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The ants go marching ...

Once in a while, you're going to get ants. It seems to happen to us once or twice a year. One day you'll see a line of little brown "sugar" ants marching along and then they'll be appearing everywhere in the trailer.

We picked up a batch of them in Haines City. I saw the ant hills in the driveway, and within hours they were climbing our water hose and ransacking the trailer for snacks. Fortunately, these little brown ants don't sting like Fire Ants.

The best way to deal with ants is not to get them in the first place, but that's pretty tough to do. We could have taken precautions by spraying around the trailer with something that would discourage them, but not on the fresh water line. We use a woven roll-up water hose and I would expect pesticides to leach through and contaminate our water, so that's out. Bill Reilly suggested soapy water, but by the time we spotted the ants climbing the hose it was already too late.

Getting them is not the end of the world. We buy little ant traps, which probably do nothing but they make us feel better while we wait for the ants to go away on their own. Baiting outside the trailer isn't usually helpful since we move regularly. A change of season or location seems to help more.

Tampa jars.jpg
These jars are available at many home goods & kitchen ware stores

We also are sure to keep all attractive edibles in tightly sealed containers. This means foods that are opened and then stored outside the refrigerator, like cereals and cookies, get transferred from their original boxes to zip-locked bags or airtight containers. During ant season, we clean around the stove, counters, and floors extra carefully. This morning we pulled out all the previously-opened containers in the pantry to wipe them down, to eliminate crumbs and drips.

One thing we won't do is spray anything toxic inside the trailer. It's too confined a space. The ants we've gotten seem to be either self-limited (having a short season) or discouraged by our frequent movement, so drastic measures haven't been necessary. They're always gone in a week or two. But now we are in Florida and not moving as much, so we may put an outdoor perimeter spray in place later this week, just to ensure we don't pick up more of the little buggers.

By the way, you may notice we've added a little thing called a "captcha" on our Comments form. It's one of those little codes you have to type in before your comment will go through. I apologize for having to do this. The blog has been getting relentlessly spammed lately by robots, and this should help reduce the problem.

This Sign of the Week depicts the daily behavior of a lion, but I suppose you could replace lion with an average RV'er and the breakdown of time would be about the same!

Tampa sign.jpg


You will probably get a lot of suggestions regarding your ant problem. One is putting a teaspoon or so of boric acid power in their path. It is a poison, so normal precautions need to be used with it.

You only have to spray around the tires and the hitch, that way they pass right by.

One reason the ants don't stay around is they are territorial. When you move your trailer to a new location, the ants that are trapped and go along with you are killed by the ants in the new area you park.

I use this concentrate called Suspend SC from It's safe for indoors around kids, pets, and food. It has residual killing power for 90 days. I spray the hitch, tires, etc. Pro quality stuff, works great.


I use simple green spray to kill the ants in the house. Non toxic and doesn't smell too bad.

Enjoy reading your posts.
I have successfully used Bounce dryer sheets to retard the ants. We'd tried other things unsuccessfully so we were willing to try anything. Voila! It worked. Many sheets stuck around the Airstream also retards mice during the winter storage, well, if it is stored. It is safe around children and pets.

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