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Fluon not stopping Crematogaster


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25 replies to this topic

#1 Offline ANTdrew - Posted May 25 2019 - 12:18 PM

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I have two Crematogaster colonies living in BoxBox containers from the Container Store. The lids fit snugly, but I put a band of byFormica around the rim and on the lid, so I can access the ants without them escaping. The issue is that they just walk right over the fluon! I followed the application instructions carefully, so I’m wondering why it’s not working? At the rate their growing, this will be a problem soon!

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25


#2 Offline Acutus - Posted May 25 2019 - 12:50 PM

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Just curious, How wide a band did you put? Did you only go over the area 1 time? I haven't tried this yet on the Crematogaster  but it works great on Camponotus,


Billy

 

Currently keeping:

Camponotus chromaiodes

Camponotus castaneus

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Aphaenogaster "NOT tennesseensis" fulva


#3 Offline Somethinghmm - Posted May 25 2019 - 12:57 PM

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Fluon doesn't work so well in a humid environment. You should take off the lid or use a mesh to increase ventilation


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#4 Offline FeedTheAnts - Posted May 25 2019 - 12:59 PM

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Crematogaster have excellent grips, which you'll find out if you ever try to blow them off of wood or really any other surfaces. I've never used fluon, but I know that in order to contain Crematogaster colonies(especially once they are large) you need a wide barrier. It could also be the surface that you put the barrier on. Was it glass, slick plastic, or rougher plastic with a matte feel? Sometimes rougher plastic doesn't allow the barrier to work as well(in my experience with talcom powder). You may need to put the barrier on top of packaging tape or something like that.


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#5 Offline ANTdrew - Posted May 25 2019 - 2:07 PM

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The box is a smooth acrylic, and I have two mesh covered holes in the lid. I have two test tubes in there and liquid feeders, so maybe humidity is the problem? How do people deal with this in THA formicariums with lids for example?
Crematogasters’ grip is unreal, for sure!

Edited by ANTdrew, May 25 2019 - 2:07 PM.

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25


#6 Offline drtrmiller - Posted May 30 2019 - 9:56 AM

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I think the issue, as you mentioned, is that the "lids fit snugly."  You're likely getting high humidity in the container, as a result.  As the instructions note, Fluon works best with open-top or well-ventilated setups.  If you take a photo, I can tell you if the application looks good.

 

If you have a test tube, you can test the Fluon by coating the outside of a test tube (the closed end) and sticking it in the setup to see if ants can climb on it.  Once the coating has dried, they shouldn't be able to climb on the areas of the glass that have been coated with Fluon.

 

When Fluon fails due to humidity, the visual appearance doesn't change.  So when troubleshooting, you need to start with a diagnostic test to make sure your product and application method is sufficient to prevent ants from climbing on the treated surface.  Once you verify this, you can move on to modifying your setup, such as leaving the lid off, if necessary, to prevent the humidity buildup.


Edited by drtrmiller, May 30 2019 - 2:56 PM.

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#7 Offline ANTdrew - Posted May 30 2019 - 10:26 AM

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Ok, I will get some photos tonight. I'm really eager to solve this issue. I even saw one walking on the upside down part of the fluon coated lid last night. :o


Edited by ANTdrew, May 30 2019 - 10:27 AM.

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25


#8 Offline ANTdrew - Posted May 31 2019 - 4:02 AM

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Drtmiller,

Here is a picture of their BoxBox setup. There are two 1/4 ventilation holes on the lid, and two holes on the sides stuffed with cotton.

IMG 5398
 
How do you suggest improving this?

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25


#9 Online Zeiss - Posted May 31 2019 - 4:31 AM

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Drtmiller,

Here is a picture of their BoxBox setup. There are two 1/4 ventilation holes on the lid, and two holes on the sides stuffed with cotton.

 
 
How do you suggest improving this?

 

Those ventilation holes are nowhere near big enough to keep humidity down in that size container.  The holes need to be larger.


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#10 Offline ANTdrew - Posted May 31 2019 - 6:14 AM

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Got it! I'll work on new and improved lids this weekend.


"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25


#11 Offline drtrmiller - Posted May 31 2019 - 6:34 AM

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Actually, I've had trouble with certain types of plastic before not working as well with Fluon.  This box may be one of those.

 

The box should have a recycling code on the bottom.  It will probably either be #6 or #7.  I've had problems with some #7 plastics, which can include some specialty resin materials.

 

Also, when you applied the Fluon, did you roll it several times to distribute the contents, and then did you use the marker bottle?  The marker bottle would work best in containers with rounded corners like that.


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#12 Offline ANTdrew - Posted May 31 2019 - 6:58 AM

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Yes, I did roll the bottles. I will check the plastic code as well. Thank you for the input, everyone!


"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25


#13 Offline ANTdrew - Posted May 31 2019 - 1:13 PM

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I checked the box, and they are #6 plastic.

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25


#14 Offline drtrmiller - Posted May 31 2019 - 1:32 PM

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I checked the box, and they are #6 plastic.

 

In that case, just thoroughly clean the existing Fluon off with a damp, lint free cloth, dry the surface, reapply, and don't put the lid on.  Once dry, see if the ants can cross the barrier.  To prevent humidity buildup, do not put the lid on at any time.  Let us know how that works.


Edited by drtrmiller, May 31 2019 - 1:33 PM.

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#15 Offline ANTdrew - Posted June 1 2019 - 11:55 AM

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I checked the box, and they are #6 plastic.


In that case, just thoroughly clean the existing Fluon off with a damp, lint free cloth, dry the surface, reapply, and don't put the lid on. Once dry, see if the ants can cross the barrier. To prevent humidity buildup, do not put the lid on at any time. Let us know how that works.
I renewed the fluon and removed the lid, and the problem seems to be solved! Humidity is at 45% in the room they are kept in. How counterintuitive!

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25


#16 Offline ANTdrew - Posted June 1 2019 - 1:46 PM

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Nope. Still escaping. ARGHHHHHGGH!!!!!

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25


#17 Online Zeiss - Posted June 1 2019 - 2:00 PM

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Nope. Still escaping. ARGHHHHHGGH!!!!!

You may not have put enough layers of it before letting them crawl on it.  I usually use 3 layers and let it dry overnight.



#18 Offline ANTdrew - Posted June 1 2019 - 2:58 PM

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One coat on top of the other you mean? The package instructions say to only do one pass.
Nothing saps my enthusiasm for this hobby like escapees.

Edited by ANTdrew, June 1 2019 - 3:00 PM.

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25


#19 Offline drtrmiller - Posted June 1 2019 - 3:11 PM

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You can't brush wet product onto a dried coat or the dried coating will peel off into clumps and render the new coat useless.  I really don't know what to tell you at this point.  Have you tried with any other ants?  Maybe this species is just incompatible?


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#20 Offline FeedTheAnts - Posted June 1 2019 - 3:18 PM

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I would switch to talcom powder. I can't say I've  never had issues with Crematogaster and talcom powder barriers, but it definitely works better than your fluon.


Edited by FeedTheAnts, June 1 2019 - 3:18 PM.

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