big black ants

So far, I've found a total of 3 big black ants in the house this spring. These look like carpenter ants. Two were crawling around upstairs (each found several weeks apart) but one was found in the kitchen the day before the 2nd upstairs visitor was found. Other than the 3 ants I've found so far, I'm not able to see or hear any other evidence of activity, but granted I don't have x-ray vision, etc.
At this point would it wise to be immediately be seeking professional pest control treatment, or could this likely be a waste of my money? I'm imagining that a pest-control company would typically tell the homeowner their house definitely needs professional pest-control treatment (since treatment is what they get paid for). If only a professional can determine this, then how do I know they are telling the truth (since they are biased because they get paid to do the treatment)?
Thanks,
J.
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By the way, I'm using Combat bait station traps. What else should I be doing?
Thanks,
J.
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:) So far, I've found a total of 3 big black ants in the house this spring. :) These look like carpenter ants. Two were crawling around upstairs (each :) found several weeks apart) but one was found in the kitchen the day before :) the 2nd upstairs visitor was found. Other than the 3 ants I've found so :) far, I'm not able to see or hear any other evidence of activity, but granted :) I don't have x-ray vision, etc. :) :) At this point would it wise to be immediately be seeking professional pest :) control treatment, or could this likely be a waste of my money? I'm :) imagining that a pest-control company would typically tell the homeowner :) their house definitely needs professional pest-control treatment (since :) treatment is what they get paid for). If only a professional can :) determine this, then how do I know they are telling the truth (since they :) are biased because they get paid to do the treatment)? :) :) Thanks, :) :) J. Finding 3 ants inside is no big deal. Carpenter ants can forage well over 100 feet from their colony and any large trees within that distance probably has several colonies in them. You may just be seeing ants finding their way inside if you don't have any sort of residual pest service performed on the home. The surest evidence of an inside nest will be a debris pile found. The "fras" will be made up of all the debris of the colony and the shed skins of the pupa will look just like saw dust. They pick one area as a dumping ground and after you clean it up it will be back in a day or two. As far as a pro is concerned, depending on what they did might determine if it is a waste of money. If a nest was found to be in a window area and the "pro" came in to drill and treat around all of the windows (even if they only drilled the window where the ants are) I would say it was a waste of money. Probably stopped the ants, but spent a lot of money to do it. The best treatment will be a Termidor/Phantom treatment that would not only stop the active colony but prevent others from getting started, actually stop all species of ants, for about a year. Probably would cost $100-$150 and would probably get a 6 month warranty. Ask neighbors who they might use and trust and see if their guy can drop by for an inspection. Make sure all trees and shrubs are not touching the home, it really makes a difference in finding foraging ants inside. The combat baits you have probably won't be effective along with any of the home made baits you will get advice to use. If they happen to feed on them great, but more than likely they won't. The only baits that I know will work on carp ants every time came out a few years ago and both can be bought at a Pest Control Supply house or over the web. One is Advance Carpenter Ant Granules. I have used them on a number of occasions when I had no idea where the nest was and activity stopped every time. The other is Maxforce Carpenter Ant Gel (same makers of Combat). I haven't used it myself but others I know say they have also had 100% satisfaction with it.
--
Lar

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Log on to www.gardensalive.com and buy liquid ant bait. Worked for me.
--

Christopher A. Young
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i feed em terro ant killer till the quit coming , eventually that does the trick. ive seen em going up and down a big maple tree nearby..lucas
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The following ant bait is cheap, reasonable safe around children and pets and it really work great. When I first heard about it I was sure it would be a wate of time, I was wrong. Problem is it's very hard to let the ants walk buy wihout wanting to kill them. You have to let them take the poison back to their nests or your wasting your time.
Good luck and let us know if it works for you
Jimbo
Ant recipe:
ANT RECIPE
From CBC "Radio Noon" phone-in
This recipe will give you an ant "trap" that will feed a poison (to ants, not people) to an ant nest, wiping out the whole colony. It is better than many, since it's not highly toxic to humans.
Ingredients:
2 c boiling water
6 tbs. granulated sugar
1 tsp. boric acid (ask your druggist)
cotton balls
empty plastic yogurt tub, or the like
Method:
1) Make up the liquid solution, let it cool.
2) Punch a series of holes near the bottom of the yogurt container, so the ants will be able to get in and out.
3) Saturate enough cotton balls in the liquid to cover the bottom of the container.
4) Place the saturated balls in the container, and put on the lid, so flies etc. won't get in.
5) Place this container somewhere near a path the ants travel.
6) Reserve excess liquid in the refrigerator to periodically moisten the cotton balls.
How it works:
The ants, attracted by the sugar, take the syrup back to the ant hill. The boric acid eventually kills the whole colony. It takes 2 to 3 weeks. This works better than faster-acting poisons that some ants may learn too quickly to avoid.
You may find ants continue to visit <http://www.pestcontrolcanada.com/ants.htm and feed at this trap throughout the summer. Be assured that they are coming from ant hills that are progressively farther and farther away.

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Try peanut butter instead if they don't agressively take sugar bait--apparently depends upon whether the ants are craving mainly protein or carbohydrates.
Perhaps a mix of the two.......
--
SVL





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Thanks for the tip
Jimbo

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gawd! The ants came thru usenet and they're attacking me! arrrrggghhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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I used to live in an area infested by carpenter ants. Spreading a swath about 10-ft. wide around the house with diazanon worked like a charm. Finally found the nest and treated that too. I'm not sure what the best insecticide is now that diazanon is off the market, but they're pretty easy to control.

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When I moved into my house(1st one) two years ago, the home inspection turned up carpenter ants. Found out from the previous home owners they've been battling them for years with annual sprays(funny how I don't remember that ending up in the disclosure statement). The house was once again sprayed and I started working on getting rid of any future problems.
I removed all tree limbs and plants touching the house, most were just trimmed back. Then every now and then I walk around the house just looking for the scouting parties on my property. I have trees that touch neighbor trees, which are used as skyways for nests in their yard to mine. I find a 'trail' and leave out a bottle cap of "liquid Borax formula" poison, and watch over a few days. Typically 3 days late, it appears no activity; so, I move on.
Now I can control my yard( to some extent) but neighbors let these buggers live if they aren't attacking their house, so you need to do walkarounds to check for any new activity and take them out.
What you discribed sounds like a scouting party. They might not have setup a satilite nest in your house, but only with observation will you tell. I would walk around the house and eliminate their means of getting in(and out), destroy any local outdoor collonies, and eliminate their sources of water(leaks, consensation, water dishes and indoor plants, etc). Then if you don't notice any decline in activity(the scouts), get professional help.
Now, all I stated was based on my experience(2 full years), so I'm a novice at it here, and you might want to directly with a professional help with your house.
hth,
tom (not a bug expert, just an expert bug) ;)
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Capenter ants will be found anywhere there is wet wood. Eliminate the wet wood, and there will be no ants except the occasional lost one.
rusty redcloud
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