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Old 01-19-2008, 09:37 PM   #1
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Default Crazy ants eating clear stamps!

It's driving me crazy and I want to know if anyone else suffers from this malady, does anyone else have ants come creeping up on your stamping table and going crazy over your clear stamps?
I've had the ants on and off for a while on my desk but thought they might be trying to get at some wrapped food goods I had on the desk for gifts. But no they were only interested in my clear stamps! I tidied up, got rid of the ants, washed the stamps and put them away in a container but the container wasn't properly closed so the ants are back!
I know it's wet and muggy out (I'm in Brisbane, Australia) but I don't want ants on my desk!
What is it they like about the clear stamps? Do they like the taste of the adhesive? And will insect spray hurt my stamps? Can anyone help? Watch out ants, I will organise for the pest man to come out soon.
Thanks
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Old 01-19-2008, 10:52 PM   #2
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Its like -20 here right now in MN so no ant problems. Maybe its the smell they like. I don't believe i would spray any type of insect spray though may have a reaction with the rubber. Maybe find some air tight containers they can't get in would be my advice.
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Old 01-20-2008, 03:33 AM   #3
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Brisbane!! I love Brisbane! We visited a couple of years ago, just in time for the gret fireworks on the river. What an awesome experience it was. I'd go back in a heartbeat.

Now for the ants . . . hmmm . . . do you know where they're getting into your area at? How about putting some cayenne pepper powder on the floor to deter them? We don't have that problem here except in the summer time. There's some other stuff that we get here, not sure if it's available there, but it's a liquid honey (or something sweet), can't remember what it's called though The ants come and take it back to their hole in the ground and a little while later it blows up. Works great.

Hope you find a solution to this soon. I think it'd drive me nuts as well.
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Old 01-20-2008, 04:19 AM   #4
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I don't know why ants would like stamps, but I second the idea of putting your stamps in an air tight container. At least it will keep them safe.
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Old 01-20-2008, 05:12 AM   #5
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I heard that you can use copper (coins) to keep ants away. I don't know if coins contain copper in Australia
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Old 01-20-2008, 08:48 AM   #6
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Sandra,
Sorry...never heard of that. But your post sure made me chuckle. I am sure it wasn't funny to you. I wouldn't laugh about ants in my house. Yuck!

But ants going bananas over clear stamps. That's just a little on the funny side.
Hugs and smiles
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Old 01-20-2008, 09:18 AM   #7
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Guess you'll have to stick to wood mounted and rubber... just kidding, sorry to make light of your situation. I totally thought this thread would be a funny story, didn't expect it to be a real concern! Good luck getting those pests out of there.
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Old 01-20-2008, 09:21 AM   #8
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We had weird ants in portions of the house. We sprayed the base boards and around the windows. No more ants. I do like the powder idea though. Maybe an organic product would be best vto avoid reactions with stamps in case of contact. Let us know what works!
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Old 01-20-2008, 09:30 AM   #9
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Default Use chalk to keep ants out

Quote:

Originally Posted by smilie girlView Post
It's driving me crazy and I want to know if anyone else suffers from this malady, does anyone else have ants come creeping up on your stamping table and going crazy over your clear stamps?
I've had the ants on and off for a while on my desk but thought they might be trying to get at some wrapped food goods I had on the desk for gifts. But no they were only interested in my clear stamps! I tidied up, got rid of the ants, washed the stamps and put them away in a container but the container wasn't properly closed so the ants are back!
I know it's wet and muggy out (I'm in Brisbane, Australia) but I don't want ants on my desk!
What is it they like about the clear stamps? Do they like the taste of the adhesive? And will insect spray hurt my stamps? Can anyone help? Watch out ants, I will organise for the pest man to come out soon.
Thanks
Sandra
Sandra:
I read in a recent magazine called Woman's Day (printed in USA) Feb. 12, 2008 (page 9 issue....

" if ants are trotting into your home, draw chalk lines around their entry points. Many chalks contain calcium carbonate, which ants don't like".

I was thinking of maybe instead of drawing chalk lines (because we don't want our children to get the wrong idea. Right?) just leave broken up chalks on your work table, drawers, etc.
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Old 01-20-2008, 10:14 AM   #10
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I agree with going organic. Last time I had ants was when my son was smaller and in the habit of dripping popsicle juice everywhere. Any place that I found where they were coming in, inevitably there would be a popsicle stick or a spot where a chunk had melted.

What with having the little kids running around, as well as a black lab that would eat anything, I didn't want a real pesticide. Cream of tartar (found in the spice section at the grocery store) sprinkled across their entry paths did the job instantly. The dog sniffed it once, but I guess it's not very flavorful, lol!
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Old 01-20-2008, 10:24 AM   #11
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While living in Texas, I learned that ants are attracted to water. Oddly enough... Especially fire ants.

They will go anywhere that there is moisture. Make sure that your stamps dry completely before you put them away. There might be something in clear stamps that holds moisture or feels like moisture to the ants.

Dry powder laundry detergent works too.. Kinda along the lines of the chalk. But, if you have dogs or cats in the house don't let them eat it.
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Old 01-20-2008, 08:17 PM   #12
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Quote:

Originally Posted by lfwView Post
Sandra:
I was thinking of maybe instead of drawing chalk lines (because we don't want our children to get the wrong idea. Right?) just leave broken up chalks on your work table, drawers, etc.
...or draw a chalk outline of a dead ant on your workbench ~ LOL! (Watching too many crime shows on TV?)

We've had ant problems in the past, but started having more regular exterminator visits and haven't seen them in the house in a long time. I use mostly rubber stamps, and haven't had this problem. Keep us updated -this is an interesting situation.
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Old 01-20-2008, 08:38 PM   #13
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A few years ago we woke to find ants had invaded our kitchen.. I read online about spraying things down with vinegar water, so I did.. I took everything out of the cabinets and sprayed the vinegar water everywhere.. I also read to put out Bay leaves, so I had Bay leaves stuck in little crevices all around the kitchen.. I never ever seen an ant again. Pam
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Old 01-20-2008, 08:47 PM   #14
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We've had ants come in around my kitchen sink/counter area every summer for the past 3 yrs. They've never been inside for 30 yrs. til then! Its very disheartening to go in to cook and have to wash all areas before I can. There's hundreds of types of ants. These are tiny black ants and I thought were after sugar - sugar ants. Nope, these swarm to anything greasy!! I read that coffee grounds deter them - tried it and yes it does, but too messy!
netheadred suggested dry laundry detergent. That might work well. One evening, in desperation, I grabbed my spray bottle of homemade stamp cleaner - glycerin, distilled water, and baby wash. I didn't even clean them off first, I just laid down a good thick spray. It killed them!!!!! I just can't cope with spraying caustic ant spray in my cooking area! Needless to say, I was delighted to have found something clean that would stop them til we could spray around the outside of our house. Anyway, after they had a few minutes to die, I cleaned the whole area AGAIN, and re-sprayed my stamp cleaner. Only a brave few came back but died a quick death! I felt safe using it since DH may come in behind me and not thinking, lay a piece of bread, etc. on the counter.
I would definitely spray around the outside of your house, it may take 2 separate sprayings. Contain anything inside that seems to attract them.
With all this said, clear stamps are oil based.. that may be the attraction. I had trimmed a clear set and accidentally dropped a trimming on a magazine. Not noticing it while cleaning up afterward, I folded the mag. and about 2 weeks later, I saw this big ole greasy stain when I opened it. Walla.. the oil from the clear trimming had leached out into the mag. paper.
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Old 01-21-2008, 05:40 AM   #15
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They only way we could keep the m out of our house on Guam, was to spray the entire outside perimeter at least once a month. Usually weekly at first. I did spray the inside perimeter too as best I could once, but them the whole outside perimeter and around all windows, cable holes, vents.....It kept them out as long as I remembered to do it regularly.
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Old 01-21-2008, 06:24 AM   #16
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chalk lines never worked for me. I use a liquid called "Terro". I found it at Walmart. It's kindof creepy at first because it attracts them like a swarm! You have to put up with it for a day, but then-BAM! NO ants They eat it, tell their friends about the feast and they all gobble it up, go back to their nest and die. ...works like a charm.
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Old 01-23-2008, 09:07 AM   #17
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Bay leaves placed out side of their entrance point and spread on your craft table should kep them away as well as Tansy.
Good luck!! You really need to find out where they are coming from though.
I would not put the acrylic stamps in a container till you contact the manufacturer and make sure it's safe.. plastic may damage them.. I know it makes little sense but you know what I mean.
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Old 01-23-2008, 09:08 AM   #18
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Oh sprinkle borox in your window sashes if you dont' have pets or kids to ingest it.
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Old 01-23-2008, 09:09 AM   #19
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I was told by a co-worker that they are attracted to an ingredient in dish soap. She was told this by a pesticide guy. He said to not wipe your counters off with a sponge soaked in dish detergent. Crazy, I know! Are you washing your stamps with it?
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Old 01-23-2008, 09:52 AM   #20
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They also don't like to get cinnamon on their feet so try sprinkling it around the box containing the stamps. If all else fails you can put the stamps in a water proof container and put it in the middle of a tin of water. When we lived in louisiana we had a problem with the fire ants getting into the cats' food dishes. We had to put them in pie tins of water. Works great until you kick the pie plate and have wet cat food all over your floor!!!
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Old 01-23-2008, 10:07 AM   #21
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My husband told me, that they follow their scent trail. If you can find out where there coming from and keep the area always wiped down, then you can remove their scent trail, and they won't know which way to go, and eventually leave, this has worked for us every spring/summer. I just use the murphy's oil soap to wipe the baseboard areas. Did you try to google it, and find out what kind of ants they are and how to get rid of them? Gosh, that's got to be so agravating !!! I hope you can find something that works. How 'bout keeping your table completely cleared off for a couple of days, and see what they do?
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Old 01-23-2008, 10:11 AM   #22
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too funny! i just received this in an email this morning -- don't know if it works tho. good luck!

Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it 'home,' can't digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so, especially if it rains, but it works & you don't have the worry about pets or small children being harmed!
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Old 01-23-2008, 10:22 AM   #23
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What brand clear stamps are they? I have some older PSX clear stamps and they have a distinct sweet smell just like unflavored gelatin, I have done gelatin printmaking as well so I know the smell. Could it be possible that the stamps contain gelatin? All of my other clear stamps have no smell so maybe that is it, also embossing fluid is almost entirely glyceryn, a sweet oily substance, if you are not cleaning your stamps after using clear emb. fluid that could be the trouble. Good Luck! I've had some trouble with ants in the summer in Maine and we've sprinkles cayanne pepper around the perimater of the house to keep them out.
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Old 01-23-2008, 10:32 AM   #24
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I was wondering if it had anything to do with the smell of the clear stamps as well? I always thought they smelled sweet. It is a gelatin isn't it? Like jello thickener? Maybe without sugar but you never know?
I am sorry that I don't have any advice (except keep all your stamps in an air tight container) but looking through the advice you have already gotten it kind of looks like a cooking forum! lol We have always used ant traps at the door way they get in but the infestation isn't bad here..(knock on wood!)
Best luck to you!
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Old 01-23-2008, 11:04 AM   #25
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I have heard that corn starch is good to use. The ants will carry it back to their home,share & eat it, but they cant digest it so it basically blows them up and they explode. Kind of a fitting way to die for such a pesky creature. Except I have not tried this so I dont know if it actually works. but at least it is not poisonous to your kids or pets.
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Old 01-23-2008, 11:07 AM   #26
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Well, at least you don't have snakes that are drawn to the stamps!!!! Good luck with the ant problem.
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Old 01-23-2008, 11:27 AM   #27
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I use Terro, as we have a problem with ants each spring. According to the product, it's not harmful to humans or pets. Here's some info.
terro.com/faq-ants.php You will need to put the www in as I haven't posted enough to allow links.
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Old 01-23-2008, 02:46 PM   #28
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How to Get Rid of Ants Naturally

1. Make sure all the food in your house is sealed, so that the ants can't get to it. Be relentless about this for 3-7 days. The ants, having nothing to eat, will go elsewhere. This works because the ants are following the chemical trails left by other ants, who DID find food.
2. Use laurel leaves to keep the ants away from a specific place. Put laurel in your sugar can. You will be amazed!
3. Use chalk to keep ants away from kitchen areas. You will be amazed to see how they move away from any chalk lines - make sure you plan these carefully however.
4. You can also use corn meal. This method is especially great around pets or children, as corn meal by itself is not poisonous. The ants will carry it home and try to eat it, but they can't digest it properly. Be sure to put corn meal wherever you see that the ants like to frequent.
5. Use boric acid, a natural derivative of the mineral "boron", used in borax, and also in saline solution. It is about as harmful to humans as table salt.
a. Buy it at the local drug store (about $2 a bottle).
b. Pour about a tablespoon of real maple syrup (or anything you know ants love) on a flat plate or saucer.
c. Sprinkle the boric acid around the syrup so that the ants must walk through it to get to the syrup, you may even use a q-tip to ensure a good distribution of the powder around the the syrup.
d. Put the concoction somewhere you know there will be ants and just leave it.
e. The way the boric acid works is that the ants step into the powder and it some how messes up either their ability to breathe, or digest or it dehydrates them or something like that, it will take about 1-2 days during this time you will see a lot of ants feasting on the stuff, and then suddenly, you will have no more ants at all! This will only work for about 3 weeks, then you simply do it again. Leave it on a window sill to make sure pets don't get into it, just in case it is dangerous to them. This is as effective than any store bought chemicals, and it will cost you almost nothing!
6. Put out Cream of Wheat (farina). Don't cook it first. The ants eat it, it expands, boom!
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Old 01-23-2008, 02:52 PM   #29
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I have had success with pure orange oil. It can be purchased at most health food stores. I soak cotton balls in it and rub it all around the back of the kitchen counters at the first sign of ants in the spring. Then I leave a few of the cotton balls tucked behind the coffee maker, can opener, etc. That is the end of the ants for the season. It can also kill them instantly if sprayed on them. Plus your room will smell yummy!
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Old 01-23-2008, 03:07 PM   #30
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I haven't had problems with my clear stamps but when we had our security system installed we had them on the windows where they had used a clear silicone to mount the alarms. They said that happens often. The ants quit coming after a few days.
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Old 01-23-2008, 03:43 PM   #31
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Ever think of buying an anteater???? HA! Sorry... I had someone tell me once that some ants are attracted to sweet, some are attracted to spice and others are attracted to fat. My guess (only a guess) is that some part of the process of making your clear stamps includes a petroleum product that the ants find irresistible. Your particular native ants like that. Storage in something airtight is probably your best defense. (Well the anteater idea isn't all that off the wall... is it??? Some people keep pigs as pets.)
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Old 01-23-2008, 07:24 PM   #32
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I've used borax (cleaning powder) mixed with icing sugar. Mix it 50-50 and spread it around where they're coming in. The ants are attracted to the sweetness of the icing sugar, carry it back to their home, and share it with the rest of the clan. The borax kills them and they don't come back. It's harmless to pets and people, no residue, not messy, and it works!
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Old 01-24-2008, 02:42 AM   #33
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Sue StrozykView Post
My husband told me, that they follow their scent trail. If you can find out where there coming from and keep the area always wiped down, then you can remove their scent trail, and they won't know which way to go, and eventually leave, this has worked for us every spring/summer. I just use the murphy's oil soap to wipe the baseboard areas. Did you try to google it, and find out what kind of ants they are and how to get rid of them? Gosh, that's got to be so agravating !!! I hope you can find something that works. How 'bout keeping your table completely cleared off for a couple of days, and see what they do?
Thanks for everyone's ideas and suggestions! It's awesome!
I haven't been to the site for a few days and was overwhelmed with all the information. In the mean time I had asked at a local stamp shop, thinking ants are probably a summertime thing, but she didn't have any clues to as to why clear stamps. And would you believe it seemed to be the American ones and not the local ones. Different glues, oil? Don't know. And they sure didn't care about my other wood mounted stamps or other stuff.
Anyhow, I did tidy up (again), washed everything up in water, let them dry, sealed the container better and moved it to a different location because of the scent trail idea.
I think the ants just liked following that path and were all congregating in my stamps. Hope they had fun, pesky creatures.
But they haven't come back as yet. It's stopped raining though, so maybe they're out enjoying the sun instead.
I like quite a few of the ideas raised. So watch out ants if you dare return, I am fully armed! (well informed)
Thanks
Sandra
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Old 01-24-2008, 02:48 AM   #34
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My husband told me, that they follow their scent trail. If you can find out where there coming from and keep the area always wiped down, then you can remove their scent trail, and they won't know which way to go, and eventually leave, this has worked for us every spring/summer. I just use the murphy's oil soap to wipe the baseboard areas. Did you try to google it, and find out what kind of ants they are and how to get rid of them? Gosh, that's got to be so agravating !!! I hope you can find something that works. How 'bout keeping your table completely cleared off for a couple of days, and see what they do?
Thanks for everyone's ideas and suggestions! It's awesome!
I haven't been to the site for a few days and was overwhelmed with all the information. In the mean time I had asked at a local stamp shop, thinking ants are probably a summertime thing, but she didn't have any clues to as to why clear stamps. And would you believe it seemed to be the American ones and not the local ones. Different glues, oil? Don't know. And they sure didn't care about my other wood mounted stamps or other stuff.
Anyhow, I did tidy up (again), washed everything up in water, let them dry, sealed the container better and moved it to a different location because of the scent trail idea.
I think the ants just liked following that path and were all congregating in my stamps. Hope they had fun, pesky creatures.
But they haven't come back as yet. It's stopped raining though, so maybe they're out enjoying the sun instead.
I like quite a few of the ideas raised. So watch out ants if you dare return, I am fully armed! (well informed)
Thanks
Sandra
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Old 01-24-2008, 03:01 AM   #35
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What brand clear stamps are they? I have some older PSX clear stamps and they have a distinct sweet smell just like unflavored gelatin, I have done gelatin printmaking as well so I know the smell. Could it be possible that the stamps contain gelatin? All of my other clear stamps have no smell so maybe that is it, also embossing fluid is almost entirely glyceryn, a sweet oily substance, if you are not cleaning your stamps after using clear emb. fluid that could be the trouble. Good Luck! I've had some trouble with ants in the summer in Maine and we've sprinkles cayanne pepper around the perimater of the house to keep them out.
The most popular was the Heidi Swapp stamps and they didn't like the AND stamps (Brissie company I think). The Heidi Swapp ones are the newest though. I thought they were pretty clean but I did recently clean my filthy stamping scrub, so they might not have been as clean as I thought. But I had used others at the same time from that group.
Most of the stamps smell like ant now so ... do I get to experiment and buy some more??? Just jokes.
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Old 01-24-2008, 03:04 AM   #36
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Ever think of buying an anteater???? HA! Sorry... I had someone tell me once that some ants are attracted to sweet, some are attracted to spice and others are attracted to fat. My guess (only a guess) is that some part of the process of making your clear stamps includes a petroleum product that the ants find irresistible. Your particular native ants like that. Storage in something airtight is probably your best defense. (Well the anteater idea isn't all that off the wall... is it??? Some people keep pigs as pets.)
I think the boys would love an anteater for a pet! too funny!
Thanks for that about the petroleum theory. It would be cool to know what clear stamps are made of and what is in the adhesive.
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Old 01-24-2008, 04:17 AM   #37
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Brisbane!! I love Brisbane! We visited a couple of years ago, just in time for the gret fireworks on the river. What an awesome experience it was. I'd go back in a heartbeat.

Now for the ants . . . hmmm . . . do you know where they're getting into your area at? How about putting some cayenne pepper powder on the floor to deter them? We don't have that problem here except in the summer time. There's some other stuff that we get here, not sure if it's available there, but it's a liquid honey (or something sweet), can't remember what it's called though The ants come and take it back to their hole in the ground and a little while later it blows up. Works great.

Hope you find a solution to this soon. I think it'd drive me nuts as well.
That sweet goo is called Terro it works great for getting rid of ants - they do take it back to their den and they die there I believe.
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Old 01-24-2008, 06:31 AM   #38
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I have had success with pure orange oil. It can be purchased at most health food stores. I soak cotton balls in it and rub it all around the back of the kitchen counters at the first sign of ants in the spring. Then I leave a few of the cotton balls tucked behind the coffee maker, can opener, etc. That is the end of the ants for the season. It can also kill them instantly if sprayed on them. Plus your room will smell yummy!

Wow, I like that idea! Natural and makes your kitchen smell good too!
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Old 01-24-2008, 02:19 PM   #39
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I had terrible problems with ants in our previous house and I was determined to fix the problem. A friend told me about these little round ant traps. They had to be Combat brand of outdoor ant traps in the gold box. Within 24 hours there were no ants. Since we've moved into a new house, as long as I put these ant traps about every 5 or 6 feet around the perimeter of the house in the spring we have no ants. They work kind of like the liquid that was mentioned. They take something from the trap back to their nest and it kills the nest. Man, I hate ants.

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Old 01-24-2008, 04:45 PM   #40
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I put in anther vote for plain old Borax - we had ants a few years ago and I spread it by our sliding door and a thin layer in the bottom edges of the pantry. I left the layer in the bottom of the pantry cupboard and they have not returned
I have a friend with bad bug problems in Texas and she used the Diatomaceous earth with good results.
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