Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman
Gordon T. relates about his success controlling ants with isopropyl alcohol
Our Senegal parrot, Frisbee, spends warm weather days on our screened-in porch, where he has a stainless steel cage.
Ants are a serious problem.
We were able to control them by placing the cage rollers in shallow water containers, but Frisbee started drinking the water.
On the theory that ants swarming on bits of his treats were following scent trails laid down by “scout” ants, I started wiping the bottoms of the legs of his cage with 90% isopropyl alcohol first thing every morning.
The alcohol evaporates almost immediately, and it is still 30 minutes or so before Frisbee goes out.
I’ve been doing this all summer, and the results are excellent.
Only one time have ants swarmed a piece of bell pepper on his cage, and only a few times have I seen individual ants moving on his cage liner.
I also tried this on the glass-top table on the deck, and it is helpful in cutting down on the number of ants, but I frequently see several ants or even a group of them on it.
This is on an aluminum table with a pebbly coating; I don’t know if that makes a difference.
I’ve started also taking a swipe of alcohol on the area around the plastic sheet his cage sits on.
I hope this helps anyone else who finds they can’t use the water barrier technique.
Glad you have found a solution for ants.
We have them every spring here too.
Ants create an invisible trail that others follow to food which is how they manage to return faster every time.
This trail can be removed with many things, soap, alcohol, whatever it takes to wash or rub away the trail so they have to start all over again.
These solutions work as long as you can stay ahead of them returning and replacing the trail, or they tire of losing the trail and go in another direction.
But sometimes they wear us down before they do. It is not always easy to reach all the cage or stand legs to treat/clean them.
Here’s a post with alternate ant solutions as well.
We don’t care for the cage leg in a can of water option as it contributes to rust.