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Ants in house, what's safe?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Like the title says, we've discovered ants in the house and we've got to figure out how to get rid of them. The cats are all inside only cats, so we're going to spray the outside of the house in the region that they're coming in, but is there anything safe that I can put inside the house to kill the ants that are getting in/already in...? Before cats we always used the little Raid huts but I'm worried that the cats will get into it and get sick. I can't seem to find anything helpful online, but I may just not be searching for the right things. Help?!
post #2 of 11
We had a lot of ants earlier this spring. I just bought some diatomaceous earth (human grade) and dusted along the door threshholds and around the cupboards at the floor level. I haven't seen any since. It's also very safe for the kitties, in fact if they should lick a bit of it, it is good for them for intestinal parasites. I got mine at the local garden centre. Just be sure it's food or human grade. The name on the label of mine was Chemfree.
post #3 of 11
Along with spraying the outside of the house there are spikes you can get to put around the house. I found that the spray cut them down but some was still getting in. Adding the spikes took care of the problem. If you get to it quickly there isn't many that come in. I live on an ant hill so I know when it gets warm it's time to get the spikes! Btw I buy them in Walmart in the garden section.
post #4 of 11
If you find the spots they're coming in from indoors, then I'd try using a mixture of oil of peppermint and water to spray the area. It keeps ants away.

Though I wonder what effects the areas you spray will have on the cats.
post #5 of 11
Are they coming in through a spot that's accessible to cats? I had problems with the ants for months until I finally broke down and used the toxic spray on the spot they were coming in. Since they were coming from behind an upper kitchen cabinet, I felt okay about spraying in that area since the cats don't get on the counters. Prior to that, I tried lines of cinnamon, salt, and baking soda but they just climbed the walls around it. Smearing petroleum jelly around the places they were entering helped some until they found new paths. You can also use Windex or similar cleaners to kill the ants and wipe away their trails. But I have to say that since using the ant spray, I haven't seen a single one indoors.
post #6 of 11
A few years ago I had ant issues and at Wal Mart I bought Amdro ant granules, sprinkled them OUTSIDE around the perimeter of the house. I do this pro actively spring and summer and I never have any ants in the house anymore. My 4 cats are strictly indoor.
post #7 of 11
If you are gonna use the ant traps, put them in the back of the cabinets far from the cats and you should be ok. I've used the traps before with no problems as I put them in the corner by the fridge or under the sink (usually the sink area is where they come in.

We've had a few times recently of the little sugar ants showing up (in weird places). DH sprayed the areas and the edges and all has been fine. We kept the cats out of the area for a few hrs. No more ants so far!
post #8 of 11
BTW flea spray (pyrethrin) is also a chemical that works.
post #9 of 11
It is critical to destroy their scent trail.
I use a hand held steam cleaner.
It works great with no danger to the environment or my kitties.
post #10 of 11
We had ants for several years running. I found a really good 'non-toxic to childen and pets' spray called Bioganic ( and sprayed the areas where the ants were getting in with that. I then used the ant bait traps inside cupboards and under the fridge where the cats can't get to them. I also got large shallow pans and put the cat food dishes in the center then filled the pans with water to keep the ants from the cat food. Last fall, I spread diatamaceous earth all around the areas where the ants were getting in as well as putting the ant plugs in the areas outside. One other trick I did was to take dryer sheets (bounce) and put a sheet underneath a plant on the window sill where they were coming in. I have had no problems with ants this year at all. I too worry about usingtoxic sprays in case one of the cats eats one of the sprayed insects so try to find non-toxic ways of dealing with insects and ants.
post #11 of 11
Don't you hate those nasty little things!?
I've been using the ant stakes (Grant's) and Raid traps, both from Wal-Mart. My FIL used to use Borax laundry detergent; he'd spread it around the outside of the house and for some reason the ants wouldn't cross it. Since it's detergent, I'd assume it's safe to use indoors. I bought some but haven't had a chance to try it yet. I did read a box of ant-killer called Terro, and one of the ingredients is borax, so I guess it's worth a shot.

P.S. I belong to another board where a member was talking about Borax. Her thoughts were that it was only safe to use outside where animals couldn't get into it. I guess for now I'll use something different; better safe than sorry.
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