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Is it a bad idea to caulk baseboards to concrete floor?

jeasto | Posted in General Questions on

I’m sorry I’m asking so many questions lately.

We moved into our house about two months ago, and we are getting ants in our house. Somehow!!! The house is very airtight (.44ACH50), and it was caulked and sealed to high heaven, it seemed like. (Though there is no insect screen.)

We have a slab on grade home, and the finished floor is the slab. We have a baseboard and shoemoulding, but there is still tiny gaps between the floor and the shoe, big enough that ants are using it as a highway to find the smallest of crumbs of cat food.

I have been being vigilant about cleaning up crumbs, but if a cat drops a single crumb out of the bowl in the middle of the night, ants will be there in the morning. I have been using a vinegar water solution to clean up their trails, and it works for a little bit, but is not permanent.

And it’s no way to live.

So: Is it a horrible idea to caulk between the baseboards (shoe, rather) and the concrete floor to prevent ants from getting in?? I am seeing mixed things on the internet re: caulking the baseboards to the floor.

If it’s a horrible idea, does anyone have any recommendations for getting rid of these ants for good?

I think part of the problem is we live in a very sandy area, and there are ants everywhere. Which of course we did not realize until we moved in.

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Replies

  1. Expert Member
    MALCOLM TAYLOR | | #1

    jeasto,

    What kind of ants? Some you want to exclude for the rooms because they are annoying, some need to be kept out of the structure altogether, and are best dealt with outside the foundation.

    A line of diatomaceous earth can act as a barrier around the house, but it needs renewing frequently. If you want to eliminate the colony, Ant-B-Gon drops get carried back to the colony by foragers and kill the queen. The only ones I've had real trouble getting rid of are the tiny sugar ants, which don't seem to like baits.

    1. jeasto | | #2

      I'm not sure what kind they are, except that they aren't carpenter ants. They are very small ones and black in color.

      I will look into Ant-B-Gon, thank you.

      I suppose I can always call an exterminator, too. But I was hoping to avoid that. Seems as though ants can be tricky though.

      1. Expert Member
        MALCOLM TAYLOR | | #3

        We once had sugar ants in a bedroom, and when I followed the foragers, their path lead up an electric cord to their nest in a clock radio. The LED display was all wavy as they walked in front of it.

    2. user-5946022 | | #4

      The TerraCon bait in the bottle works terrific to get rid of the tiny sugar ants. You put a few drops of it on a small piece of cardboard, and 1000's of ants will flock to it, eating the bait. They take it back to their colony, and in 2 days you have no more ants...I have not had as much success with their bait station product. I was initially skeptical that this little bottle of sticky stuff would work, but a family member raved about it, and after I started using it I understand why. No, I don't work for them.

      1. Expert Member
        MALCOLM TAYLOR | | #5

        user... 022.

        Thanks. That's good to know. They seem to completely ignore the Ant-B Gon that carpenter ants can't get enough of.

        1. Expert Member
          BILL WICHERS | | #6

          I've had good luck with the Terro brand T300 liquid ant baits for those tiny ants. It does take a while, but eventually the ants die off. I've had some of those little ants and I've never been able to figure out where they're coming from, so I set out one of the Terro baits and leave it for several months. Eventually the ants stop coming back.

          Somewhere I read that ants are usually after either sugars or carbohydrates, and they'll ignore baits/traps that don't contain whichever food-thing they are looking for. There is apparently a need to match the bait to the desired nutrients the ants are after to be able to get the baits to work. That might be why the Ant-B-Gon you tried didn't work for you.

          Bill

          1. jeasto | | #7

            My husband, doing separate research, also found that Terro brand was the first thing to try. We are going to try it this weekend. And if that doesn't work, we'll try the Ant-B-Gon.

            And maybe I can decern something about these ants between those two things and reading the ingredients on the cat food.

            It's nuts how into the cat food they are. We try to keep a clean house anyway, but we have definitely had other crumbs on the floor for longer than it takes them to find the tiniest crumb of cat food.

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