To have a discussion on just “ants” would be like trying to have a discussion about “humans” when you are trying to have a discussion about your friend “Bob”. In other words, you need to be very specific.
What kind of ants are we talking about?
Carpenter Ants, Pavement (Sugar Ants), odorous house ants, citronella ants, ghost ants the list goes on and on.
In the Northeast part of the US the 2 most common ant species are the Carpenter Ant and the Pavement Ant (Sugar Ant).
Carpenter Ants nest in wood. They prefer moist, punky wood, that’s not to say they won’t infest a dry timber. Moist, punky wood provides the ideal environment for the colony to survive.
The wood is softer and therefore easier for the ants to hollow out to expand their colony and often times a fungus grows on the wood on which the ants to feed on.
In the early to mid-spring, usually after some rain followed by warm temperatures, many insects, including carpenter ants explode into life.
The homeowner or residents calls, often times fairly hysterical, saying “there’re everywhere!” This usually means that there is a colony residing in the structure (i.e. wall cavity) or outside nearby (in a tree, wood pile etc.)
Carpenter Ants: Do’s and Don’ts
- DON’T PANIC! Remember carpenter ants can’t bite. However, some of the larger workers have sizeable mandibles (pinchers that can inflict a “pinch” if handled roughly).
- DON’T Spray! Instead use a vacuum (2 tables of cornstarch in the vacuum cleaner will tear the little suckers apart!) Yes, spraying will kill carpenter ants but will not solve your problem because you are only killing about 2% of the colony and are not getting any materials into the nest. As a matter of fact spraying will just make it that much more difficult for your PMP (Pest Management Professional) to eliminate the colony as well as expose your family/pets unnecessarily to a sub-lethal dose of pesticide.
- Call Pestex, Inc. We will be happy to discuss some things that you can do to help yourself as well as our integrated approach to colony elimination.
Remember, Carpenter Ants prefer moist, punky wood. This doesn’t mean that there has to have been a “flood” to create this condition. An ice dam, overflowed toilet or a window that isn’t quite caulked properly can create enough moisture to facilitate colony survival. Check these areas first and observe for Carpenter Ant activity. It just may lead you to the nest!