Please help me get rid of Carpenter Ants!!

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by marisal, Feb 28, 2005.

  1. marisal

    marisal Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    319
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2003
    I can't stand them!!

    The house we just bought has carpender ants. Quiet a few too. They were mainly in the kids room, so I had my husband spray in there, now of course, they are in the living room.

    Everywhere I read it says to find and destroy the nest. Well, theres almost 2 feet of snow outside, so I really can't go looking out there.....We are having someone come out in the spring time to do whatever they have to do to get rid of them. The one outside wall where I saw a lot (kids room) we are going to be knocking down to put an addition on, so if the nest is there we can get it. But thats in the spring time too.

    But what do I do now? I have 2 small kids and 2 cats. So I have to be careful of what I do.

    They are driving me batty! My 3 year old is the ant hunter, everytime he finds one, "Ewww!! Mommy!! Get the kleenex!! Ant! Ant!!"

    Cats dont care at all about them.

    Thanks in advance!!!

    ~Marisa :)
     
  2. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

    Messages:
    15,068
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Between Crosslake and Emily Minnesota
    Carpenter ants only attack wet or moist wood. Find the source of the moisture getting into the house, fix it, and the ants should go away.
     

  3. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,288
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Location:
    Whiskey Flats(Ft. Worth) , Tx
    .........
    ............. http://www.terro.com 1-800-837-7644
    .............this is a very , sweet , dense liquid that contains borax . The workers take it back to the queen and she will be dispatched fairly quickly ....worked great for me , fordy.. :eek: :)
     
  4. debitaber

    debitaber Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,061
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    cinnamon gets rid of all ants, so sprinkle it around where they are.
     
  5. WanderingOak

    WanderingOak Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,287
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2004
    Location:
    New York
    Diatomous earth (AKA fullers earth) should help you take care of the problem. Make sure you buy the kind that does not have insecticide added to it. Diatomous earth is non-poisonous by itself, and kills insects by literally slicing them to ribons. Think of it as microscopic razor blades. Harmless to humans and non-insect critters unless it is inhaled overmuch (ie- wear a dust mask in an enclosed crawl space, and don't snort the stuff).
     
  6. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,143
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2002
    You want to look for frass. This is the little bits of wood from the ants chewing to make their tunnels. Look where joists rest on your foundation, up in the attic, etc.

    Your best bet is to find a professional and vacate the house for the day. One word of warning, if they spray outside your house, understand that the chemicals they use are toxic to bees and other insects.

    If you have carpenter ants in your house, you definately want to be aggressive. Make sure that whomever you hire offers a 90 day guarantee. If you don't see any ants within 90 days you are probably in good shape. Just to be sure I would have them come out the following year as well.

    When the weather gets better, look for carpenter ants outside your house. Specifically, look for any trees close by that might have a colony.

    As usual, just my 2 cents (From someone who has had to deal with carpenter ants in the past).
     
  7. TexasArtist

    TexasArtist Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,693
    Joined:
    May 4, 2003
    Try flea powder. As weird as it's sounds I was putting some around where my dogs sleeps and noticed it started to kill the ants I had. I'm not sure if it'll work on the carpenter ants but it's worth a sprinkle.
     
  8. almostthere

    almostthere Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    989
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2003
    Location:
    Indiana
    We found those ants in the baby's crib about 5 yrs ago. Had an exterminator out, he found the trees outside that part of the house were infested. We had lived here for 4 yrs before having her and never saw ants. He treated the trees, and they were leaning hard anyway so we just cut them down. "Raid" doesnt work, it just knocks them out for a while.
     
  9. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

    Messages:
    3,736
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Location:
    VT
    Take carpenter's ants VERY seriously.... where they are, chances are you have rot. And where you don't have rot they've reduced studs to sawdust. And trust me on this, you have not LIVED until you've come home and found them with wings and swarming in your house.

    Simply have not lived.

    Get a professional in there to look the place over.. did you get the house inspected before you bought it? Because if there is a serious problem in there, you want to start documenting and covering thy butt now.
     
  10. marisal

    marisal Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    319
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2003
    That was the last straw! I opened the wipe warmer in their room and there was about 15 ants in there! I think it was all the condensation in there they wanted. We got rid of that right away.

    There are a couple of nearly dead standing trees within 100 feet of the house, (No bark on them) So I will be taking those down as soon as possible.
     
  11. marisal

    marisal Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    319
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2003

    The farm house I gre up in had the flying ones. Gross. They bite.

    We had a pest inspection before we moved in. They didn't find any. Just signs of Carpanter Bees. (Holes in the eves)

    No one lived here for a while, so when we moved in, and a few days after, we never saw any. I think moving around in here must have stirred them up or something. I will be getting some traps.
     
  12. jack_c-ville

    jack_c-ville Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    144
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia
    My house had them when I bought it. I did some homework and found out that the nest per se is not usually in the house. The queen will be outside somewhere in a rotten tree or something. What you find inside are 'satellite colonies' that are dependant on the main colony to survive. They usually get in through rot somewhere on the exterior of your home.

    In my case there were 2 sliding glass door frames that were rotten. This was the result of an improperly shingled roof that had too little an overhang of shingle edge over the gutters, causing some water to run between the gutter and the fascia and then down the side of the house. It provided a means of entry for the ants as well as a perfect habitat and access to other areas of the house. This is a very, very common scenario for a carpenter ant infestation and my solution is probably fairly textbook.

    One door frame was in the walk-out basement and pretty easy to deal with. The bottoms of the trimmer studs were rotten and since the below-grade framing is not load-bearing I just opened up the wall, cut off the bottoms of the trimmer studs with a recip. saw and then fitted in some carefully fitted pressure-treated 2x4 blocks in their place. The rotten exterior trim pieces were replaced by fully dried PT wood that was primed before installation.

    Upstairs I pulled out the sliding glass door (which had a broken seal anyway) and had an arsenal of demolition tools and rot-fighting chemicals on hand. Essentially I got rid of the old damaged sections of framing and vaccumed out all of the debris that the ants had created in the crevices. I had lumber on-hand to replace irreperably damaged framing right away. What was salvagable was impregnated with rot-stabilizing chemicals. I sprayed everything down with insecticide before covering it up. The sliding door unit was replaced with a new set of French doors. All gaps were filled with 'Great Stuff', which is a spray-in expanding foam insulation product that you can get for about $6 a can. It keeps air inside the house and filled in any routes that might have tempted desperate ants.

    I also replaced my entire roof (the root cause of the ant infestation in the first place), but a much cheaper solution would have been the installation of an aluminum drip-edge to compensate for the inadequate shingle overhang.

    Within 3 weeks the ant problem was entirely gone. This was about a year ago. I never bothered trying to find the main colony and don't intend to. As I see it, ants are everywhere. The weak link was not the ants but rather improperly controlled moisture and years of poor maintenance on the home before I purchased it.

    -Jack