Carpenter Ants

Hey Guys - I'm having one heck of a time finding out how to protect exterior- mounted foam-board from carpenter ant attack without re-creating the Love Canal in my back yard. Given our foundation's proximity to the water table, and our well proximity, we want to use "alternative" method(s) to protect our house while not adding poisons to our water. I've exhausted what I consider to be the usual suspects: Google web and groups, plus a few university and commercial sites - even Bob Villa, but to no avail.
Anyone out there know of "alternative" techniques that work? What can and can't the pesky critters chew through (fiberglass, metal, plastics, asphalt, etc.)? - Bob
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the only thing that works is those granules you can sprinkle out that they carry back to the nests. but it will add "poisons" to your water. that's what we do
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One of the reasons that foam insulation is prohibited within 6" of the ground is because termites use it as a "channel" into the home. Carpenter ants use it for the same purpose, but rarely cause problems (unless the infection is heavy). Chemicals are not the cure, removing the foam is the only real cure. Can you remove that portion of foamboard down to (and slightly below) ground level?

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Of course, if you live in a place it is cold, you need that foam for insulation. Surely you wouldn't tear off the outer layer of an ICF foundation?
The specs I've seen usually call for some type of parging at least 6" below grade. Can be either synthetic (i.e Tuff II or similar) or concrete stucco, if you have some way to attach the mesh.
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Dennis and all - At least in our unquaint New England city, no prohibitions against exterior foam insulation, above and below grade. I'm aware of the dual risk of ant and termites, though our area is mostly prone to just ants. I'm installing an inspection gap between the foam-board and above cladding. I agree chemicals are not the cure, rather the curse, and foam-board only further complicates such an approach. I prefer my drinking water without the latest designer organo-phosphates, thank you, and my kids with the usual array of arms, legs, and heads.
Marson and all - I like your point about ICF's, and EIFS and their ilk are no less at risk from carpenter ants 6" or 6' above grade. We do live in a place that is cold, damn cold. Northern New England could stand a little more global warming from my vantage point. I calculate the foundation foam-board saves us about 30% on our heating fuel bill. Though considerably less than our exhorbitant property taxes, it's still significant. Therefore, it's important to save it from the bugs. I like your suggestion about stucco. I think I can fasten some mesh on with an adhesive designed for foam applications. I hold out hope this is the cure for my foam-board disease, and would like to know if any one has had success with screens, fiberglass mesh, etc. for below- grade application.
Of course, I'm cursed in the never ending Global Warming catch 22's: by saving the foam, I slow global warming, thereby making it colder in New England ... such are the vagaries of livin' "la vida warma". - Bob, not-so-handy-man at present

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I believe the parging he referred to is over the concrete, and the foam goes over that. Ants can get through almost any crack, and have been discovered in foam board in ceilings. If you have foam board under your siding continuous into the ground, I still feel it's best to open an air break between the two, to prevent the ants from using the foam as a channel into the exterior wall. If you put foam in contact with the ground, they are going to find a way to burrow into it.
At least you can be relieved in knowing that the ants will kill any termites!
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Not sure if "parging" is the correct term. There are coatings available that are applied over foam, as well as traditional cement stucco. NO builders around here, where the design temperature is -20F, are putting an airgap in the foam. check out http://styro.net/FoundationIcfFaqs.html .
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Dennis and all - At least in our unquaint New England city, no prohibitions against exterior foam insulation, above and below grade. I am aware of the dual risk of ant and termites, though our area mostly prone to just ants. I'm putting in an inspection gap between foam-board and cladding above it. The foam-board saves about 30% of heating fuel bill. Therefore, its important to save it from the bugs. I agree chemicals aren't the cure, and foam-board would only further complicate such an approach. I still hold out hope there is a cure for my foam-board's disease. - Bob, not so handy man at present

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On Mar 20, 3:37 pm, "Bob Stanley - Handy Man"

I had some success with one of the powders that consisted mostly of a diatomaceous earth...hardly environmentally unfriendly.
See http://www.pmra-arla.gc.ca/english/consum/carpenterants-e.html
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On Mar 20, 4:37�pm, "Bob Stanley - Handy Man"

Bob;
Spread borate (borax soap) around perimeter should work fine
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On Mar 20, 1:37 pm, "Bob Stanley - Handy Man"

James Consider visiting this link, http://www.vinylnewsservice.net/NewsAlerts/NewsAlertsFebruary282007/tabid/128/Default.aspx . I understand PVC or vinyl materials aren't susceptible to carpenter ant. Additionally, they don't degenerate after coming into contact with water.
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Try corn meal. They eat it, it expands they die.
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Won't that draw ants? Birds, racoons? <g>
wrote:

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