So, even in the middle of winter, after our big snow storm and subzero temperatures, I still have an ant problem.
Due to both chemical sensitivities and just not liking using harsh chemicals because of the environmental effects I can't/won't use insecticides.
They've become immune to tea tree oil. Originally, five drops to a gallon of water was enough to kill them in seconds, now even straight tea tree oil on them has no noticeable effect.
Mint and mint oil have no effect. Same with spices. Same with salt. Actually, they like the salt.
Rubbing alcohol works, but that stuff is flammable and the critters seem to have made one of their main homes or points of entry in the room with my furnace. I don't want to leave it sitting that close to them.
Vicks works as a deterrent, but there are only so many things I can put that on.
Same with dish soap, but only if I keep it damp, which would mean refreshing it every fifteen minutes....they walk right over it once it dries.
I did try one of the bait traps, they ignored it completely.
Their main concern right now, from observing them, appears to be getting water, thus they are most drawn to my bathtub and my kitchen sink. The kitchen is just around the corner from the furnace and hot water heater, and the vent through which the furnace draws in air is right outside the bathroom door....I have occasionally left rubbing alcohol (in very small amounts) in the water (tub is uneven, so it puddles at one end, even after wiping it out), but they simply ignore that puddle upon finding it, and I don't want to spry the alcohol over them due to the furnace issue and due to the fact that one probably doesn't want to breathe rubbing alcohol suspended in the air.....
They do however enjoy it if I miss cleaning up a dab of honey when I've made my morning coffee.
Two things I have yet to try: hot sauce and citrus oil.
Coexistence would be nice, but it's rental property, first of all, and second, the ants smell bad, it burns my nose a little, and third, whenever they manage to find it, they swarm the cat's food. Which makes him upset, so that he starts pawing at me to try to tell me there's a problem with his food bowl. Thus far I've found that they seem to not like carpeting, so his food and water are on a slab of wood a few inches from the wall in my living room, though every so often I have to relocate it because they find it....
Surprisingly, they haven't swarmed my kitchen table....yet...but I'm sure that's a matter of time.....maybe I should put vicks around the table legs before they get to it.
Any advice for how to deal with them in winter? I've started cleaning up all puddles of water in bathtub and sinks, but closing all the entrances into the house is impossible, not to mention they're already well-established inside). The house is definitely not sealed to the outside, the foundation settled at some point leaving an eighth of an inch gap between the interior walls and the floor (which is rather drafty) and I want to decide whether or not I'm going to stay there before I go to the trouble of dealing with that particular issue.