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For some reason yellow meadow ants have developed a fascination with a certain interior wall in our house. The usual gels, powders and sprays are having little effect. They do slow down for a while but just appear again further along the wall.

In part this has been caused by the sealant coming away between the skirting board and floor. Clearly I should replace this, but would caulk (or something else) be better at deterring ants in the future?

Also, any other advice on how to eradicate or otherwise slow down their progress would be appreciated in the meantime.

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Caulk is a great way to seal up the holes in your homes to prevent future infestations. But it is often recommended to handle the current infestation first before sealing the opening.

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Since you see the ants by an interior wall, it is likely the ants were in your house all along and are just being seen now. If you can see them, you can treat them. Some baits (aka poisons, like Terro liquid) take 3-4 weeks to work because the ants take the bait back to the nest a very little bit at a time. If the bait was stronger, it would kill the individual workers that eat it, but not the whole nest. If you still have trouble, you might post more info, like # ants, part of world you live in, exactly what happened when you tried gels, location of wall, pix, etc.

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  1. Follow them: Unless you are only seeing the occasional ant, they found something. Get rid of it.

  2. Get boric acid. You can find it in the pest control isle. It's a powder in squeeze bottle. It's kid safe and animal safe. Dust across their path in a few places and wait.

The acid will stick to their exoskeleton and begin to dissolve it. It's slow enough that they will most likely get back to their nest and take their buddies out. Works well on cockroaches and water bugs too.

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Ants need food, water, shelter. Hopefully your wall is only providing shelter. If the ants aren't getting water from inside you walls (ie leak), they have to travel back outside to drink.

  • I would spray a bifenthrin insecticide barrier around the outside of your house, where the walls meet the ground.

This will kill insects on contact for a couple months. You can certainly try to seal your house but nature finds a way.

If that doesn't get rid of them, I would go with home made boric acid ant traps. Different ants are attracted to different things. Most like sugar. Some like oil.

  • Dissolve 8 tsp sugar to 1 cup warm water to make sugar water.
  • Dissolve 1 tsp boric acid.

Get several small plastic containers, poke ant-sized holes in the base, put poison soaked cotton balls inside. If you've got the right lure, the first week the ants will swarm the bait. Resist the urge to kill them. They'll take the poison back to the queen and you should see ant activity die off within 2 weeks.

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