Agh! Ants!

rorajane

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Okay for the first time in the 3 years I've had my piggies, we have an ant problem!
A few weeks ago we noticed ants in our hallway outside our bathroom (this is not in the room with the pigs). We managed to get rid of them simply by squishing the ones we saw (haha). We didn't see them for a while.
A few days later i noticed a bunch of them swarming under our counter. I guess I had dropped a piece of lettuce when prepping dinner for the piggies and didn't see it. So I pulled everything out in the kitchen, swept it all up and deep cleaned it (still no sign of ants near the pigs).
We then discovered the ants congregating in the bathroom. After some research, we decided to sprinkle diatomaceous earth all around the bathroom and then in a line at entrances to all of the rooms as it helps to get rid of them.
It seemed to be working, everything was all good. Until this weekend. Early on Sunday, I noticed one of my pigs (Felix) was extremely skittish. He would be just chilling out and then all of sudden burst into a hiding place and be extremely anxious. Later that day, we did our regular weekly cage cleaning, and when my partner lifted Felix's bedding out of the cage, he discovered a bunch of ants. I think they may have bitten Felix or startled him somehow! We did our usual deep clean and checked all around the cages and our other pig's (Griffin) cage. we didn't see any more. We did a good clean and immediately removed all the compost (where we had dumped a lot of the ants we had found) and all that stuff from the house.
We've been keeping an extremely close eye on things (especially now that we noticed them in Felix's cage). We used to spot clean the cage just before bed and then feed them dinner after. Now we have changed the routine and after breakfast, i remove any un-eaten food shortly after breakfast, then feed them dinner a while before we do the cage cleaning so we can scoop out any uneaten food then too. so food hasn't been sitting around as long as it used to.
Just now, I discovered ants swarming all lover the pigs Hay (not the hay in their cage but the container we keep the hay in).
I dumped all those ants outside and have moved the hay away from the pigs and put diatomaceous earth on and around it to deter the ants. But of course, I have read that DE can be problematic for piggies respiratory systems so i want to make sure i'm not causing them harm.

This is a very long post but long story short, what else can i do that's pig safe to keep these ants away from them! I'm so worried about my poor boys and quite honestly, annoyed about the ants! Our pigs currently live in C&C cages on the ground. We're going to order some desks today so that the pigs can live off of the ground, hopefully deterring ants from getting up there. I've also read a few things with mixed reviews. (peppermint oil, DE in their cage, cinnamon, etc). What else do you suggest I do? As much as I hate ants, I can handle them in my space but I cannot accept them in my piggies space! But i want to make sure i'm not harming my boys with whatever we use to get rid of the ants.

Helpp!
 

RedLoredAmazon

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That's a tough one! I am going to start getting ants in my house too. Mine move in because of all of the rain that we get here in the spring months. Ants don't have interest in veggies. They are more interested in sugars and proteins.

Once you get the desks, you could put the feet of the desks in cups with food grade diatomaceous earth in them. That should help and make sure you don't have a way for the ants to access the piggies house. I do plan on following this in case someone else has a great idea.
 

rorajane

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you we get a ton of rain here too! We just moved here in September so this is our first spring living here and i'm concerned this is an ongoing problem...
we have tons of spiders but they don't seem to be doing their job getting rid of the ants lol
 

rorajane

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Update... this morning I went to feed my piggies and found TONS of ants in Felix's cage again. Sooo many! (still none in Griffins cage. so weird because they are right next to each other so they can chat and touch noses which they do often).
Our desks to put them on arrive tomorrow, but in the meantime, we grabbed our coffee table and side tables and lifted them off the ground. Did another deep clean of their cages this morning, and got rid of all signs of ants... I found a few more in his cage just 3 hours later.
We're changing his bedding again today and picking up some peppermint oil. If anyone has any other suggestions, please let me know!
 
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