Ants How to Effectively Control Them?

What works? Ants are getting into everything. Have tried various ant sand and ant dust products from Bunnings none work. Have also tried all the Ant Rid products, stations and liquid. Ants are not interested in eating anything it seems. Don't have the cleanest house but food is not left out and areas are food free and sugary messes are dealt with.

I understand how the little monsters work and they are yet to discover the pantry or get into any food stuffs which I'm careful to store correctly. They are however finding their way into electronics, desks, bedrooms and scaling walls etc. I never kill them directly knowing it just brings more. Need a bait that works…


  • +9

    ring a pest controller and have your house sprayed

    • +1

      or DIY and save $$$.

      • +1

        you can do anything DIY, but if you don't know what your doing why would you

        i.e. i wouldn't do a termite barrier, do my own fillings, build my own house etc

        • +10

          the skill gap between spraying insecticide around your house & doing your own fillings or building your own house is astronomical

        • +1

          The crap they sell at Bunnings often is not good enough to work. The pest control guys use the same stuff they use for termites to get rid of ants for good.

    • +3

      There is no pest controller that will tell you they can effectively eliminate ants, if they do they are lying. You don't just spray a surface and eliminate them.

      • -3

        I disagree

      • +1

        Yes, but they do help dramatically

      • Borax spray from bunnings around all window seals and door frames from the outside. Massively reduces the ants.

  • +11

    Instead of trying to treat the symptoms (laying down traps, baits, Ant Rid products, etc.), find where the ants are getting in and stop them from ever getting in.
    Hire a professional ant exterminator to do it properly if you can't trace the origin of the ants yourself.

    • +6

      This - we had to get rid of plants that were brushing up against the house and it has helped immensely.

    • +1

      Another vote for this. If you don't find the location they are entering the property from and block it with ant sand or something similar they will just take a new route around the roadblock you've inserted. Usually it's a door frame/ window frame/ sink or toilet drain pipe. Follow the trail, find the entry point and that's where to target.

      • +1

        I had ants coming up through my drainpipe. Cos I lived in adjoining townhouses I had nfi where the drain led, or where they coming in. The little shits were relentless! They would never stop coming in, so I declared war on them and sprayed Mortein on them, down the drain, around the outside of the place and finally in the bin.

        It worked and only cost me a can of fly spray.

    • +4

      They are ants, they are tiny and will get in through even tiny gaps in cement.

  • +20

    Have you tried buying one of these?

    • +4

      Hey mate,
      If you find an eBay listing with a 15% off code, please let us know.

      I have got ants everywhere in my garden.

      • +1

        Hahaha, you can also keep an eye out at the exotic pet store.

    • +1
  • +24

    Get the Pink Panther in.

    Dead ant, Dead Ant, Dead ant, Dead Ant. Dead Ant…..

    • Nope.
      Call Ant-Man.

    • -1

      Exit, stage dead eveeeen

  • +1

    I always find ants come around Summer time. They even seem to go for toilet paper or even the shower screen silicone. Absolutely crazy!

  • Get the professionals in to spray.

    The are licensed to use stronger chemicals that Bunnings can sell to the public.

    After that use this around your house and roof space every 5-6 months to stay on top of it.

    • +15

      You can get full strength white ant poison from ebay. I use this for the bull ant nests around the house
      As for small sugar ants that sometimes make their way inside i use my own concoction of honey, sugar syrup, water, and borax this is just like ant rid. Make 500 mills in a small soft drink bottle it keeps for a very long time and you have it ready for next time
      Don't put to much borax in it as this will kill them before they have had time to take it back to the nest probably no more than 30% borax in the ratio to water
      Put it on grease proof paper Let them feed on it uninterrupted keep topping it up they will do multiple food runs then suddenly they will stop.

      • +5

        I've recently did several experimental batches, being the cheapskate I used white sugar as I find honey too costly.

        The following ratio seem to work well for sugar ants:
        100ml Water, 35g sugar, 6-7g borax

        I put the contents in a clean 2L milk lid and leave it where the ants are active (ideally out of sun-light, undercover and if possible not open to breeze), and usually do a bit of top-up after 1-2 days depending on where it is. The activity will slowly die off in about a week, could be longer depending on how severe it is.

        If you put too much sugar, the substance dries out and becomes a lump of candy over night, this happened with a batch containing 50g of sugar

        If you put more borax you find the ants die at the site and don't take it back to the nest, this happened when I increased to 10g of borax

        I used soft drink lids and find the substance doesn't last as long and I often forget to go and do the refill, the milk lid or Gatorade lids seem to be good sized, you can put 2 bait stations if the activity is particularly bad, to increase the "load"

  • +2

    Where I live is basically an ant hill under the whole suburb so there's no getting rid of them permanently. The concept of an ant trap that will take it back to the nest and kill them off is useless. You need to try stop them getting into the house and building nests in the walls/under the floors.

    I had a professional spray around the house and spray some stuff in the walls, was expensive but worth it since 2 years later it's still ant free.

  • -2

    In Australia, you would be mad not to do proper pest control once every year.

    • +24

      I'm mad

      • Or you love your bugs and insects. I don't.

        • +1

          Most don't bother me. All I hate are millipedes. I do a home spray every now and then

          • +2

            @Nugs: My wife would divorce me and refuse to live here if I had that attitude haha

          • @Nugs: They are easy. We get loads, just sweep them in a dustpan and throw them back outside. Its the fast moving things I don't like.

        • generally a quick spray around the outside of my house 2 or 3 times a year with the sprays you can get in bunnings is more than adequate. Unless you live in a particular bad area for insects and pests it is pretty rare to need the professions in.

    • +7

      And we wonder why insects are disappearing

  • +1

    Sounds like the house needs a barrier spray.

  • +3


    • bugies?

  • +1

    Ant Sand

  • +2

    sounds like you are being too soft on them and they have taken your authority for granted. ants need discipline.

    if you have a crawl space under your house then get some of these insect bombs for $6.85 -3 pack- at bunnings.

    always fun to start them and then yell "Fire in the hole" as you throw them in under the house.

  • +10

    I think they only listen to their queen, so if you want to control them you'll have to request an audience with her.

    • Top Tip - you can download Queen's Greatest Hits on iTunes for 99cents

  • Real bloody annoying, they keep going onto cars @ drivethoughs etc. and cover the drive through so much.

    Have to regularly buy and replenish the cheap Ant Baits from Bunnings like $5-8 for like 4-6 packs

  • +9

    Firstly, identify what species of ants are infesting your house.
    Ant sand and most direct sprays are ineffective as far as my experiences goes.

    If they have not taken the usual Bunnings baits, you may have a protein/fat food loving ant specie. Look up big headed brown coastal ants and Green headed ants.

    If so, Amdro from Bunnings is the usual solution you'll find on Google. However, it is expensive and has very poor storage life.

    Bunnings has another brand, PestXpert, that seems to do the job and is cheaper. Also, I find that if I just open a small hole in the seal, and reseal it with tape after use, it stays good for months. Ignore the fancy instructions and twist cap. Remove the cap, poke a hole in the seal, scatter and reseal.

    Scatter over obvious trails and entrances. Observe if the ants are carrying away the little green and yellow granules. If so, the war is half won. Expect to see a big reduction in ant activities in 2-8wks.

    Follow up with a barrier spray. I find David Grays termite spray from Bunnings to be good value and effective. It's smells very strong due to the solvent used, so only for outdoors. Cover entire perimeter of house and any obvious entries. Lasts about a season and kills on contact.

    Indoor, Bayer Coopex, a odourless version of the David Grays. Costs more, but less is needed. It leaves a white powdery residual that kills insects on contact. Great for windows and door frames.

    Good luck!

    • +1

      This is good advice. Does depend on the type of ant. Need amdro for costal browns ants. Black sugar ants learn to avoid ant rid used too often. You won’t get rid of them completely. If you have potted plants also make sure they are not nesting in there, if they are you’ll need to drown them out.

    • +1 for amdro. PestXpert has the same active ingredient, costs less.

  • +2

    apply some vinegar in their tracks.

  • +1

    Grab one of the 2L or 3L outdoor sprays from Bunnings that kill ants and spray around the house perimeter on the outside to create a barrier. You will find that the chemical used will most likely be the same as the pest exterminator will use as the good chemicals cannot be used anymore.

    I would use some of the and rid grannuals outside where you find or see ants.

    I would also get under the house and see if you can see how they are getting in (make sure you wear a mash and overalls as you do NOT know what chemicals have been used under the house, unless you have owned the house since you bought it). If you find how they are getting in then put ant rid grannuals across / over the tracks or area where theya re getting in.

    Attack the ants before they get into the house.

  • +2

    if you have ants, don't worry, means you haven't got termites.

    • I hope this is true 🤣 we live on a giant sandy ant nest

    • Common misconception, find both in homes often.

  • +7

    I mixed a little bit of Borax with honey, put it in a jar lid and left it where the ant trail was. Worked great!

    • +2
      • +1 for borax.
        We must have had a whole civilisation of ants.
        Took over a month before we saw results but ever since we haven’t had any come back

        It does help if you put silicone or fill all holes and cracks around the windows

    • +1

      This worked for me.
      Key here is that you need to allow the ants time to bring the goods back to the nest.
      Eventually the queen will die from a broken heart due to the betrayal and you’ll start to see the ant trail dwindle. Take this time to seal any holes with a sealant. You’ll have to do this a few times as the ants may belong to a super colony. You’ll need to break a lot of ♥️

      • Psychological warfare

    • I use either Borax/sugar solution, or a Borax/peanut-butter paste. It depends whether they are seeking sugar or fats at the time. Put two out, see what they go for, then distribute a dish of that on each major ant trail you find.

      The commercial products like ant-rid - selling only one mixture - seem not to understand the ant diet flips through the season.

  • +5

    Fipronil (active ingredient)/termidor (common shelf name) Can be bought from most fodder stores. It's marketed as a termiticide, but kills all ants. The ants don't detect it on their body, and take it back to the nest, eventually killing off the colony.
    It's not cheap, but it works. This is what the professionals use.

    • +2

      This is the bulletproof solution. A number of people in our area were besieged by ants inside and out of their houses so badly that you couldn't sit down, especially outside, without being literally eaten alive.

      One of the people had an engineer friend suggest we try Fipronil which is the spray the professionals use for termites, but it wipes out all ants. We bought it online, similar to this and shared the cost.

      The effects were immediate and totally successful and last at least a year. Yes it is expensive but worth every cent.

    • The nuclear option!
      Do you reckon I can refill the termite barrier holes drilled around the house with this too?

      • +1

        Sure why not better than nothing.
        Correct answer though is No the termiticide is injected under pressure rate/flow/volume
        Your results may vary

  • You will find it best to get a pro - or go hard rather than nibbling at the edges every few weeks (ie spray and bait the entire house in and out, remove food and water sources inside and out if you can, remove outside garden materials they cam use for homes that are close eg bricks etc).

  • If you find where the gap they are entering the building, block their path with a thin smear of Vaseline. Ants wont cross Vaseline.
    During a hot spell ago we once had ants enter through our kitchen window frame gap, to get water from our kitchen sink.
    I tried a few of the usual suggestions with mixed results, but once I put a thin smear of Vaseline along the frame edge, the ants disappeared.

  • In Melbourne, where there is rain every 2 - 3 days, any outdoor insect spray seems to get wiped off. Then the ants are back again, or they find a new path outside.

    I have bought ant sand from Bunnings as well.
    They seem to kill a lot of the ants on the spot, which means they aren't actually being taken back to their nest.

  • +2

    Ants cycle through a protein cycle for two weeks and then a sugar cycle for two weeks.

    It's important to understand that. It's why sometimes they are attached to antrid and other times not

    You can get recipes off the internet and feed the ants a mix of sugar and borax for the sugar cycle

    I suspect coating raw meat in borax would sort out the protein cycle too

    I use the sugar cycle recipe and I leave a lot of the syrup all around the property for a few days, ring it up and moving it about. This does eradicate the nest very successfully in my experience

  • Tap on ant gel, buy at woolies. Put on their tracks up walls etc. 2-3weeks you will thank me, never failed

  • +1

    I had to import some strong stuff from Amazon US. Nothing in AU worked. Amdro Ant Block Home Perimeter Ant Bait Granules - Outdoor Ant Killer - 24 Oz

    • +2


      I found the big head ants wouldn't take anything else. This stuff stopped them in 1 day.

  • This is a problem that happens annually with us. When it does I track the outside ant trail leading into house and then put Antex powder down along ant trail and outside paths around house perimeter….works every time and a few hours later all ants are gone. Need to refresh Antex outside house after rain or high winds in summer months.

  • I use to get ants in the house all the time, after lots of wet weather and/or very hot days. But I haven't had them inside for years now. My annual pest control service has them under control and they are kept outside.

    He also told me that when there are ants on your property, termites will stay away.

  • Many ant species don't like talcum powder. Follow the trail and sprinkle it so they go away from the house.

  • +4

    Talon Ant Gel (it's in a syringe like dispenser) from Coles or Woolworths worked for me. When you lay down the gel you get a swarm of ants - just leave them be. They take it back to the nest and in a day or so they vanish. Agree Ant Rid did nothing. They also have a cockroach gel that is very effective

    • +1

      Agreed - this was the only thing that worked for us. Don't need much either - a little goes a long way. Had tried literally everything else I could find and nothing worked until I got this stuff based off a recommendation from a mate.

    • +2

      Second that! Talon Insect Control Ant Kill Gel 5g $8 at Woolies. Had ants nesting somewhere inside my car. Tried numerous items but this is the one that took out the nest.

    • Yep. The Talon stuff works great for us.

      I switched to this after ant-rid stopped working. They seemed to have changed something in Ant-rid as it is different now, and useless.

      • Will be giving this a go thank you.

  • Like you I tried everything on the shelf but I found one that works and only need to be applied once a year.

    David Grays Ant and Termite Spray

    Although this is a spray you dont need that much if you paint it. You only need to mix a small amount and use a art paint brush and apply it over cracks and crevices inside your house. Anywhere there's ant activity. The stench is strong but it will be gone once it evaporates. A couple of hours with the window open will clear the smell. You can't smell it but the ants can it will keep them away. This one bottle will last you ages you can distribute with ya neighbours and there will still be enough for years. Brilliant product.

  • Kill the queen ant

  • This stuff worked very quickly:

    I placed one bait down in the afternoon, and they were all gone the next morning.

    • Yep lucky for us ant-rid worked for us too. Cheap solution and got rid of them all for the whole summer.

      I was bit obsessed with checking the bait to see how many were drinking it.

  • Find out what kind of ants they are. From there you might be able to narrow in on why they've taken up residence in your house (food source, water source, heat source) and try to remove it. You might inadvertently kill some other insects and spiders that are beneficial to your home/garden if you go all out with a million different insecticides.

    Eg we had these brown ants in our pantry. Turns out they are attracted to sugar. Simple enough, make sure all sweet things are closed properly, nozzles wiped clean etc. They just naturally moved on.

  • If they're Argentine ants l like I had in my old neighbourhood, good luck. Nothing works against those bastards. Worst part is they bite too.

  • I had a similar problem - ants coming in from a socket and leaving through the fireplace, went crazy and built a huge nest in my router before I noticed. I wiped the walls with apple cider vinegar water mixture, and bought some sealant at bunnings for $4 and plugged up most every hole. Seems to have worked.

  • +2

    What is this? A house for ants?

  • +1

    Certainly not the most effective, but I'll be damned if it isn't the most fun: magnifying glass

  • +2

    Borax / Boric Acid with honey, sugar or peanut butter. You have to try which one works for you.

    The following works for me:

    Mix 1 tea spoon of boric acid powder with 5 tea spoon of sugar with warm water. Stir until sugar dissolve into a thick liquid..

    Ants love it and they are gone within a week.

  • Fipronil will work, but it needs to be in-ground, and it will destroy the nests, but takes some time. Not an instant solution.

    For surface protection, Bifenthrin is what the pest control guys will use for surface spraying. This will also kill every other insect, so good to do a barrier around the house with a sprayer

    Bunnings has the below, with Bifenthrin as the main ingredient, but you can get it from most ag suppliers.

  • +1

    Cheapest way? Find where they are coming from. Place a big pile of sugar between where they come from and your house. This way, the ants will stop at the sugar, and the trace they leave behind ( that's how they signal where food is ) going into your house vanishes, and they won't find their way in ( at least for some time ). I do it every time I have a column of ants coming into the house, and it works a treat.

  • Mind control.

  • AntMan suit!

  • Every summer I do a Borax boundary splay around all openings/windows/doors into my house.

    Works pretty well

    • +1

      Yup, Borax destroys their exoskeleton without poisoning the planet, I use an Borax & Boric Acid mixture boiled in Ethelyn e Glycol till they bond to treat the wood in my home and things I build, eco friendly and exceptionally effective.

      • I do a mixture of borax and sugar in a plastic takeaway container with small holes so you don't kill any pets unnecessarily . Eventually they carry the borax to the nest and presto- no more ants. Honey and borax mixture works also if you have fussy ants.

  • The gel in a syringe. Put it near where they are coming in.

  • -1

    Ants How to Effectively Control Them?

    Forget all the advice above….

    This is what you need…

  • +1 for a pest controller. Had hundreds of ants decide to invade the kitchen out of nowhere. Pest controller came, had some sand/granule looking gear, put it in the cupboards along their path… literally a few hours later there were masses of dead ants to clean up. He did say it was stuff you couldn’t buy off the shelf at Bunnings etc.

    Then he sprayed the outside of the house, ceiling space and under the house. That was nearly 2 years ago, and haven’t seen an ant inside since.

  • pet echidna

  • So many random answers… just use what the pest controllers use, the products are readily available if you look.

    Syngenta Demand Duo, effective for control of ants, bed bugs, cockroaches, flies, fleas, paper nest wasps, millipedes, spiders and silverfish.


    Fipronil (Termidor, Fipforce Aqua)

    Termidor Residual Termiticide And Insecticide is for the protection of structures from subterranean termite damage and for the control of subterranean termites, ants, domestic cockroaches, earwigs, houseflies, web-spinning spiders, daddy-long-legs spiders, millipedes, pill bugs, and house crickets around domestic and commercial structures.

  • -2

    Ants are almost indomitable unless you want to add more poisons to this already toxic planet caused by human nearsightedness, communities like the Amish rarely have incidents of cancer … the ants are preparing for a wet season, leave unwanted sweet things, outside to help keep them busy, once the rains start in earnest they will leave you alone.

    • +1

      So what? The Amish rarely use the internet either, so if you wanna follow that lifestyle….

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