Monday, March 20, 2006

An Unsexy, But Earnest, Cry for Help

As the weather gets warmer, ants are coming up my bathtub drain. I can't seem to figure out how to stop it. Spraying Raid down there only puts them off for a couple days, until the water from my showers washes away the chemical residue. Plus, it's stinky and I hate thiking about what I'm doing to myself, breathing it in inside my home. The exterminator who came to look the problem seemed to have no solution for me, saying ants are attracted to water and there isn't much you can do. He told me to put a mixture of water and bleach down the drain. It didn't work.

Does anyone have ANY clue how to deal with this? I can't have a whole spring and summer of this going on.

16 Comments:

Blogger Karl Elvis said...

You could try ant traos around the drain - the idea is they take the tasty poison back to the house and feed to around. I don't know that it actually works though.

or, dry the tub and tape over the drain when not in use. I've used that solution and it does work, but it depends on what sorta drain you have.

3/20/2006 9:04 PM  
Blogger Darkneuro said...

If you have a crawl space under the house, put ... I want to say it's 'ant bait'...comes in little can thingys. Put that in the crawl space if you have one.

3/20/2006 9:54 PM  
Blogger Miss Syl said...

Karl Elvis: Tried the traps, didn't work. Tape: pain in the arse, but yeah, if there's no other alternative...

DN: Nope, I'm in an apartment building, and not on the ground floor.

When I used to live on a farm, the farmer had these tubs of little poison pellets (they looked like a much smaller version of hampster food pellets) to kill off the fire ants. It worked like a charm. You'd sprinkle it around the yard, and they'd take it to their nests and be gone in an hour. I wish I knew what that stuff was. But I'm sure it was industrial grade. Maybe a trip to Home Depot is in order....

3/21/2006 12:53 AM  
Blogger lucy said...

somewhere in the dregs of my mind.. just excuse me while I spent a little while trawling through them... I have the word 'chalk' bouncing around. Now, I really cant say why, what, when, who.......... Chalk, but I know its got something to do with keeping ants at bay. I will contemplate this and get back to you with the answer, hopefully before the ants take over your world totally. .... and yes, I do mean common and garden blackboard chalk.

lucy

::crawls back under her stone::

3/21/2006 4:22 AM  
Blogger lucy said...

try this link for alternative ways...
http://www.thefrugallife.com/ants1.html

I cant say whether chalk will work, here in the UK we dont have much of an ant problem and I have no experience with insect invasions, over here its more of a rat problem... those of the two legged variety.

keep the chemicals for snorting and away from creepy crawlies, who just build up a tollerance to anything you care to throw at them.

regards

lucy

3/21/2006 7:55 AM  
Blogger Miss Syl said...

Oooh, Lucy: Thanks so much! These were great. I think I"m going to try to find or make that Terro stuff. I've actually got some Borax at home.

3/21/2006 9:41 AM  
Anonymous Kochanie said...

Miss Syl:

(a) Spiders (they eat ants) and they're less trouble than most of your relatives.

(b) Have an affair with the Orkin man, but make sure he isn't a sadist or else he'll tie you up and put you in the crawlspace (but I'm sure Karl will promptly come to your rescue).

(c) Baking soda is another low toxic remedy. I don't know if it's the chemical composition or if I just piled it so high, the ants couldn't crawl over the hills.

(d) Anteater, sort of cute and his tongue's a marvel.

Good luck!

Kochanie

3/21/2006 4:09 PM  
Blogger Karl Elvis said...

I'm not so much the rescue type, Kochanie. I'm more the worse-than-the-sadistic-orkin-man type.

3/21/2006 4:45 PM  
Anonymous Kochanie said...

karl elvis:
I'm more the worse-than-the-sadistic-orkin-man type.

Scratch a sadist, find a hero.

If nothing else, I'm sure you'd want to keep Miss Syl company. Crawlspaces are lonely places.

Kochanie

P.S. BTW, karl, I enjoyed your blog as well as the ad for the survival kilt, which is rather fetching. I don't think I would want to see a plaid one, since it would too closely resemble the skirt from my uniform, required by the Catholic high school I attended. Come to think of it, it was a survival kilt -- if you could survive 4 years in a Catholic all girl high school, you could probably survive anything. My thanks to Miss Syl for the introduction to you.
Miss Syl? Miss Syl?? (oh dear, must still be in the crawlspace).

3/21/2006 6:52 PM  
Anonymous Buck said...

Many condolences.

If you own your appartment, then you probably have a strata council or equivalent you can pettition for extermination services. Chances are if the ants are in the drainage system everyone's sufferring.

If you rent your appartment then you can bitch at the landlord, because someone's gonna have to deal with the problem at source sooner or later anyway.

For a quick fix of your own, you're looking at doing things to your drain that either (a) kill the ants or (b) make it hard for ants to climb up your drain. You can buy disinfecting and teflon-coating type chemicals that will do both. Personally, I'm a fan of "scorched earth" solutions, and would probably get foaming drano and pour entire bottles down there for a week, possibly following up with said teflon disinfectant coating. In fact I'd even be tempted to try spraying actual bike chain grease inside the drain after cleaning it just to see what happens, cause that stuff's waterproof and nothing's crawling through it. But Caveat emptor, as they say. good luck and if you find a solution please tell us.

3/21/2006 8:38 PM  
Blogger Karl Elvis said...

Kochanie, you need to slip up on my lap and tell me about that schoolgirl skirt.

Actually, that's an open invite. Including you, buck. B^)

3/21/2006 9:22 PM  
Blogger Miss Syl said...

Okay, I need to start out by saying I'm *highly* offended that you lot are having an orgy while I'm stuck in a crawlspace. How rude.

Kochanie: Thanks for a great laugh for the day. And don't let Karl fool you. I'm fairly certain that if he found me bound up in a crawlspace, rescuing me would be about the *last* thing on his mind.

Karl Elvis: Is that a hose full of toxic insecticide in your hand, or are you just happy to see me?

Kochanie: Despite your feelings to the contrary, I'm sure we'd all be more than happy to see you in anything that closely resembled your Catholic School uniform.

Buck: Thanks for the tips. The complex exterminator has been by, and has been useless.

You know, come to think of it, you sound very manly suggesting all those Home Depot-like solutions. I think I may need you to come over and "help" me "grease my pipes." Ooh err, missus!

3/22/2006 1:50 AM  
Blogger Miss Syl said...

Just to give an update:
My next plan of attack is to try that Terro stuff mentioned in that link Lucy sent. I put it down tonight. If that doesn't work, I guess I'm whining ad nauseum to the landlord until something happens.

I'll keep you posted.

3/22/2006 1:51 AM  
Anonymous Darkhawk said...

I've always put out bay leaves to repel ants, myself. Perhaps making some boiled mass of bay leaf and pouring it down the drain would do something?

(This is just a random thought; I have no idea if it'll be effective. Though at least one google hit suggests that making boiled bay leaf is actually useful.)

3/22/2006 2:26 AM  
Anonymous digbyjones2 said...

look this may seem an unintellectual response to an apparent unsolvable enigma, but have you tried using your tub stopper to block the drain? Just a thought.

3/23/2006 4:41 PM  
Blogger Miss Syl said...

Darkwing: Bay leaves...interesting. Though that might get a bit mushy in the shower!

digbyjones: You have no idea how much your entry made me laugh. Simple brilliance! No, I haven't actually tried it. I don't have a tub stopper thingie. Maybe I should get one, and cover it with bay leaves on the inside.

3/26/2006 11:08 AM  

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