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Thread: The ants have discovered my salt water pool...

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    kristenerika's Avatar
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    The ants have discovered my salt water pool...

    ...and now we have an infestation of Biblical plague proportions.

    I think that this is our problem: Ants Prefer Salt over Sugar

    On Tuesday evening I noticed a few ants near one of our skimmers. Last night (Wednesday) there were tens of thousands of them EVERYWHERE, rendering our deck and pool unusable. Two of my kids got eaten alive by them before we realized what was happening.

    The exterminator is on the way today, but has anyone else experienced this? They seem to be very attracted to the salt water. I've never seen ants swarm like this except for around something sweet spilled on the ground.

    Any hints or tips for managing/avoiding this situation would be appreciated. In Texas a completely pesticide-free lifestyle is not possible, but we like to use them as sparingly as possible.
    Brand new pool owner -- first day of swimming July 4, 2015! 22,000 gallon custom (14 x 40 rectangle) gunite in-ground pool with Stonescape plaster (Irish Mist). Hayward Pro Series sand filter (S244T2), Hayward TriStar pump (SP3207X10), Hayward Goldline Turbo Cell T-Cell-15 SWCG with Pro Logic control panel. Taylor K2006-C test kit. Mom to three boys, eight rescue parrots, and two dogs.

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: The ants have discovered my salt water pool...

    Adding borates to your pool can discourage insects as well as help to stabilize pH. However, since I see that you have two dogs, it's not a good combination for dogs that like to sip from the pool as it can also make them sick. There was nothing in the skimmer that was attracting them? You could try an experiment with a salt block that's normally intended for cattle placed somewhere away from the pool.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
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    kristenerika's Avatar
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    Re: The ants have discovered my salt water pool...

    Thanks for your reply, Joel.

    No, there wasn't anything else in the skimmer.

    Fortunately we have trained the dogs to stay away from the pool and they don't drink from it, so borates should be fine. I was holding off on adding them until I can get my high TA under control, but the ant situation may prompt me to add sooner (we typically have a fair amount of rain in the early fall, so that should take care of my TA problem).
    Brand new pool owner -- first day of swimming July 4, 2015! 22,000 gallon custom (14 x 40 rectangle) gunite in-ground pool with Stonescape plaster (Irish Mist). Hayward Pro Series sand filter (S244T2), Hayward TriStar pump (SP3207X10), Hayward Goldline Turbo Cell T-Cell-15 SWCG with Pro Logic control panel. Taylor K2006-C test kit. Mom to three boys, eight rescue parrots, and two dogs.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: The ants have discovered my salt water pool...

    Also try spraying home defense around the perimeter of the pool/deck.
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: The ants have discovered my salt water pool...

    I prefer Suspend Polyzone approx. $35 ordered from the web. If you can find the hill this stuff will eliminate them completely in a single application, but even if you can't it will usually keep them at bay for 3 to 4 weeks.

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    Re: The ants have discovered my salt water pool...

    I am not sure if this will work for you but I have had ants around my house and pool for a while, not nearly as many as you described. I also have an exterminator service that I would call out once a week to spray for the ants and it did not seem to work. I purchased some Terro liquid ant bait. This resolve in 2 days what weeks of exterminators could not.
    25,000 gallon in ground white plaster- 1 1/2 HP Pentair SuperFlo pump - 60 sqft FNS DE filter (with FiberClear), 1999 Sundance Optima 850 hot tub.
    Manassas Park, VA

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    Re: The ants have discovered my salt water pool...

    Late to the party, but I can also vouch for the Terro Liquid Ant Bait, Great Stuff!
    17.5K IG Pool with Spa spillover and fountain, Plaster Finish, Purex Triton CC420 Cartridge Filter, Pentair Intelliflo XF VS motor, Laars LX GasHeater, Polaris 360

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: The ants have discovered my salt water pool...

    I also treat all around the pool with Home Defense. Couple of times a season seems to do it in my case
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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