Carpet Ants Live in Downsprout?

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I am seeing a lot of carpet ants activity in one of the downsprout in my house. They are coming and going from the water-outlet end of a metal downsprout. That section of the downsprout is kind of low-pitch because it is an extension of the existing downsprout that I use to channel water away from the house foundation. This is puzzling because I don't think carpet ants can live inside a metal tube. After a heavy rain a few days ago, their activities at the downsprout seemed to have stopped. But yesterday I saw them coming and going at the water-outlet end of the downsprout again. Seem like they are flood-proof!
What's going on here? Can they climb up inside the metal surface of the downsprout and get into my house? I doubt this; but I am wondering what they are doing inside the downsprout. I want to pour a large amount of water through the downsprout to try to push everything out (ants and debris). But I am afraid that this will simply force them out from the downsprout to another place. I want to get rid of them.
I tried to kill them by placing a store-bought carpeter-ants-bait near the downsprout outlet. But one by one, they checked it out and immediately leave the bait. A couple days later, the bait was still intact. Seem like they are bait-proof! What's the sure-fire way to get rid of them?
Thanks.
Jay Chan
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Who the hell do those ants think they are???
But seriously...if that was my downspout, I'd seal the bottom thoroughly, perhaps with aluminum foil & rubber bands, and slowly trickle a bottle of ammonia in from the top. Go have a beer, come back, take off the foil, and see what the results were. Maybe have a bucket ready so the ammonia doesn't spill all over plants, if any are present.

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I like that idea -- simple and easy. But I will drink soda instead of beer.
I will get a bottle of ammonia on the way home.
Thanks.
Jay Chan
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Just don't drink the ammonia and pour the soda!!!
Jay Chan wrote:

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thoroughly,
of
and
doesn't
beer.
Just watch the plants. Don't get even a LITTLE ammonia on them. Be ready to dilute any spills with buckets of water before you consider the job "done". The ammonia will be like a large dose of dog urine, multiplied by a zillion (admittedly inaccurate number - no comments from the peanut gallery, please).
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Another person already warned me about that. But that previous warning didn't seem to stick in my brain. Thanks for the explicit warning. Now I am sure I will remember that.
Jay Chan
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to
"done".
zillion
That was me, repeating myself to be sure you noticed.
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Jay Chan wrote:

Carpenter ants are more a symptom than a problem. They eat wood that is moisture damaged already, or, occasionally, old termite tubes. Dumping ammonia down a downspout is pretty pointless.
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On 10 May 2004 12:30:39 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Jay Chan) wrote:
:) What's going on here? Can they climb up inside the metal surface of :) the downsprout and get into my house? I doubt this; but I am wondering :) what they are doing inside the downsprout. I want to pour a large :) amount of water through the downsprout to try to push everything out :) (ants and debris). But I am afraid that this will simply force them :) out from the downsprout to another place. I want to get rid of them.
85% of the carpenter ant jobs I do have nothing to do with wood at all, but rather just a hollow area the ants are living. They probably are just making access from the ground to the roof line of the structure and from there getting into an opening or under the shingles. If they are for sure carpenter ants there are a couple of baits designed specifically for them that works well that you can trace down over the web, or buy from a pest control supply house. One is Advance Carpenter Ant Bait granules..the other is Maxforce Carpenter Ant Gel, other than that anything you try is pretty much hit and miss with them. There are a number of different type of ants that also will be found where you are describing them...maybe there is debris in the gutters and the ants are just getting there moisture needs from there, making sure the gutters are clear may solve the problem if they in fact aren't structure nesting ants.

Lar. (to e-mail, get rid of the BUGS!!
It is said that the early bird gets the worm, but it is the second mouse that gets the cheese.
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This is what I fear the most. I suspect that there is carpet ants in my roof because I regularly see them coming in and out through the top floor bathroom exhaust fan that may have opening to the roof and to outside of the house.
I had already get a pest pro to spray around the house foundation. But that was not effective. Now I think of this, no wonder the spray was not effective -- the carpeter ants are already in side the house!

Thanks. I will look for them and place them around the house.

I will check this when I get back home to see if they reach the top of the gutter, and where they are going to from there. And then I will seal the downsprout and pour a bottle of ammonia into the downsprout to finish whatever inside the downsprout. This sounds like a plan.
Thanks.
Jay Chan
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If the downspout isn't too terribly hard to remove, then remove it and check to see if they are using it as an avenue to better things (such as the house??) Otherwise clean out (or replace) the downspout.

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This seems to be a bit extreme. Instead, I will pour ammonia in there to finish them and then pour water into the downsprout to clean out any mess inside.
Jay Chan
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Actually, if you are climbing a ladder to get to the top of the spout then just remove the 2-3 screws that hold the downspout on. you'd be able to clean it better and check behind it this way.
Jay Chan wrote:

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It might be riveted. Not a big deal, but maybe a bigger deal than he wants to deal with.

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clipped

First, climb up and see where they are going - either into debris collected in the gutter, or traversing to.......a nest in a hollow tree limb, into the house to search for food, or into a nest in damaged wood in the house. Carpenter ants forage around dusk, and are easy to follow. You may need only to clean the gutters. If they are hiking up onto a tree limb, the tree may need trimming (either to remove dead limb or to eliminate contact with the structure).
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NorMinn wrote:

PS: Consider their presence an act of kindness - often the first or only sign that there is damp/rotted wood in the structure or an opening that will allow moisture intrusion.
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I have already cut back the tree limbs last year, and last night I already checked and saw that no tree limbs were close to the house.
However, I believe that the carpet ants are already inside the house, probably in the roof as mentioned in another message in this thread. I plan to re-do the roof in the near future, hopefully, this will solve most of the moisture problem.
Jay Chan
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What the heck are carpet ants? Do you mean carpenter ants? If they are carpenter ants, you might be infested somewhere on your roof, especially a rotted section of wood.
On 10 May 2004 12:30:39 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Jay Chan) wrote:

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Both are closely related to plumber ants.
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I checked the downsprout and the first floor gutter last evening. I saw that the carpet ants climbed all the way up from the downsprout to the top of the gutter, and crawled onto the facer board and under the shingles. When I looked under the shingles, I saw a LOT OF carpeter ants there!
Seem like the downsprout is being used as a super-highway from the ground to the roof line in the first floor. This explains the reason why heavy rain didn't stop them from using the downsprout -- they just need to wait for the rain to stop before using the downsprout as the highway again.
I believe what is happening is that I had a pest control people sprayed chemical around the house foundation to keep carpeter ants away not so long ago. But the carpeter ants have found a break in the defense line -- the downsprout. They simply avoid the sprayed area by using the downsprout as a by-pass.
Seem like the shingles are no longer working well. That allows water to get through and soak the wood under it. The fact that there doesn't have any drip-edge may also have something to do with this (not very sure). I will have to replace the roof this year instead of waiting two or three more years as what I originally planned -- "delay maintenance" is not a good thing.
Knowing that the downsprout is just a highway and is not their nesting area, I chose not to pour ammonia into the downsprout. Instead, I poured water into it. Obviously, there was not that many carpeter ants got flooded out -- probably only 10 or so.
I have the pest control people to come to my house on this Friday. I will ask them to kill the nest in the roof line, and spray around the entire roof line plus the house foundation. I have a feeling that this may not work as long as the roof is not repaired; but I will have to try a short time solution when the long time solution is not in place yet.
Oh well...
Jay Chan
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