Little tiny ants, in the siding of an old house, all around outside of doors/entrances.. short-term solution? The best house-friendly spray I can spray around door/porch areas every week or so for a barrier and to keep them out of the house?

For years now I've had a problem with them but they don't seem to want to come in the house, I'll rarely see one. It's annoying seeing them so close to the house and they get all over packages. Long-term solution?

  • 3
    What do you mean by "house-friendly spray"? Neither the "organic, safe for animals" peppermint oil type nor the long-term poison chemical organophosphate insecticides attack the house... My limited experience with "little tiny ants" from traveling closer to the equator than where I live is that they are by and large very hard to kill or repel, and seem to be taken as a fact of life by the locals (even if they do try to kill or repel them.)
    – Ecnerwal
    Apr 20, 2023 at 13:58

3 Answers 3


Recently I had a problem with what are locally called "pavement" ants or "sugar" ants. They were attacking plants in my vegetable garden, and were also present in massive quantities in the cracks/joints around all paved areas, and in lawn areas. I sprinkled some granules containing bifenthrin wherever they appeared, and the ants all disappeared within minutes. I never saw an actual dead ant in those areas, but they remained gone for the rest of the season. I had previously tried various other "organic" remedies, including diatomaceous earth, with absolutely zero effect.


Use an insecticide that will kill them at the source. Note, there are two basic types of ants—those that are attracted by sugary stuff, and those attracted by fats/proteins.

I recommend something with fipronil (like Maxforce Fleet) for protein ants. Low concentration boric acid works for sugar ants.


There are going to be more effective ways and I'll let others suggest chemical pesticides. Borax will probably come up. But if you want the mildest thing you can get you can try diatomaceous earth (Wikipedia link).

You sprinkle or dust it across the ants' path. They walk through it, it sticks to them, damages their exoskeletons, and they eventually die. You can also inject it into holes where the insects are with a bulb (or a soda bottle with holes in the lid). Some people will put it down all around their house as a bug barrier but it's no good once it gets wet.

DE contains silica so it's not great for your lungs if you breathe it in but this is true of most dust. Otherwise it is not toxic. You can get food-grade DE. Regular DE for killing bugs is sold in large bags in box stores.

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