet across and probably knee-high, spread over a 20-yard area. They do a good job of keeping other pests down, because they herd aphids and protect their flocks fiercely. So I try to let them live. But I wouldn't want to go hiking through those colony hills.

One ant repellent that seems dramatically effective is an olive oil moat. I'll use it around ropes and posts. I have a post that I hang hummingbird feeders on. The sugar water attracts all sorts of ants. I made a "medical dog collar" to go around the post and put a cotton swab soaked in olive oil inside it. Ants leap from the post to get away once they touch the oil. All kinds of ants. They flee hysterically. If they made little ant microphones you'd hear them screaming for their momma. At a safe distance they frantically try to clean up. The ones that don't have this flight reflex become instantly coated and die. It's like they wick the oil up and drown in it.

I'll also use it to figure out where ants are coming from. Since they won't cross the oil, I can draw grids and pinpoint their entry points. I use a small irrigation syringe with a curved tip to draw a bead.

Right now the little black ants in my area are liking doug fir and cedar pollen. I've got a colony living in a vent and foraging on the roof. They're ignoring sugar bait and commercial baits in favor of little granules of pollen. In the fall the borax in the sugar bait would kill the colony in a week or so. But it can't compete with their natural food. I could kill the ones I see with powdered borax, but I want them to take it back to the queen.
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Old 06-10-2020, 09:07 PM   #14
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I second the use of diatomaceous earth mentioned in post #12. My sister camps yearly at the CA state beach and everybody uses diatomaceous earth to keep the ants out. Little white circles around tires, and jacks look funny but works. However, not sure how well it works after rain. It will have to be replenished every so often but it is cheap.
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