I'm in a very similar boat. When the hot days are here, I have learned the black ants will appear, 1st in my bathroom looking for water. I also have a problem them going after my cats' food. I have learned that one of the best ways to combat them is moth balls/cakes. They hate the stuff. I put it in the inner drawers and cabines of my place. I have a problem breathing the stuff too and don't think my pet should either. It's tuff. I started out putting the stuff as crystals on the areas of the floor they most inhabited and found the smell unpleasant and thought not fair to my cat to be home all day w/breathing that. I do find that moth crystals/balls/cakes to help quite a bit if you can do it w/out exposure to u too much. Sorry this is 2 yrs after ur initial complaint. If u have found something better in the mean time, please let me know. Put Ants in the Subj of ur E-Mail. Thx.