Pets Month ’08: Tips to Keep the ants out of your dog’s food!

Written by: admin@makezilla

If you keep your dog outside (becuase your parents are dead set on never letting you bring it inside at all) and you've been faced with the ant-eating-my-dog's-food problem then here are some suggestions for keeping those pesky critters out, and your dog happy! 

I own a Jindokae (i'm not sure how to spell it). She's a Korean dog and is a mighty great guard-dog. She barks at every suspicious character she sees. 

If you like this instructable, please rate and vote for it! thanks. 
<3 alvincredible.

Step 1: Using water to be rid of ants

1. A bowl
2. A bowl of larger size.

How to do it:
This one's easy and quite obvious. you can fill the bottom bowl with water, probably not too much so that the inner bowl can touch the bottom, then put the smaller bowl inside. 

Fill the bowl with water! This keeps ants out because ants can't swim and carry food at the same time. 

Step 2: Suspend the food bowl

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1. A food bowl, 
2. 3 eye bolts
3. some nylon string ( or something tough)
4. 3 10-inch clothes hanger wires (straightened)
5. a nail

How to do it:
This keeps ants out of your dog's food by keeping it slightly off the ground (an inch or so). My dad asked me to find a way to keep ants out, so i thought this up about a year ago, and it's been working since! 

Take your dog bowl and drill three evenly spaced holes on the top rim of the bowl. screw in the eye bolts into those holes. if you made the holes too big, use nuts, bolts, or a combination of both to keep it in place. 

Now take the clothes hangers and insert one end in through the eye bolt. bend over about 1-2 cm over the eye bolt so that it holes. on the other end of the clothes hanger, make a hook that doesnt close on itself that goes curls in the same direction as the hole that went through the eye bolt.
Do this for all three clothes hangers, then zip tie the hooks together.

Take the string and tie a good strong knot on the hooks. You can now close the hooks completely if you wish.

Nail an nail into a wall or a roof like i did and wrap the excess string around it until the bowl is about an inch off the ground. 

Now ants won't get into your dog's food! My dog's food used to always be covered in ants.

Step 3: Storage of the dog food

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You should store the food in containers with lids in order to keep the ants away. 

Several differnet things my family has done include: 

1. Using an old cooler with wheels. We lined the cooler with a trash bag, then filled it with dog food. Then you twist the top of the trash bag together, cover the cooler, and then you can roll it under your workbench or keep it outside! 

2. We also used a large storage container. you can just fill it with the food, top it, then store it wherever! we keep ours outside. 

3. we keep some food in smaller containers that are more accessible so that it's easier to feed the dog. We've saved glass kimchi containers after we finihsed eating the kimchi and used them for storing the dogfood, and countless other things. (we have a shelf filled with kimchi contianers that have small parts and tools). These things are super handy for storing things. And when you feed the dog, you can just unscrew the top, pour out the food, rescrew it and you're done! 

4. //there are more ideas to come! I'm trying to keep this as original as possible and avoiding the temptation of googling ideas! haha. but i'll willingly take any suggestions from you and post them here if you wish! 

//pictures with actual dog food will come soon. we keep it on top of the dog house my dad and i made.

Step 4: Mean but surprisingly successful ways to be rid of ants

Well when i was about 6th grade, i was fed up with ants becuase our house was infested wiht them. I once found them covering my bed which was absolutely disgusting. So being the mischievous kid i was(n't), i grabbed some candy (after sucking it a couple times), a piece of cheese, and something else, and placed it in front of my neighbors house leading into their backyard. i was surprised to find the ant numbers decreasing in my hosue (for a week) until they returned. but it sure did give me a laugh :-)

2 Another thing you could do is locate the ant hole and destroy them. You could buy some ant killer (make sure it's enviornmentally friendly) and annhialtate them. You could place some ant traps next to them like i used to do, hire pest terminators, and if all else fails, flood your lawn ( i did this for fun and foudn the ants desparately escaping into the street. it was awesome! then you take the hose and wash em down the street and let other neighbors deal with them.

Step 5: Use chalk or soap!

Picture of Use chalk or soap!

Thanks to the commentors for reminding me about this!
when i had a nanny, she got this thing called "Hees" as she pronounced it (it was some Chinese-manufactured thing so we didn't know what it was called). Anyway, she said her friend showed it to her and that it worked wonders on keeping ants out and away.
It turns out, it was a piece of chalk...and maybe more! There were dead ants near the chalk lines! Well i can say that it definitely worked because the ants dwindled in number after we lined the problem areas with it. They must not like crossing powder as one commentor put it. 

I tried it again with a normal piece of chalk ant found that it worked just the same, but without the killing of ants. They just seemed to avoid the dog food. 

also, xenobiologistasays that "You can also take a bar of soap and draw a circle on the ground around the dog bowl. The ants don't like to walk on the soap...go over it a few times so it's thick." Sounds like it'd work to me!

So in summary, just take the chalk (or soap) and simply draw a line around the area you don't want ants to go (i wonder if you can draw a line aroudn an ant hole! or use powered chalk and put it around...). It's that simple. 

The only problem is that using this inside the house would leave white chalk marks EVERYWHERE (my house was ridden with ants)...

a warning: i found this after looking for a picture:
Warning about Ant Chalk

A recent discussion on UCB Parents recommended the use of "ant chalk" as a tip for controlling ants in the home. Please let your members knows that ant chalk often contains insecticides; that's why it works so well. It can be extremely hazardous to children, especially if ingested. The packaging may also include high levels of lead. Ant chalk is illegal in California and should not be used under any circumstances, especially in a home with small children.

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) issued a press release on ant chalk in November (see Ant chalk has made several California children very sick. If you have ant chalk in your home it should be disposed of as household hazardous waste. If you know stores where ant chalk is still sold, you should call DPR's Enforcement Branch, at (916) 445-3920, or the local county agricultural commissioner.

Please don't let kids get near this product. '

Uh oh... it may be that this chalk is illegal...but i'm not sure. anyway, the bagged chalk package is what my nanny got!!! ahh!