Elle's picture

Ants nest under my front window

I came home yesterday to find lots of ants under my front window, including small winged ones and huge winged ones. Some were inside the house too, I opened the windows and eventually they all disappeared. Im fascinated with them and love all creatures but they have made quite large holes in the mortar along the bottom of the wall, will they cause further damage (basically, I dont want the wall collapsing, but other than that I think theyre great). I had a similar situation this time last year and left them to their own devices. Theres also a lot of ant activity on the edge of my lawn where it meets the footpath, are these the same colony? Any advice would be greatly appreciated,



Maire's picture

Not sure about your ants but

Not sure about your ants but when I dug out the top of my compost which was a fine brown soil it was full of ants, ants with wings and, lower down, eggs. I think the colony must be quite large as they have chewed up whatever grass went in there last month. There was a huge amount of activity when I disturbed the nest, and the ants had a nasty bite. I filled it up again with grass cuttings.


anonymous spotter's picture

Ants in the house

Ants are very industrious, but if they're able to remove mortar, that suggests it is deteriorating and needs some maintenance. Re-pointing, after digging out loose stuff with a trowel tip, should solve the problem.
However, keeping them out of the house is more difficult - they are incredibly adept at finding ways in.
You may find that you can't stop up all the ways that they are using to enter the house. The flying ones are ephemeral, and this is seldom a problem - unless they then set up home inside. But the foraging workers are not so easy. There is little choice then but to resort to the "nuclear" option. Mix some sodium tetraborate ("borax") - from the chemist - with sugar and water to form a syrup. Put drops where they are active, and they'll collect it avidly. You'll need to keep pets and children away (put it under something), but is is not that dangerous to mammals. It acts as a "contraceptive", and the colony will fail.
There are several commercial preparations available that work in this way - the borax-based ones are the least damaging to other species.
If you only use it in the house, other colonies around the garden - who haven't discovered the house and it's attractions - won't suffer.

babu1's picture

Ants in the house

For 3/4 years I had ants from a small colony 'visit' my house. Last year numbers increased from a small trickle to a stream. A friend in Canada suggested a mix of flour and ground cinnamon as a deterent. I put a thin line of this along the porch sill. It worked! (Of course, it could have been coincidence.) I haven't seen them this year.

S Tomkins

babu1's picture

Addition to my previous post.

The nearby small colony is still in residence under my climbing rose - the flour/cinnamon mix clearly acts as deterent without killing the ants. Seems like a good idea to me.

S Tomkins

Janys Hyde's picture

Winged ants

Don't know exactly how this works, but what you are describing is something we used to see quite often in our old home. I believe this event marks the expansion of the colony and damaged mortar suggests that it is set up somewhere in your property.
Found this article which you might like to read:

Refugee's picture

I had trouble

They were coming in and causing trouble. I put white spirit down the outside holes and also squirted some from the inside with an old computer ink syringe and covered it with plastic sheeting for a couple of hours. They are gone.