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Help! Invaded by ants

Hi all, 

My 14 year old decided he wanted to build his own desk. Unbeknownst to us, he used old wood full of ants. Now his room is full of ants. Ant traps and borax are not going to do the trick. We looked at Ortho Home Defense but the label says it could be an asthma trigger. I've a call into asthma doctor but thought I'd ask all of you what your experience might be and if you have any recommendations for something that worked well. Thanks! 

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  • K8sMom2002

    Oh, wow … this is a tough situation … have you removed the desk from the room? It might be where you can have the desk treated and then air out? 

    I think it's a good thing to talk to your asthma doctor. Also if you have an university extension agent available, they may be able to identify the particular kind of ant and and advise you on ways to discourage the ant population.

    My sister had an infestation of ants in her beach house, and it was only when she found that they weren't sugar ants but ants that feasted off grease and fat. She managed to find the source of the ants (they were coming from outside), and sprayed their path into her house. That helped end the problem without doing intensive spraying inside.

  • K8sMom2002

    Laura Jeanne, another suggestion to run by your asthma doctor is a repellent that is listed in , something called . You may also want to call the company and see if they recommend this for folks who are managing asthma. 

  • Jen

    I am going to keep these ideas in mind, as we are dealing with some ants now that the weather is warmer.  As for Ortho Home Defense, we use that – the trigger spray.  It's not terribly potent in terms of being a strong smell.  Plus, you can choose to just use it on the exterior of your home.

  • Pljohns

    Jen-if you have a box home store near you, Bengal spray is THE BEST.  It has some smell, so DH usually does it, but we use it once every 6 months to get rid of water bugs(those awful roach things that fly) and anything else that crawls and IT WORKS.  I've tried everything else and nothing gets rid of critters as good as this stuff.  We get it at Home Depot-only place I can find it around here, but I highly recommend it.

  • Jen

    Thanks for the recommendation, pljohns.  Will keep a look out next time we go to Lowe's.  

  • K8sMom2002

    @Laura Jeanne, how goes the battle with the ants?? I hope you were able to find something that would work without flaring up asthma.

  • Laura Jeanne

    The asthma is up and down right now. All the rain recently has caused molding issues just about everywhere. On the days that it's hot & humid, I've been struggling to breathe well. This past Sunday, we went to visit my father in law, who lives in a much elevation than I; had issues. My peak flows are rather erratic but not low enough for medical intervention. Checkup end of this month. As for the allergy shots, they are most definitely helping! Thank you for asking. How about you? How are things for your daughter? 

  • K8sMom2002

    Ugh on the mold and the humidity — could your doctor give you a pre-treatment plan for tackling the asthma before visits to your dad? I had never thought of that until a friend was talking about traveling to Colorado and saying that her doctor had given them a particular plan for her and her kids. 

    Knock on wood, my kiddo is doing well this year! We haven't had a bad flare in awhile! 

    Me, on the other hand — we've had some warm muggy days lately, mixed in with lots of grass and weed and tree pollen, and it has been not so easy. It's not as bad as it could have been. May of last year was one for the record books — not only dealing with this, but then I wound up with a huge asthma flare and pneumonia, and it has taken me nearly the whole year to get back to where I was before that. Lungs must heal slow for me! 

    Still, I am MUCH better than last year at this time!

    I'm wondering what you found out about the ants, because we've had an infestation of spiders and other creepy crawlies due to a dry warm winter … if you found something that would work without flaring your asthma, I would like to try it. I work from home, so having the home sprayed while I'm not here is not exactly an option.

  • Laura Jeanne

    We ended up using Ortho Drfense but I was not home when hubby sprayed. He did it as soon as I left for work and I was gone about 6 hours. I didn't seem to have any issues. Bad thing is he missed some areas so now he will have to do it again. 

    I think both pollen & molds are bad this year. The pollen seems to have coated everything! 

    After the bout I had this past winter, I think lungs take awhile to heal in general. Seems like the inability to properly breathe is exhausting for our bodies too. Even walking to the bathroom seems like too much when one is sick like that. 

    Hope you get through this May healthy and ready to enjoy summer! 

  • K8sMom2002

    Oh, yay! I'm glad that the Ortho Defense didn't flare up your lungs … but I hate that you're going to have to do it again. And maybe what I can do is have my DH spray on a Saturday or a Sunday and I could be gone all day. 

    I hear you on taking awhile to heal and your lungs giving out on you … that's one thing that I've seen in this past year. Things that I used to be able to do before last May were harder for me for the longest time, and I'm just now getting to where I can do them again. It's a long slow road, but I'll get there.

  • Jen

    I have found that it often takes several applications of the ortho defense to eliminate the issue.  I think we will be picking up some this weekend.  For now we have just been on a regular sweep and vacuum patrol to try to deal with the crumbs that attract them.

  • Jen

    We did have things under pretty good control for a while.  I feel like there will always be a couple of stray ants.  But….we seem to have a bunch in our front hallway again because dd1 has not been keeping up with the sweeping in that area (we assign the girls different areas to sweep/vacuum and switch it up every couple of weeks). 

    Is anyone else dealing with ants this summer?

  • K8sMom2002

    Dealing with spiders! Yikes … I have no idea why we have a sudden infestation of small spiders on our front porch, but our recent renovations have stirred them up. I need to spray them. At least it's outside, right?

  • K8sMom2002

    Yep — and my DD is terrified of them. Rat, snake, lizard, even small bear, no problem. But the teensiest of spiders will send her screaming. She's gone to camp this week, so hopefully my DH will spray the porch while I am nowhere near it.

  • Laura Jeanne

    We had a 3 ft black snake in the house several weeks ago. I know he spent the night in our bedroom. We "think" it was the same snake we saw sunning himself a couple days later. Haven't seen it since…

  • K8sMom2002

    Oh, my! The snake could have had the house for the duration, as far as I'm concerned! I do NOT do snakes. I'm like them (and rats) like DD is about spiders. 

    We still haven't got the porch sprayed. 

  • Jen

    @Laura Jeanne Have you had any more issues with critters in your house?