Last spring, like virtually everyone in my area (western NY in
northeastern US), I had black ants all over my kitchen for the first
time I could remember. They were about 5/8" long and everywhere. By
using bait traps in the kitchen and spraying ant spray around the
outer perimeter of the house and in the dishwasher (where they
congregated most), we seemed to have gotten rid of them.
But now, I'm finding them in my upstairs bathroom of all places. I've
killed perhaps 5-10 of the things in the bathroom in the past week.
I've seen them nowhere else in the house, including the kitchen.
Having this number of ants this time of the year, when it's generally
been well below 20 degrees F outside, is odd to me. Never happened
before. And I can't ever remember killing an ant in our bathroom,
certainly not in the numbers I have recently.
<< And I can't ever remember killing an ant in our bathroom,
certainly not in the numbers I have recently >>
Deepest sympathies for you, those are likely carpenter ants. They love love
warm, moist wood, They are probably the colony that escaped from your earlier
Analyziing the situation, your bathroom is providing a wet wood lunch for the
critters, so check for possible leaks in the fixtures. It might be a Pandora's
box as you get into it, even structural damage.
Check the trees that surround you house, as those are breeding grounds also;
getting rid of weed trees like soft maples is really important. HTH
On 07 Feb 2004 16:40:20 GMT, email@example.com (Joe Bobst) wrote:
Argh. I'd posted earlier in this newsgroup about our roof having
major icicles and snow loss, something that I now think traces to
insufficient attic insulation and bathroom fans venting into the attic
rather than outside.
When you say check for leaks in the fixtures, specifically which
fixtures do you mean, and what remedies do you propose?
I'm guessing that if I could somehow attack the colony (hopefully only
one) now in cold weather rather than later in warm weather, this would
be a smart move?
Doing something about the problem now rather than later is always a
smart move. But don't confuse the colonies of ants winter-dormant in the
trees outside with the colony/ies currently inside your house. For the
ones inside, the calendar may as well say it's spring. Your nice warm
house makes it ant Florida all year long in your walls and joists and
whatnot, and they keep living and breeding and eating nonstop.
Problem is, it's often really tough -- and sometimes virtually
impossible, depending on where the infestation is -- for DIYers to
locate and eradicate the nest. Think for a second about how many
thousands of square inches of wood in your house, and where all those
square inches are that you'd never see unless you totally gutted the
entire structure down to the beams. This is why in fact it can be really
tough -- and sometimes virtually impossible -- for even a licensed
exterminator to locate the nest. This is why you should be hoping that
the colony has chosen somewhere near floor-level to live.
The first step is getting an idea where they are, or at least finding
where the highway within your walls is. When you see one of these little
buggers next time, watch it long enough to see where it returns to. Then
put your ear to the wall/joist/whatever and listen for what sounds like
the crinkling of a cellophane cigarette wrapper (yes, you can actually
hear them chowing and moving about; that's what it sounds like). If you
hear that, you're onto them.
Next step would be to call an exterminator, point him to the sound in
the wall/joist/whatever, and let him get busy. If you have no idea how
to kill a colony by getting to the queen (you kill the queen, you kill
the colony) now, nothing you do yourself will permanently solve your
problem. If your problem is fairly significant, it may take several
attempts to totally eliminate it.
Sure sounds like carpenter ants to me, marching in unison and chanting,
"Eat the floor in 2004". As others have told you, they need water to
survive, and bathrooms can supply that need.
I think you better consult an exterminator fast. Those buggers can chomp
through structural wood and cause multi kilobucks worth of damage. Grab
the next one you see and stick it in a jar to show the bug keiller if
they all decide to hide when they hear his truck stop outside.
Jeff Wisnia (W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
"My luck is so bad that if I bought a cemetery, people would stop dying."
I also had an exterminator say the same thing "bring me a live one", and it
took me awhile to hunt one down, and convince it into a plastic dish with a
"Carpenter ant" he diagnosed, and he musta been part plumber "Ooohhh, this
gonna be expensive". But it cost me less than twenty bucks for the liquid
ant bait, couple bottles, and shipping, and I bought some other stuff, too.
Christopher A. Young
Jesus: The Reason for the Season
What "other stuff" did you buy -- dioxin? It killed the entire community
of Times Beach, Missouri, so what's a measly carpenter ant colony, eh?
You certainly didn't kill 'em. They just found a nicer place within your
studs or joists to hide. Just don't come cryin' 'round here when your
structures eventually start disintegrating under their own weight and
your problems will far exceed $20. You might start putting in with Jesus
now for either a miracle or far more sense than He gave you.
BTW, there isn't a qualified exterminator on the planet who needs to see
a *live* ant to be able to identify it. Ants look just the same dead or
alive provided you haven't ground it into mush with your foot.
I can't tell you what's happening, but I'm also in NYS. Log onto
www.gardensalive.com and buy yourself some "liquid ant bait" which comes in
about two ounce bottles. Set some down in shallow bowls (like bottle caps
off milk jugs) and let the ants feast thier fill. They won't be back. Mine
They also have some other good products like "Pantry Pest Traps" for
mealworms, which I fondly call flittermoths -- cause they flitter here and
Christopher A. Young
Jesus: The Reason for the Season
On Sat, 07 Feb 2004 16:18:10 GMT, trader-of-some-jacks
:Last spring, like virtually everyone in my area (western NY in
:northeastern US), I had black ants all over my kitchen for the first
:time I could remember. They were about 5/8" long and everywhere. By
:using bait traps in the kitchen and spraying ant spray around the
:outer perimeter of the house and in the dishwasher (where they
:congregated most), we seemed to have gotten rid of them.
:But now, I'm finding them in my upstairs bathroom of all places. I've
:killed perhaps 5-10 of the things in the bathroom in the past week.
:I've seen them nowhere else in the house, including the kitchen.
:Having this number of ants this time of the year, when it's generally
:been well below 20 degrees F outside, is odd to me. Never happened
:before. And I can't ever remember killing an ant in our bathroom,
:certainly not in the numbers I have recently.
5/8 inch long ants? That's a seriously scarry thought to me. The ants I
have around here are about 1/8 inch long, if that I think. Periodically
they decide to check out my house, or maybe it's the weather. Often they
send in sentries when it's cold. Last summer they made another effort to
infiltrate the house and it was a battle that lasted maybe a couple
months before they gave up.
You might want to check out the alt.consumers.pest-control newsgroup.
I've gotten a lot of good info there.
:> 5/8 inch long ants? That's a seriously scarry thought to me.
:5/8 inch ants sure could scar you!
Yeah, scar and scare! Sorry for the spelling error, I have been having
trouble with scarry versus scary. LOL
What's happening is you have carpenter ants nesting and thriving in --
and eating the wood of -- your nice warm house, where the weather
outside matters not to them.
Traps won't do a thing except make the Black Flag factory richer and the
ants no more deader. You need a licensed exterminator.
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