Carpenter Ants

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Lawn Dog2001, Apr 30, 2004.

  1. Lawn Dog2001

    Lawn Dog2001 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,027

    I am having a carpenter ant problem, at my house. I have been treating the problem myself, with only marginal success. I have treated the outside of the house with some diazonon I had left over. I sprayed all of the widow sills and cracks I have seen with permetherin. I have also treated the entire lawn with Talstar. Im still having problems.

    I hate to call in a professional if I dont have to. Anyone know how to more effectively treat this problem?

    ADLAWNCUTTERS LawnSite Member
    Posts: 191

    Most likely there in the house . You have to find the nest with the queen ,They are most active at nite.They like to nest above door & window headers and they love moisture ,If you have a leakey roof or a wet basement.check your kitchen and bathrooms a couple of cans of raid so when you find the nest you can kill them right away. Most likely the nest will have hundreds of ants living there.there very common around here.
  3. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,028

    We had carpenter ants in the fire station and I had to call a professional. I learned alot about those little buggers. Their body is mostly water and glycol so they don't freeze. They search out water like sinks, toilets ect when it is scarce such as in the winter. They nest with the queen and their could be many auxillary nests. You usually don't see them in the house until there are 5000 ants in residence. They can do tremendous damage over years.
    The pro is doing a year long eradication with bait, and chemical apps. He drilled holes in the baseboards all over and has baited in places where the ants frequent. The bait is taken back to the nest (we cant kill them when we see them) and it kills the nest. He is also putting a barrier in the soil outside.
    They are hard to kill but he is making good progress as we haven't seen one in 3 months.
    Good Luck with your effort. I had to go with the pro, it was more cost effective.
  4. ThreeWide

    ThreeWide LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,116

    I had them in my previous home.

    My advice would be to call a pro, because getting rid of them requires a sequence of treatments by someone who really understands the behaviors of the ants.
  5. ProMo

    ProMo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,468

    you need to find the nest. A drop of honey in the area you see them can help draw them out they usually feed at dawn and dusk.Also there are baits that can be used
  6. Lawn Dog2001

    Lawn Dog2001 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,027

    Thanks for all the good info and advice. I decided to call in a Profesional to handle the problem correctly.

    Im the type of person that likes to do everything myself. But its obvious I need someone in here who is trained and educated in wood pests.
  7. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,956

    Lawn Dog2001

    Sorry I did not see your post sooner. Yes Carpenter Ants can be a pain. As a Licenses Structural Pesticide applicator I can tell you in the old days they were tough to kill. However today we have many new chemicals and crawling in Attic is now a thing of the past. Now I am not going to go into the detail I did on Fire Ants a few threads below, but I will tell you how to get rid of them.

    Carpenter Ants are Night dwellers and become increasingly active around sunset. Watch for the areas where you see them the most. These are Pheromones trails and the ants will follow them every night. Now If you could get a hold of some Termidor you can get rid of them quickly. However that is a RUP and you can not buy it. However "Maxi force Carpenter Ant Bait Gel" can be purchased at your local Lesco. It is a lot slower acting because it must go through the food chain. It will take about 5 weeks to totally kill out all nests. apply just a dap of the Maxi Force Carpenter Ant Bait gel to all the spots you saw the Carpenter Ants. If you price a Pest Control Company I am sure you will be willing to wait the 5 weeks for the baits to work.

    Carpenter Ants do not eat wood like termites but they do eat into it for nesting purposes. They like trees and attics. If you elect to crawl your attic to look for the nests. Look at spots where there may be slight leaks. Air vents pipes might allow just enough water to seep in to provide moisture for them to live on. Skylights are a good place to find Carpenter Ants. Just because you find one nest doesn't mean you found them all. Carpenter Ants have sate-light nests and some time more than one or two. Now the best equipment for finding the nest in the attic are, A flash light and a long Bar-B-Que tongs. Use the tongs to lift the insulation because if you use your hands you will be bitten. Carpenter Ants can be big bitters.

    Good Luck
  8. Lawn Dog2001

    Lawn Dog2001 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,027

    Well I had a pro here this morning. Total cost was $374. He didnt feel that the ants had a nest inside the house, but that they were entering the house to feed. He beleives the actual nest to be in a neighbors tree, which is about 60 feet tall, and half dead. The tree is very near where I think the ants are entering the house at.

    I paid attention closely to everything he did. He sprayed the outside of the house very well. He really did leave no stone unturned. He also dusted with a chemical called Tempo. Has anyone heard of this? He was here for over two hours and really did treat everything well. The service is guaranteed for 1 year, and they will re apply if nessasary.

    Here are my questions to you knowlagable carpenter ant guys. What are your thoughts on the dusting Tempo? The applicator saw no ants at all, but it was only about 50 degrees today. I never seem to see them until it is around 70. Since it was a cool day, did that make it harder to find the ants, were there a nest inside?

    I did not get the name of the spray. But I was told it was the top chemical for surface carpenter ant applications. Any ideas what it was? I think he did mention it, and it started with an S.

    And by the way Ric, Carpenetr Ants really bite? Ill have to keep a lid on that before my wife and kids find out. They already flip out as it is everytime they see one.
  9. gscone

    gscone LawnSite Member
    from NY
    Posts: 81


    What do you suggest for termites within the home? I had a pest cntrol pro drill homes around the perimeter of my home and put in some termidor (I think). He says they are from our front step stoop and he drilled and pumped in the chemical. What else do you suggest I do in terms of killing off the swarms?

  10. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,956

    Lawn Dog2001

    Let's see $ 374.00 Minus chemical cost of $ 4.00 Divided by 2 hours Equals $ 185.00 PER HOUR. Yes not bad, in fact my Lawyer doesn't charge too much more per hour.

    Maxi- Force Carpenter Ant Bait Gel 2 oz tube $ 19.00 minus $ 374.00 Equals $ 355.00 Saving if you had trusted old Ric.

    Unlike Fire Ants, Carpenter Ants will only bite if cornered or the nest is attacked. Wife and children should not worry.


    Termidor is the bomb and if your guy used it then he has given you the best money can buy and the EPA will allow.

    Swarming Insects whether they are Termites or Ants Etc. are just that swarming. Mating and traveling from their nest which might be miles away. Not a whole lot you can do in swarm season except apply fly spray and kill them. If left untreated the male drones with die and the fertile females will become queens and start a colony some where. These colonies are not necessarily going to be inside your home. Most Swarmers are Drones and only one of them will get lucky, before they all die. The Termidor treatment should take care of any new colonies of Subterranean Termites. Dry Wood Termites are an other story for an other day.

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