These bugs keep appearing from under my baseboard. The ones laying out are never moving but when I vacuumed them up, I sucked whatever would come out from under the baseboard which made some lives ones come out but they never get too far from the wall before they stop moving and seem to die. I sprayed some general indoor/outdoor insecticide but that did not seem to help because they re-appeared a couple days later. They are extremely small, similar in size to gnats and black.

How do I get rid of these?

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  • 1
    Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Looks like ants to me, although perhaps too small for carpenter ants. I'd call an exterminator. May 15, 2019 at 10:17
  • Can we get a close-up?
    – mike65535
    May 15, 2019 at 12:12

2 Answers 2


I agree with Daniel they look like what we used to call sugar ants but the photo is kind of blurry, lots of different ant baits out there will work, or things like diatomaceous earth spread where they are traveling will cut them up, wear a dust mask if you use this because it’s not good to breathe but it is non toxic (used in swimming pool filters) if you don’t want to use poison.

  • The reason you need a slow-acting treatment, such as diatomaceous earth or borax, is that they will bring it home with them to kill the rest of the colony. Spraying insecticide on these (and any other type of bug that lives in big nests) is usually counterproductive because it only kills the few workers you happen to catch, not the rest of the colony. There are probably hundreds or even thousands more of them somewhere (could be inside or outside your house).
    – Moshe Katz
    May 15, 2019 at 18:38
  • @MosheKatz I down plenty of food grade diatomaceous earth and a powdered boric acid bait around the cracks that ants have been coming out of for the past 3 weeks, and it's had no effect on them - they are still coming and going. Not sure if the boric acid bait has expired - I got it 7 years ago, but surely the diatomaceous earth doesn't expire. Apr 8, 2023 at 5:46
  • @pacoverflow if you put down too much, the ants will see it and avoid it. You need to put down only a small amount at a time.
    – Moshe Katz
    Apr 9, 2023 at 1:13
  • @MosheKatz I have seen ants walking on it so I'm not sure why it's not working. Apr 9, 2023 at 4:30

Diatomaceous earth has worked for me if I remove the baseboard trim and apply it liberally behind the trim.

I have also used lemon oil (wood polish) which works as a smell deterrent since ants use pheromones though you'd probably have to apply this once a month as the oil's scent diminishes.

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