Help Please: Breville Oracle Touch...crawling with....ant invasion

SimonTemplar

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Feb 6, 2018
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Welcome to spring in North Carolina!

Every year about this time, we get an influx inside the house of ants and other creepy crawlies that are waking up from winter. Typically, it lasts only but a few days before they go back out. This year...its been worse. It's been going on for a couple weeks now.

Last night we had a real swarm of ants turn up in the kitchen. In the process of dealing with it, I found that my Oracle had also been invaded. Indeed, there were probably a dozen or so ants floating about in the water tank...and several more crawling on the inside of the compartment where the water tank fits.

I can only guess how long that has been the case....or the number of drinks I've made with that water. (Yeah, I'll say it for you.....Eeeewww!)

After flushing and washing out the tank...and replacing the filter, of course.....I turned the brew temp up and let the machine sit powered on for several hours in hopes of driving out whatever may yet be inside. Got several to come out...no idea if that is all there are....but haven't seen any for quite awhile now, so I am hopeful.

So...my question...what would you do? I can run a descaling through...I should think that if it enough to descale it should be enough to get rid of anything ant related, but I don't really know.

any other ideas?
 
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PinkRose

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Feb 28, 2008
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Near Philadelphia, PA
Hello Simon,

Welcome to the Coffee Forums website.

I have to say, in all of the years that I've been reading posts here at the Coffee Forums, I've never seen one like yours.

Figuring that it's not an April's Fool joke, and considering your description of everything you've done to remove the ants from your coffee machine, I'm guessing that your post is the real deal.

It sounds like you've done everything you can to remove the ants. I'm guessing that you probably have already taken care of the problem.

Don't forget to look at your toaster and see if there are any ants hiding and nibbling on the crumps that's inside of it.

I'm sure every year you do everything you can to keep the ants from invading your kitchen. Spraying around the foundation of the house and the window frames with a mixture of peppermint oil and water will help keep them from wanting to invade your house. Putting a few drops of peppermint oil on cotton balls and placing them around the kitchen will help too. Your house will smell like peppermint, but it's much nicer than having to battle an ant invasion every year.

Rose
 
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SimonTemplar

SimonTemplar

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No....it is not a joke.

Im able to deal with the household factors.....what I am seeking is advice on ways to deal specifically with the Oracle. I don't really know all the ramifications of having ants in a machine...or what it really takes to clean it all out and sterilize it.

Are ants specifically attracted to coffee beans? The machine is only about 5 weeks old and still has a certain small amount of 'new electronics smell' to it. Perhaps they were somehow attracted to that...can't say. (I've known certain pests to be attracted to the insulation of electrical wiring insulation in the past)

i keep telling myself that there a number of places around the world where people eat ants all the time, so it probably won't cause problems (as disgusting as I personally I find the whole idea). But, I still want it all out.

Any thoughts or advice is most welcome.


....sT
 
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shadow745

Active member
Aug 15, 2005
1,594
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Central North Carolina
I will approach the topic on both levels... for a handful of years my wife/I operated a mobile commercial coffee van. As you can imagine having all sorts of syrups, sauces, smoothie mixes onboard attracted lots of insects. When parked at home ants came knocking during certain times of the year (I live in NC too) and I tried all sorts of deterrents. As you can imagine, having hundreds of ants in a van that we used for vending wasn't ideal... Finally stumbled onto this https://www.domyown.com/talstar-talstar-one-p-97.html that was available at the local Southern States. Never used it IN the van, just periodically sprayed on the ground/around the tires and that solution completely eliminated the issue from day one.

For the machine, I would do two things... if you're comfortable in doing so pop the top (with it unplugged of course) and have a look around to be sure none are left inside the housing. Then a mild descaling should work well in flushing anything out and most descalers are disinfecting in a way which will help the sanitizing process as well. Espresso machines are pretty well sealed with plumbing, etc. and really the only place ants could get that would affect the system would be in the water, then possibly get sucked into the pump, etc. Dunno about the Breville, but some machines have strainers on the water intake that would eliminate something like this from happening.
 
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SimonTemplar

SimonTemplar

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Greetings from Winston/Greensboro!

The Oracles (both versions) all have replaceable water filters at the drain site out of the water tank plus a screen. Not worried terribly about actual ants in the plumbing....just the possibility of anything that might have washed off of them into the water. Especially as most of the floaters appeared to be dead (but couldn't really be sure of that).

Been several days now and I've not experienced any adverse health issues as yet. So I suspect if there was anything, it was filtred out. But....want to sterilise anyway.

Are ants specifically attracted to coffee?


....sT
 
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SimonTemplar

SimonTemplar

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.......Putting a few drops of peppermint oil on cotton balls and placing them around the kitchen will help too. Your house will smell like peppermint, but it's much nicer than having to battle an ant invasion every year.


Ive seen numerous mentions of peppermint oil and ants. I'm curious....any problems with the scent of peppermint oil and dogs? Seems to be certain mentions about peppermint oil being toxic to dogs in some instances.


...sT
 
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