There Were Ants All Over My Cake!!!

Decorating By BurnsyJ Updated 30 Mar 2014 , 12:29pm by Natka81

BurnsyJ Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
BurnsyJ Posted 17 Jun 2011 , 3:10pm
post #1 of 27

I'm making a cake for my friend's daughter's birthday. It's a Scooby Doo / Flower Power themed party. I've just gone nuts over this cake. Earlier this week I made the fondant and icings. I even made a small practice tie-dyed cake just to make sure I knew what I was doing. Yesterday, I colored all the fondant in the appropriate Scooby Doo colors, and then started in on the cakes last night after dinner (the party is Saturday). When I went to bed at midnight last night, the top tier (chocolate) was crumb coated and in the fridge, while the bottom tier (vanilla tie-dye) and 9 chocolate cupcakes were cooling on the bar in the pub room (it was my dining room until my husband took over - whole other story). I got up this morning all ready to start in on my cake again after my morning coffee ... but what I shock I got. My cake and cupcakes had a swarm of ants on them. They were all over the cakes, cooling wracks, and bar. There was a trail of them coming from the outlet on the wall, across the floor, and up the side of the bar. So now the ants are gone, the room is clean, my house smells like bug spray and bleach, and the cakes are in the trash. Time to start all over. icon_sad.gif

26 replies
Kellbella Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
Kellbella Posted 17 Jun 2011 , 3:20pm
post #2 of 27

Oh no!!! icon_cry.gif Lesson learned. Sorry that happened to you icon_cry.gif Those darn ants know how to find the good stuff, don't they? icon_wink.gif

kel58 Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
kel58 Posted 17 Jun 2011 , 3:22pm
post #3 of 27

Damn ants! I hate those little buggers. All it takes is one to find a good source and he brings in the troops.
Sorry this happened to you and I hope its all smooth sailing from here.

p.s. I hope you stopped them from the source so more dont make an unwanted appearance.

MissLisa Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
MissLisa Posted 17 Jun 2011 , 3:29pm
post #4 of 27

Ohhhh so sorry you're dealing with that!

I dealt with it years ago in another house only the yummy they were looking for and going after was the dog food! There is a wonderful product called Terro to be found in most hardware stores. Comes in a little bottle and is a corn syrup type liquid laced with Boric Acid! The ants LOVE IT! The come, they indulge, they leave, taking their full little bellies with them back home.......where they die.........and all the other members of their clan devour the dead, thus ingesting the same poison! icon_smile.gif

Disclaimer: Do NOT use unattended where there are household pets or children.

jewels710 Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
jewels710 Posted 17 Jun 2011 , 3:37pm
post #5 of 27

I lived down south for a long time. Had a major problem with ants coming from the outlets until a wonderful guy showed me a trick...

Borax!!! Yes, the powder borax for your laundry!!! Its under $5 a box and well worth EVERY penny, is not as toxic as normal bug killers that don't always work (plus the left over whitens whites lol).
Open up your outlet cover and sprinkle some down in there. It can actually be used anywhere you have a problem with ants.
We also had a spot they were coming in around a light in the he mixed it in some jelly and squirted it up in there with a syringe since you really can't pour powder "up".
The jelly attracts them, they carry it back to the nest and whamo!
Just dont put it in the slits in the outlets where you stick your plugs in, you have to do it behind the cover because the ants follow the warm electricity lines.

Good luck!

kel58 Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
kel58 Posted 17 Jun 2011 , 3:45pm
post #6 of 27

My grandparents always used to have a line of borax in the doorways into the house as a barrier for the ants. She swore by it also. We all just leared to step over the powder line on your way in.

stormrider Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
stormrider Posted 17 Jun 2011 , 3:58pm
post #7 of 27

I also read somewhere that for those annoyingly tiny ants if you leave out some cornmeal they'll eat it and take it back to their colony. Apparently they can't digest the cornmeal so they all starve to death. Sounds gross but supposedly it works.

bakingatthebeach Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
bakingatthebeach Posted 17 Jun 2011 , 4:21pm
post #8 of 27

you can also get ant BAIT at Lowes, I think the brand is andros, you can sprinkle it around the foundation of your house (I would remove the outlet cover and sprinkle some in there too) they carry it to the queen and it kills them for several months.

imagenthatnj Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
imagenthatnj Posted 17 Jun 2011 , 4:25pm
post #9 of 27

Don't do pesticides and other dangerous things near food. Use vinegar.

(#13 in In the Kitchen section)

Ants will never make it to my counters because I always clean with vinegar and water before and after I cook/bake since I don't want chemicals near my food.

manahigh Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
manahigh Posted 17 Jun 2011 , 4:26pm
post #10 of 27

FYI Borax works for all kinds of bugs. Especially roaches and fleas. Here in the deep south, we know about bugs. icon_wink.gif. When I moved here 30 years ago from upstate NY, I got introduced to all kinds of critters I never knew existed.

BurnsyJ Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
BurnsyJ Posted 17 Jun 2011 , 5:31pm
post #11 of 27

Thanks everyone for the helpful tips. We have problems with ants every May/June. A couple of weeks ago they were real bad around the kitchen sink, so we sprinkled that outside stuff around the foundation outside the kitchen and by the back door. I make sure that I poor bleach down the drain each night before I go to bed and I wipe down the kitchen with Clorox wipes every night as well. That has kept them out of the kitchen. I cooled the cakes in the other room because of this. The pub room is on a different outside wall of the house...the only side we didn't treat. Time to get the Borax back out.

audrey0522 Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
audrey0522 Posted 17 Jun 2011 , 6:31pm
post #12 of 27

Boric Acid is nontoxic and cheap also. It is so non toxic that it is used as an eye wash. There was an expensive Roach prevention powder years ago. It was 99% Ortho Boric Acid. Ortho just means pure. It works great to prevent ants and other bugs.

mrsg1111 Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
mrsg1111 Posted 23 Jun 2011 , 2:50pm
post #13 of 27

OMG that is awful! I am so sorry that happened....All of the money and time spent ! This is certainly a lesson learned and great advice!

louanne Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
louanne Posted 23 Jun 2011 , 4:03pm
post #14 of 27

i had a similar incident at my shop, i had six dozen cupcakes on the counter on cookie sheets covered with plastic wrap so i could decorate them the next morning. I have never had any issues with ants or other bugs , so i get in and start working finishing up my cakes first then go to do the cupcakes and under the plastic the cupcakes were covered completely in ants, so i had to throw them all out and call in extra help to bake and decorate to make up for lost time. the borax works, we have every zone lined with it that cant be seen by customers and we mized it with vinegar and sprayed outside and well as mixed it with sugar and set in piles out side the shop so ants would carry it back to the colony. havent had any more problems.

Texas_Rose Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
Texas_Rose Posted 23 Jun 2011 , 4:10pm
post #15 of 27

We get the ants really bad in drought years.

There are a few things you can do to keep ants off of food, if you can't eliminate all of the ants or prevent them getting in the house. One is to set each leg of your table in a small dish of water. Then the ants can't get up the table. They also can't figure out how to get on a shelf that has adjustable leveling legs, like this one:

GGFan Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
GGFan Posted 23 Jun 2011 , 4:28pm
post #16 of 27

So sorry this happen to you. That's sucks!! I'm sorry I have problem with silver fish. Will Borax kill those too? I'm interested because Borax is not as toxic. Sorry to ask outside the topic. Here is what they look like. Thank you in advance icon_smile.gif

chassidyg Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
chassidyg Posted 23 Jun 2011 , 4:43pm
post #17 of 27

Ants HATE peppermint, so I have peppermint scented everything in my kitchen as well as the occasional dab of peppermint extract along the edges of the kitchen counters, ect..I haven't had ants since I started that. In Florida they were awful and everyone complained about the ants, but the peppermint kept them out of my house!

sccandwbfan Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
sccandwbfan Posted 19 Jul 2011 , 6:15pm
post #18 of 27

That's awful. icon_sad.gif I delivered 22 single layer cakes to a church on Saturday afternoon. They wanted one for each table. So I'm there at 3 pm and the reception doesn't start until 7. I want to leave them in the boxes so they'll be okay and come back closer to the time and put them on the stands. The lady that was organizing the reception asks me why do I want to have to make 2 trips. to keep my cakes safe hopefully. From what she asks? I say little kids who's fingers are naturally prone to stick themselves in a cake with icing, bugs, dirt and dust, whatever, just for protection. She looks at me like I'm nuts, but hey, it's not her name on the line right?

I so wish that your cake had made it so that they could've seen your beautiful work.


BurnsyJ Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
BurnsyJ Posted 19 Jul 2011 , 6:42pm
post #19 of 27
Originally Posted by sccandwbfan

I so wish that your cake had made it so that they could've seen your beautiful work.


Thanks Christy. I did remake the cake and it made it to the party on time. This is it...

It ended up a little lopsided because I was in such a hurry ... but everyone liked it anyway. And now I'm more careful with those pesky ants. Knock on wood ... I have seen far fewer of them lately.

AFBarbie Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
AFBarbie Posted 19 Jul 2011 , 7:09pm
post #20 of 27

Borax works great for ants. I found a recipe for mixing 1 cup of warm water, 1/2 cup of sugar and 2 tbsp of borax. Mix and soak cotton balls in it. Place the cotton balls at the start of each crack or where the ants come in. They walk on the cotton balls, the sugar draws them there and then they carry the borax back to their nest.

I have a cat and two birds and do not want to use toxic sprays.

So far it is working ants. I change the cotton balls once a week.

cakegirl0905 Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
cakegirl0905 Posted 20 Jul 2011 , 12:46am
post #21 of 27

I don't understand why you didn't just serve it anyway. :p

kkswmmr114 Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
kkswmmr114 Posted 1 Aug 2011 , 2:53pm
post #22 of 27

This was almost me a few days ago!! I was working on my cake and noticed out of the corner of my eye a little movement near my stuff. I look up and there is a line of ants coming from a crack in the wall heading straight for my cake!! I stopped them before they got to it... lucky me!! I'm just so glad I was there and it didn't happen over-night...

Glad it turned out ok!!

sandersjessica Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
sandersjessica Posted 5 Aug 2011 , 5:22am
post #23 of 27

I am sorry to hear that. I hate ants; they appear from nowhere if you keep a sweet sugary item outside for even 5 minutes. Ants are pets, you tell them not to touch and still these ants would come for it.

7burnedlillies Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
7burnedlillies Posted 29 Mar 2014 , 2:41am
post #24 of 27

I just saw the first scouts last week. I read your post and set my decorations to dry balanced on a cup in a pan of water. Worked like a charm. Thanks!

OneHotMess Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
OneHotMess Posted 29 Mar 2014 , 3:02am
post #25 of 27

Spice it up! Make a slurry/wash/schmear of sambal oelek, sriracha, hot sauce, or any other hot-pepper-and-vinegar combination. Thin it out with a little water, stick a craft paintbrush in it, and brush across surfaces that are inconspicuous...or, if you don't care about a little Red Velvet style tint, put it everywhere!


Coat the inside of your outlet covers (PLEASE let them dry before you put them back on your outlets; I am not responsible if you crispy-critter yourself), brush it across door jambs, and hit the outside of entrances and windowsills. Like other posters have said, vinegar repels them - but for the persistent ones, or those large enough to hop over the vinegar quickly, the potent hot sauce - and that's why I advocate the Thai style hot sauces - will make them think twice about taking another bite and/or crossing into the Promised Land of Cake Nirvana.


Make sure that even if you've got your bases covered with the ways you KNOW they're coming in, you also treat the ways they haven't gotten to yet. It would be bummersville to handle the outlets only to find them coming down from a ceiling fan.


Why a ceiling fan? Because ants can walk up walls. Think of them like more persistent spiders. Anywhere a spider can get to, an ant can get to. *shudder*


I'm gonna go shower. In fire. And bleach. Yechh. I hate bugs.

craftybanana Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
craftybanana Posted 29 Mar 2014 , 1:58pm
post #26 of 27

If your bugs are that bad, call the pest control people. You need to have them spray inside and outside, plus have them check the attic. Bleach down the drain isn't good for certain kinds of pipes, it can actually corrode them. Ants are attracted to water too, not just sugar. If you don't like chemicals, then most pest companies have sprays that are safe around kids and pets these days. If you're seeing a lot of them, it means there's probably a nest established and you need a professional to get rid of them. I live in Florida and yes we have bugs, but they're on the outside. We have a yearly service that checks around the outside of the house for termites and other potential bug problems,and then spray when/where needed (on the outside).

Natka81 Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
Natka81 Posted 30 Mar 2014 , 12:29pm
post #27 of 27

I would just call pest control. Their service should be enogh for 1-2 years.

Quote by @%username% on %date%