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Carpenter Ants Part 4

Real Estate Agent with Inactive until May. 2009

Ant control

If you locate a nest, you can remove it with a vacuum cleaner, then dispose of the bag outdoors. Unfortunately, you can't always find the nest or nests. If this is the case, control is indirect. Place insecticides very carefully, to form chemical barriers that foraging ants must cross in their search for food.

The ant then contaminates its body with the insecticide and carries it back to the nest, where other ant stages are poisoned. Slow-acting, persistent insecticides are best suited for this approach.

Insecticidal dusts often are used between walls (in wall voids), in attics, and in other areas where water-based sprays might cause moisture problems and where emulsifiable sprays (with strong solvents) might harm fabric, wallpaper, or tile. Treat the line where your foundation meets the soil. Treat it inside, if you can reach it through a crawl space; treat it outside, along the walls and entries.

How to prevent infestation

A tightly constructed house with concrete foundation, good clearance, and a full basement with good ventilation is least subject to infestation.

  • Remove logs, stumps, and waste wood near and under the house.
  • Destroy all known colonies of carpenter ants within 100 yards or so of the house.
  • Do not bring fuel wood infested with carpenter ants into the house.
  • Do not build over stumps, logs, or sizeable pieces of wood.
  • Check for signs of ants annually since presently registered insecticides do not offer long-term protection. A structure may be reinfested.

Use insecticides safely!

  • Read the manufacturer's label carefully and follow the instructions.
  • Avoid contaminating food.
  • Do not use household sprays near an open flame.
  • If household emulsifiable sprays get on asphalt tile floors, wipe up immediately.
  • Store all insecticides out of reach of children and pets.
  • Empty insecticide containers completely. Rinse empty containers and use rinse water in spraying.
Sandy Shores FL RealtorĀ®, Melbourne Real Estate
M & M Realty of Brevard Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Brevard County Real Estate, Florida's Space Coast

Hi Doug, Thanks for the great info on carpenter ants.  We my husband and I lived in our previous home we got carpenter ants in the kitchen. They would come out each night - just a couple and we would watch them to see where they were coming from.  It tooks months to find that they were coming out of the attic, stealing the insulation and nesting in some packed away tea cups with the insulation.

Mar 11, 2009 10:13 AM
Lori Churchill Cofer
Beasley Realty - Pullman, WA
Realtor - 509-330-0086 - Pullman, WA

Good advice Doug...carpenter ants are becoming more and more prevalent in the North West

Mar 12, 2009 02:04 AM
Cindy Bryant
Redesign Etc. Home Staging - Houston, TX
"Houston Home Staging Pros"

I did a blog last week about fire ants.  They are terrible here!

Mar 13, 2009 03:36 PM
Doug Aaserude
Inactive until May. 2009 - Beaverton, OR

Thank you all for your comments. Bugs are a pain that is for sure. Starting on Wed. of next week I am going to do a series on Beetles.

Mar 15, 2009 10:01 AM