View Full Version : Ants!

04-29-2008, 02:45 PM
I've got a little problem. I just moved into a new place when I started this hobby, and I've never had a summer here before. Apparently it has a bit of an ant problem. I never noticed it before, and the floor where I brew is tiled and apparently well sealed, but the ants are coming in through a basement wall.

It was more than a little scary this morning to walk in and see what looked like every ant on the planet crawling on the floor and all over my carboys!!! EWW. I laid out a ton of ant traps, and washed the floor to make sure nothing sticky was left behind, but...is this normal?

Was it the smell that attracted them, or the sticky stuff on the floor? Has anyone ever heard of them getting into an airlock? All the airlocks are full, but I'm more than a little worried. It wasn't something I was expecting!

04-29-2008, 06:56 PM
I have seen ants in a quarantine chamber... they weren't there the night before and we never figured out how the wee bastards got in...

throw 6 million miniature explorers at a problem, and you are bound to find a path to the solution.

Is it normal for ants to be attracted to sweets? Absolutely.

Is it normal in your area? well if it is happening it is normal.

I would hire an exterminator to seal the cracks and such. Ask around and let them know you make wine in that room.

Best of luck!


04-29-2008, 07:35 PM
ants are big on temp, if its hot out side, like it is right now in my homeland of southern California, it drives the ants indoors in seach of cool water and food, and ants like nothing better than a sweet syrupy fluid like honey, its easy to carry and easy to process and loaded with energy so i'm not surprised their after your carboys,

if you place your carboys in a large dish or very shallow bucket with soapy water in it, that should keep em off you for a while

04-29-2008, 07:46 PM
Early every summer the little suckers start coming into my house looking for food. I put out a few fresh traps, and spray the baseboards, window sills, and door jambs with an indoor approved insecticide. Within a week they cease and desist.

04-29-2008, 11:55 PM
So it's a combination of occasionally warm days outside, and a hot that's warmer when gets cold at night so they venture indoors.

So far the population has gone down with the number of traps I've put out. I'll have to call an exterminator and figure out where they are coming from and to take care of it!

Yo momma
04-30-2008, 06:11 AM
The soap trick inthe pan is a good idea. It also is a good way to control knats or fruitflies. Use a half and half vinagar and dishsoap in a bowl near your vessels,and the little buggers die on contact. Maybe it will work for your ants, too. Just my .02.

05-01-2008, 01:30 AM
Ok, color me lazy, but I just use some Chinese chalk to draw a circle around the fermentation rows and the ants never cross it.



05-01-2008, 12:20 PM

05-01-2008, 09:38 PM
What exactly is chinese chalk?

05-05-2008, 03:30 AM
What exactly is chinese chalk?

Chinese chalk, also known as "ant chalk" is an insecticide in the form of normal looking chalk.

Or, if you prefer... "Black Flag for the blackboard"

05-05-2008, 11:11 AM
i have the gnat problem so. the pan of soap and vinegar really works?

05-05-2008, 12:45 PM
knats aren't really the issue with me so i'm not sure

05-05-2008, 06:26 PM
My LHBS's airlocks come with caps. The caps are loose so they will not hold pressure in, but they keep gnats and bugs out for the most part. I think they sell them alone as well. Check your store :)

05-05-2008, 07:32 PM
As for animal problems while brewing , rural Indian beer brewers have the worst , wild eliphants . They have developed a taste for beer and will kill humans to get it . The thirsty pachyderms will raid villages , knock over huts , steal kegs and stomp whoever gets in their way .

05-05-2008, 08:13 PM
Hey now!

No Native Americans have ever been harmed when I take a drive through the reservations, I try to be very respectful and never drink more than is offered. Ok, there was that one time I had one . . . maybe two beers, and some of the neighbors stopped by with their tom-toms and surprised me . . .

05-05-2008, 08:14 PM
Better tom-toms than tomahawks! :laughing7:

05-05-2008, 09:30 PM
This problem is mostly fixed now. "Chinese Chalk" and a lot of traps did a great job fixing it up! Although we'll see if it happens again next year!

Yo momma
05-06-2008, 09:25 AM
Yes the soap and vinagar does work. I use it every fall when I'm in my peak brewing time.