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Ants in a sandy WA location

Tried the borax paste but it never made any dent on the the ant population. Keep in mind that different ant species have different diets.

The ant dust actually kills on contact not ingestion. Check the label, that’s what mine says. I will never ever apply that liberally near a hive.

Better option would be any granules that contain both meat and sugary bait to target a range of species and the ant will take into their nest and hopefully kill the queens. Bunnings have them and they are expensive. Use exactly as directed.

I think I read on the MSDS of the NeverWet, or maybe on the internet about it being a carcinogen.

Maybe all ant dusts are not the same as to how they kill an ant nest, all I can say is that it has proven to me that it does quickly wipe out an ant nest with no effect on the bees. Obviously to wipe out an ant nest the dust is taken into the nest to be effective, in granular or dust form. Maybe you didn’t have enough sugar in the paste, while I agree different ant species can have a different diet I think they would all appreciate sugar as the lure.
Each to their own as to using the ant dust but I have never seen the bees even the slightest interested in it while it does what is claimed on ants. But as I say, each to their own - I can only go on my own results over 40 years.

What’s your recipe for borax Pete? I find that if there is a better food source, they’ll go for it rather than borax. I wish it worked as I hate using poisons.

All the ant dusts I came across here in WA are contact killers. It usually kills a few ants but they will just pop up elsewhere (you think they’re gone). Their active ingredient is either Bifenthrin, or Permethrin. Using them carelessly will increase resistance in target species, and you also kill non target species including beneficial fauna in the environment. They are extremely toxic to aquatic life.

When I really have to use a toxic chemical, I use Amdro https://www.bunnings.com.au/basf-amdro-170g-granular-ant-bait_p2963666.

Rate is only 5g per 20m2.

Borax is in fact a poison so obviously needs care in handling it but is is not on the ‘way out there’ of poisons. The ratios are by rule of thumb, I make it a fairly wet mix mix that it can run off a tea spoon into a match box till the matchbox is about 1/2 full then close it up till ants can still got in to feed. I don’t claim that is is a total cure against ants, actually I would be very suspicious of anything that wiped out ants completely, but it will be a help along with ant dust, I sure know when I need to look for ant nests and the little buggers having eaten all the baits with the increase in numbers.
I have to suspect the ant dust I use kills the ants by eating it as that is what they do and return to the nest to die and then the dad ants become food for other ants, or so the ‘blurb’ says. I will look for the brand next time I am into the “Anti Ant” bucket next time, I buy mine from Coles among the fly sprays and other gardening stuff.
Cheers Peter

Borax and strawberry jam for the little black ants, 1:2.
Ant dust needs to be poured down the entrance/s which effectively blocks the exits until they make another. I only use this for meat ants which are an ongoing task here and only because they are aggressive, oh and Sargent ants of course.
Just don’t get me started on those dirty stinkin’ rats…


I use a broad band of petroleum jelly around the legs of the hive stands, this seems to work. a bit hard of course if the hive is not on posts or poles.

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That’s what I do but I use grease which will last several months. How long does your petroleum jelly last? (I prefer that than grease if it lasts)

Ideally you shouldn’t pack it down to block the entrance. There is no way you can puff the dust and reach the queen from the entrance, so the way ant dust works is by applying it near the entrance, and they carry it and spread it around the nest where it will kill by contact. These chemicals are designed to work after some time, not immediately, so the ant will have time to spread it. Same principle they use for termites.

So far six months through the summer… winter rain will be the decider.

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I tried that, and in California hot summers, it melts and dissipates within a month. :worried:

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A very valid point against petroleum jelly compared to using grease which won’t melt even if applied in the sun on a hot summer day. Ants are a big problem in an apiary, I have tried most products over the years but I seem to always go back to the ‘old timers tried and proven’ as best for me here. It seems the smaller the ant is the harder they are to beat, :rage:
Cheers, Peter

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Have you tried AntCant? Seems similar to NeverWet in how it works. That might be my next stop since I didn’t do that good of a Job with the NeverWet and I don’t think I can reapply it on the hive

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Interesting… Not available here down under. Let us know how it goes and how long it lasts exposed to the weather.

It’s not cheap either… heavy duty grease might still be the most cost effective solution.

hey guys, AntCant purchased off Ebay US and brought down by family seems to have worked well. I have it on my home apiary. The only issue is that it appears not to last as long as the NeverWet on the other hive.

As the home hive is established, i’m not a fan of all the spraying necessary with Never Wet, unless others think its ok. I’d apply at night and try to contain the cloud by holding a cloth behind the leg as i spray it…but its a spray so worried it’ll get up into the hive and hurt the brood.

hmm… unless i seal up the hive entrance first.

All anyone needs to do to stop ants is spray under the hive & hive stand with canola cooking spray. There will be some areas that don’t get washed off with rain, that’s all you need. Bees will not walk over something that’s sprayed with canola cooking spray. In fact if you spray ants with it, it kills them.

Apart from that, I see lots of ants on my hives, & it never bothers me. It doesn’t seem to bother the bees either.


I decided to get aluminum tape and spray that with NeverWet, then wrap the tape around my cinder blocks to avoid spraying near the hive. I’ll let you know how it holds up!

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That sounds like a much better option than spraying cinder blocks that are being used as a part of a hive stand. Maybe the tape will give a more lasting surface than being directly applied as well. The NeverWet was a fail for me in that after 6 months the ants would easily walk over it on a vertical surface so it no longer was a barrier.
Cheers Peter

After reading through all the ideas, my block of land being super rocky, with lots of ants.
I have decided to build a stand with 4 adjustable legs for leveling, feet that can sit in cans with some oil and little rain hats to stop them from filling with water/bees.
Hopefully this keeps the ants at bay.