Ok so we just moved to a bigger & better house, which I have come to discover is over-run with ants! They especially love fondant, grrr. I just posted a picture of my plaid apples dummy cake I did for the CC magazine's September issue which I had stored in my pantry and they swarmed all over it.
Anyway, it gets me thinking- how am I going to make fondant or gumpaste pieces and let them dry overnight? They have to be in a non-airtight container to dry, but the ants will get them if I leave them out (ask me how I know).
Has anyone had this issue & how did you deal with it?
I am seriously considering using an exterminator to really get rid of the ants..
Get the exterminator...I use Terminix and it's about $90 every 3 months. You'll save your sanity. And your figures. In the meantime, maybe put them in a deep pot covered with paper towels and put it in your bedroom or some place other than the kitchen where ants love to hang out.
The problem is that fondant needs and open area to dry. If you store them in a box they wont ever dry. You might need to find a spot where the ants are not there yet. And most definitively..get terminex!
I usually put the cakes in a cake saver. If your cake can fit i suggest it
If this helps, there are lots of threads on CC about ants... I read that Terro Ant Bait is the best and can solve your problem by tonight. You can find it at Walgreen's and hardware stores.
A temporary, but messy fix is to sprinkle cinnamon and cloves around the perimeter that you want to keep ant free. The good news: this really works. The bad news: they may migrate to another not sprinkled with the spices. Your only true fix is to call an exterminator. They will get rid of the problem at the root.
I once read that someone was having a problem with ants, and someone offered this solution:
Set up a card table, or other small table and put your fondant pieces on top of it. Put each table leg in a bowl full of water. The ants can't cross the water, so your pieces are safe.
Obviously, you don't want your fondant pieces near water while they're drying, but this keeps the water far enough away from the pieces, as opposed to putting a plate of drying pieces in a pan of water, which would also keep ants away!
I have an exterminator, I love my exterminator, I don't think I could live in my house if it wasn't for him, he is worth every penny (spiders). *Shudder*
Many varieties of ants eat sugars, as a baker, no matter how clean you keep your kitchen there is still going to be something for those little buggers to find in cracks, under appliances, sugar dust, etc...
Get the exterminator, the expense is worth your pieces and Sanity.
I use the water solution and it works every time.... takes up a lot of counter space, but I usually have like four or five glasses in bowls of water with cake or gumpaste trays on top Works like a charm!!
For sure, the exterminator! We had ants in our house a few years ago and they came in a got rid of them.
oh what great ideas! thanks everyone! I'll look into the exterminator but the bowls of water idea is fantastic!
The bowls of water is genius!
Until you get the exterminator, get yourself a bottle of Orange Guard. It's concentrated orange oil. Ants hate it. The great news is that it can be used around food, pets and children!
I spray a line of it along the back of my counter where it meets the wall. Much neater and more effective than cinnamon (been there, done that). Doesn't smell as good as cinnamon, but it smells like ORANGE and not POISON.
I get it at my local nursery.
Also if you outline the area by dabbing some petroleum jelly around the container or on the counter. The ants wont be able to pass through the stickyness. my mom does this for me all the time.
oh you guys are the best! thanks for all the tips! truly appreciated. I had not thought of a solution on my own & was really getting worried!
You can put fondant and gumpaste in the oven with just the light on. So, the oven is OFF and the light is ON. This not only speeds up the drying process, but is sealed to keep those little buggers out.
I have ants in the spring, and I found they do not like bay leaves. I made some 4" wreaths covered with bay leaves and hung them under my cabinet, and if I have cakes or fondant figures, I just lay a few by them. It has worked very well.
Also, every spring and fall I spray the foundation (outside) with Raid Max and it helps keep them from coming in. (It also helps with spiders!)
Bay leaves, vaseline, water, orange spray, cinnamon. I'm picturing you using all of that together. In my imagination, it looks like a setting for an exorcism. LMBO
haha, well I was picturing the fondant on a card table with all 4 legs in bowls of water & the ants making some ant chain to drop down from the ceiling onto the table (Mission Impossible theme song playing in my head LOL)
If you really want to get rid of the ants you'll have to find the nest, so the exterminator is a good bet. The Terro works really well, because they'll carry it back to the nest and it kills the colony. Preventing them from getting to your fondant is one thing, but you really do want to just make the effort to kill the colony once and for all (until they start another one, then it's back to the drawing board.)
If you're patient, you should try to follow the trail back to where they're coming from and find out how they're getting in. Put the terro near their entry point, and wait a couple of days. They should stop showing up FAST after the terro is out, though. Once they're gone you can seal up any cracks in the caulking, under windows, etc. Caulk is your friend in keeping them outside.