Ants making home in chicken coop. PLEASE HELP!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by StarlynMarie, Sep 8, 2015.

  1. StarlynMarie

    StarlynMarie Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 18, 2015
    Antioch, CA
    I know that ants aren't a major problem when left alone and completely forgotten about in the corner of the yard, but since my chicks are outside and with how hot the weather is where I live, ants have been migrating into the coop to take over their water. Every morning I have to clean it out (sometimes more than twice a day) and get rid of the ants just in the water thing. I've tried using a natural, plant based ant killer that is safe around humans and animals, and, while it kept the ants away for a couple days, they seem to have come back with a vengeance. I was wondering it removing the chicks for a few hours and spraying the base of the coop and the floor with Raid would be alright; let it dry and them put them back in. I've already cleaned the floor of the coop, but they only seem to be interested in the water. I have even tried placing the water on little glass cat dishes to get it up off the ground, but they find it anyway and the chicks end up knocking it down, making a huge mess in the process.

    Maybe I shouldn't worry, but at this point the ants are more of an annoyance than anything else.

    Can I spray Raid and will it be safe for the chicks once it dries? Or is there another way to keep the bloody ants out of my coop?

    Any advice would be great.

    Please and thank you!!
  2. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 7, 2015
    Peyton, CO
    I would recommend cinnamon. Just sprinkle it all around where the ants are now. You can also sprinkle a border around the coop/run. I have used it with success in my garden and they never came back. You may need to reapply if it gets washed away. You don't even have to buy the expensive kind, I use the cheapest (usually store-brand) I can find and it still works. Bonus, it won't hurt your chickens so you don't have to worry about taking them out.

    Good luck.
  3. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

    This came up and I posted in another thread...

    I'll share my ant bait station design with you.

    Take an empty pill container.

    Drill a small (`1/8 inch) hole near the bottom side.

    Put a small wad of cotton in it, pulling out a bit through the hole.

    Make a solution of sugar water and boric acid.

    Soak the cotton and cap the bottle.

    Label the bottle with a permanent marker with the date and "Ant Bait"

    Place in strategic locations.

    Check, refill, or dispose every 30 days.

    Simple, inexpensive, and very effective.

    Hope this helps.
  4. Mutt Farm

    Mutt Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would not use Raid. Geeze Louise the ants!!! I also have been doing battle! If you could hang the waterer at chicken chest height that would fix it, I use Ortho Home Defense as a perimeter spray. That seems to help. If you can spray the coop legs and the perimeter that should also help. @lomine I've never heard of cinnamon but I'm sure going to try it!
  5. ccrow

    ccrow Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 6, 2010
    Southern Maine
    I haven't heard of using cinnamon either, but I have heard of using ground cloves which is pretty similar. I don't know if it(cloves) would be ok for the birds or not... I have the waterer hanging from a chain in the coop; I've never had trouble with ants getting into it, but if I had, I would use Tanglefoot to block their access, probably around the eye bolt in the ceiling that the chain attaches to. It's non-toxic, but you do *not* want the chickens getting it on themselves!!! It's one of the stickiest things I've ever run across[​IMG]
  6. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 7, 2015
    Peyton, CO
    I've used cinnamon several times inside and outside to get rid of ants. For instance, at work there were some folks who weren't cleaning up after themselves very well so we had ants in the break room. Sprinkled cinnamon on the floor and they were gone the next day. Then we just mopped the floor. Had to do it one more time when they showed up again a month later but we haven't had them back since. I think it's been about a year now. Used it other times and told friends and family about it. Everyone that's used it has had success. Plus in small spaces, like a coop, it smells nice.
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Wouldn't use Raid.
    Have heard of cinnamon working around the base legs of bee hives to repel ants.
    Could also put some water outside for the ants if you can figure out where they are coming in.....or put Ron's boric acid dispenser there.
  8. JustPlainDon

    JustPlainDon Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 21, 2013
    Memphis, TN
    Don't forget DE sprinkled along the ant paths to the water.

    Another thing you might try is cucumber. Cucumber slices are supposed to repel ants (if your chickens don't eat them).

    Good luck!
  9. Bigwig

    Bigwig Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 8, 2015
    I have ants in my coop and my solution is to attack and crush as many as I can find wandering along their path from the coop to their other nest about fifty feet away. This method keeps them from getting to numerous.
  10. My2HensMom

    My2HensMom New Egg

    Sep 18, 2015
    I just found little sugar ants all around the coop this morning for the first time. I will try the cinnamon when I get home as I happen to have a large container from Costco just waiting for them! Thank you all for the ideas, if the cinnamon doesn't work I will definitely try the pill bottle, boric acid method next. I was thinking the chickens would eat the ants but they are really tiny.

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