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Discussion Starter #1
I regularly give my guys a "buffet" of healthy "treats" to munch on overnight and/or during the day. Many of these treats include produce.

Last night, I put part of an ear of corn in their home, and hung a piece of watermelon from their hanging "shish-k-bob" thing. (They LOVE watermelon in this hot, hot weather we're having.)

I have never before experienced a problem with this, and the rats certainly seem to prefer it this way...since they spend most of the night awake, they like to spend part of the time munching on something that isn't a rat block. Everybody's happy.

Until today.

I woke up this morning to find ~at least~ 1500 small black ants in their house, mostly wanting the corn and watermelon. (I am not exaggerating the number...if anything, there were more.)

We have an "ant problem" here every summer, but last summer, I had Gregor, and did mostly the same things with him, and the ants never invaded his space.

So, anyway, I was running late for an appointment, and was rushing to clean this ant mess up, and I broke Buscemi's favorite ceramic bowl (which is cool and good for sleeping, as well as housing certain "gnawing" foods.) I went to PetSmart, but was not able to replace Buscemi's bowl...I had to get a smaller one.

Now, nobody is happy. Gus and Boo are unhappy because they didn't get to have watermelon and corn to munch on - actually, since I was out for most of the day, they didn't have any "treats" to munch on, just the healthy stuff, and Boo doesn't like the new bowl as well. And ~I~ am unhappy because I can't see a way to provide their "favorites" for overnight snacking, without an ant problem.

Basically, I'm figuring that the only way I can put treats like produce in there is if I'm awake, and able to watch for the ant attacks. This is not good - they are used to their "treat schedule," and won't understand why their Mommy doesn't love them enough to provide their usual stuff. :( My rats are my "kids." This makes me so sad. :( :( :(

Now, when the hot weather goes away, so will the ant problem, but if anyone has any suggestions in the meantime, I'd sure like to hear them.

(The kids don't generally eat treats when they are out to play, either...they are too busy playing.)

Most of my food is up, off the ground, in those hanging containers. But for fruits, etc., I really thought that the shish-k-bob would work fine. The water is, of course, in sipper bottles, and I don't think the ants can get to that.

Funny, but on the Orkin commercial that called rats "pests," there was no mention of ANTS, which turn out to be a much greater "pest!"

Grrr. I'm mad and sad. How can I make this all better for my babies?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
P.S. Obviously, I never use Raid or other poisons around my animals (or around myself, as a matter of fact. I don't believe in it.) Other family members use Raid, but never in my room.

I sometimes use perfume to deter ants, which works OK, although I don't know how the rats like it...their sense of smell is so very highly developed.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
What is seven dust? It might just be what I need. :)
 

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the best way i have ever found to stop ants is to sprinkle talcum powder across any areas you dont want the ants to go to. for some reason, they cant cross it, so if you sprinkle a good ring of powder around the rat house, it should deter any ants... and it should be non-toxic too!!
 

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What kind of cage do you have, Holly? If it has a plastic base, you could put a larger shallow tray, with some water in it, underneath their cage. We do this with with food bowls for the birds in the aviaries at work... the ants can't cross the water to contaminate the birds' food. If you have a wire based cage, I'm sorry, I don't have any better ideas!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
We have a big metal-bottomed cage, and right now, it sort of "hangs off" of the dresser by a couple of inches (so I can't fit anything all the way around it.) Soon, it will be moved to its own "stand."

I have some talcum powder on hand, so I'll try that first. If it doesn't work, I'll look for some Sevin-10 Bug Killer Dust.

If THAT doesn't work, I'll buy a Sevendust album and play it 'round the clock...maybe ants hate heavy metal music! :lol: (I like all different kinds of music, as long as it's well written and well performed. Since "Enemy" is a good song, there ought to be at least one thing on the album I like. ;) )

Buscemi says he likes AC/DC better...
 

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Ratastic said:
Holly said:
What is seven dust? It might just be what I need. :)
Sevendust is a metal band. Enemy is a great song by them. I think she ment Sevin-10 Bug Killer Dust. :D
i personally prefer the song "licking cream"...
 

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Maybe you can try a decoy? Put something sweet and sticky nearby to draw them away from the cage and find a way to trap the ants?
 

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that's a good idea....

I found this information on a google search, so hopefully it'll work for you. The killing part doesn't appeal to me but the basic idea seems good minus the poison!

"ants are so numerous, you will never kill them all. the best plan is to lure them away of your living space. You can detour their parade by planting ant cafe's away from your home. Start fairly close, the initial lure should be easily found for the ants. Then gradually move further out, away from your living space.I made a cafe out of an old tuna can and honey, or watermelon and anything sweet that would attrack them. Once the found it I added some boric acid inside. They carry this back to the nest and it's pretty effective in reducing the number at the nest. Also, always kill the scouts. If you ever see an individual wandering out make sure you kill it. The single wanderers are scouting locations for food and water, if they never return the rest will never follow.

I also use vinegar with pine, lemon, lime and eucalyptus essential oils to clean with, when we moved in we thought we lived on an ant hill. Now there is never an ant inside, even when i leave food out!!

Good luck!"
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks! Perfume works pretty well to throw them off of the track, in addition to the aforementioned cleansers.
 
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