HELP! Ant infestation!!!


10 Years
Aug 12, 2009
In the Shadow of a Mountain MA
I am hoping someone can help me out here...I haven't had much luck on this forum but I am a newbie in the chicken world and am totally freaked out right now.
I just went out to collect eggs(my girls are mid-day layers) and the outside edges of the hen house and the roof line are COVERED with tiny ants!!! Its as if there was a nest under the shingles! I can't tell if they are carrying food or eggs but regardless there are THOUSANDS of ants!!! All my girls are out and about right now, and according to my son the ants have been there for a while...grrr...I don't know how I did not see them before! They are not inside the coop, thankfully, but still...YUCK!!! What can I use to get rid of them? I don't want to use a pesticide and harm the girls in any way, is there anything I can do? Please help!!!
Guineas will eat them. They stick to fly paper too. I'd hose them off. I don't use anything chemical that close to my chickens. Maybe someone else will have a better idea..
I would try a product called Terro. Its in an orange, blue and white box. Basically in contains Borax and sugar water. You put the bait out and initially you will really see how many ants you have, they will be all over the bait. The sugar water lures them in, then they take the Borax back to the colony and it kills them. I have used it myself and have had great results. I really don't know if the Borax is toxic or not, I don't think it is, it is just a natural detergent, with boron in it. Just be prepared for the influx of every ant in the colony showing up at the bait stations. The important thing to remember is don't do anything once you start. Let the ants eat and destroy the colony themselves. If you do something to the ants and they don't carry it back to the colony it won't work. In a few days you will start seeing results. Good luck!
Ahh. This is something I'm familiar with -- not from a chicken perspective but just ants in general.. I was baiting our ants last night as they had created a super-highway in my kids bathroom on the counter.. Not sure what they were after but..

You can try this.. Take 2C of water, 1C of white sugar and I believe 1 tbsp of boric acid (available at most CVS, Rite-Aids,etc).. Mix in a pot and bring to a boil until EVERYTHING is dissolved. It should look like water.. Let it completely cool. Once cooled, put it in a tight lidded container (I use old soda bottles -- the small kind from vending machines) and LABEL it as ANT bait and store it far away from small children (I put mine up high in the pantry -- top shelf).

For the ants, use a small bowl (saucer,etc) and put some liquid in it and place in a spot within the coop where the ants are but the chickens can't get to -- hopefully on the roof I think you mentioned.. Once the bowl is placed on the roof, use your finger to dribble some of it down the side of the bowl/saucer and near /onto the path of the ants.. They will either be interested or avoid it -- depending on whether they're after greasy stuff (unlikely with chickens) or sweet stuff -- what this bait is good for. If you like, you can look at the MSDS for Boric Acid here :

Keep in mind that this is in a solution is ~3.125% boric acid in a sweet base -- not raw boric acid as implied within the MSDS sheet.

Anyway, try to place it somewhere the chickens don't go -- you could even cover it with something like a box as the ants will always find away under if they want..

In terms of what you should expect.. IF the ants like this stuff (and I'm hoping they do), I find that most of the time their populations you see walking around will drop by 99.9% within a 24 hour window of time.. By the way.. This is NOT a deterrent to ants -- this will take out much of their colony as they take it back to the nest and feed it to the other workers.. It will not however take out 100% of them as there are babies waiting to hatch,etc..

Please let us know how this experiment goes..
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Oh, THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! I am going to try everything, lol, as we have a CRAZY ant population in our yard that I hoped would go down with the chickens but they don't seem to eat them...I will try the bait on the roof of the hen house with the boric acid mix, as well as in our front yard as the chickens stay in the back. I am going to try the Borax and sugar water too as I have borax AND sugar
....I was hoping to stay aay from the chemicals, is Seven a 'safe' chemical? We are pretty much completely chemical free here due to health issues so maybe I will save that as a last resort. Thank you again for your help! I will let y'all know how it goes!!!
I've used borax and it does not work for the ants in RI. I would not use borax (boric acid) anyways though for chickens.... borax may be a laundry detergent, but it is toxic to cats, dogs, and a slew of other animals and I would not be surprised if it were to chickens as well.

Cream of Wheat is a natural bait for ants. The workers take the cereal back to the nest where they share the food with all of the ants. When Cream of Wheat comes into contact with the internal fluids of the ant, it explodes. This is a way to take care of the entire ant problem with a bang.

also, i would not use coffee as it is caffeinated and caffeine is bad for chickens.

other natural ant repellants

you could also try pouring a big pot of boiling water on them. this works to kill weeds as well. kill the ants naturally, and your chickens can gobble them down.

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