I don't know how builder warrantees work, but I would sure take
photographs and document dates carefully. Wouldn't hurt to write a NICE
business-like letter to the builder, certified mail, and state the
issues clearly. Mention fire ants and newborn baby living in your home.
Is your pest control person licensed, insured and good rep? Certainly
the county extension service must have LOTS of experience and
information about fire ants - in Texas, they are a major problem for
I'll have a camera on hand when we remove the cover from the tub, so
everything will be documented... but more so to show others who might
be facing this problem what we've gone through. This has been the
most frustrating thing I've had to face in a long time.
As for contacting the county extension service, what services can they
offer? I visited the website for our local office, but I wasn't sure
what to ask if i contact them other then asking for general advice to
see if we're on the right track.
My experience is with common (not fire) ants but most of the
same things apply I think.
1. Like you, I try to lay down a protective barrier around
the perimeter of the house. However, you need to check
for overhead pathways too! These suckers will enter the
home via overhead cables, even via a tree that happens
to touch the house at a single point of contact (20 ft
above the ground). Now I spray around the roots of any
trees near the house.
2. Sometimes we find a colony that is clearly nesting
inside the house (nothing entering or leaving the
perimeter). Repellant sprays are a waste of time.
They just move around them. Making a mix of food
and poison usually fixes the problem in 2-3 days.
I use boric acid with sugar solution and boric acid
with mayo; see which they prefer (sugar or fatty diet).
I aim to mix food:poison in a 7:1 ratio but don't
bother too much about precision.
| Malcolm Hoar "The more I practice, the luckier I get". |
Fire ants tend to swarm at night right after a rain. (I have no idea
how they develop wings so fast). When they're swarming they are
attracted to lights in the house and will come in around windows &
doors, anywhere they find a crack. So if you can't find a obvious
entry point for them, this may be a possibility. I spent many nights
this summer with the main lights off and using shaded desk lamps after
I got infested like you describe.
An update on our ant problem for anyone following this or running into
a similar problem.
The bug guy came by this morning and we removed the side of the garden
tub in our master bath, and as we thought/hoped there was a THICK and
fast moving line of fire ants coming from the sand trap into the
walls, probably about 1/2 inch wide.. Crazy!!!! The bug guy used
Termidor foam and layered under the tub and shower (which is next to
tub) then he poked a small hole in the baseboard of a close behind the
front bathroom tub and sprayed in there as well. This morning we
found ants coming from the pipes in the laundry room, so he did a
small hole behind the washer and put Termidor in there as well.
With this plus his dusting behind the bathroom and kitchen sinks
during his last visit I really hope that nips the problem. I'm just
glad we found where the were coming from because if we would've
cracked open the tub and found nothing I'm not sure what we would've
done. This has been a stressful ride, but I hope it's about over.
The bug guy said we'll see some ants but as the Termidor breaks them
down from the inside-out they shouldn't act right -- which I just
found an ant walking in circles and twitching in the laundry room so
Anyway, hopefully our ant saga is about done. Take care --
OP Here --- It's been three weeks since the bug guy came and sprayed
the sand traps under our two tubs and shower with Termidor, and we
were ant free until a few days ago. On Sunday while cleaning our
front bathroom I found one fire ant, then another, and another, and
since then I've killed maybe 15-20 ants in the bathroom. No trails,
just a trickle of ants from either where the sink or toilet pipes come
into the house through the foundation. The bug guy dusted behind the
sink a while back, but he's coming back out on Friday morning to
hopefully spray Termidor into the wall where both pipes come through
the foundation. And if he doesn't mind I'll have him do the same for
the other bathroom sink and kitchen sink. After this hopefully all
our foundation pipes will be treated with Termidor which has worked
My biggest question now is how often should I expect to go without
seeing more ants, because no chemical lasts forever, and if they found
their way in one they'll get in again. Quite frustrating knowing
these pests can pop-up anytime, and I just wish there was some way to
seal the pipes permanently so they couldn't get in. Anyone know how
to kill them under the foundation? My fear is that the ant trails are
now in place under our house, so it's just a matter of new colonys
finding their way inside as the chemicals get weaker. I've not seen
one ant mound or even an ant in our yard in months, so I know they're
living solely underground. What the heck??? Is our house built on a
super colony or something?
OP here again with another update.
We went through January, February, and much of March seeing very little activity, just a couple of ants in all, but now that it's getting warmer we've started seeing more. In walking around our neighborhood I've seen other houses have the sand traps filled in with concrete so I've talked to our builder who has said they'll come out and fill in both sand traps with concrete which should hopefully stop our influx of bugs.
So a note to those with either an inside bug problem or having a house built -- have your sand traps filled in under all bath tubs! It'll save you plenty of grief :)
activity, just a couple of ants in all, but now that it's getting warmer we've
started seeing more. In walking around our neighborhood I've seen other houses
have the sand traps filled in with concrete so I've talked to our builder who
has said they'll come out and fill in both sand traps with concrete which should
hopefully stop our influx of bugs.
have your sand traps filled in under all bath tubs! It'll save you plenty of
Spray with ant killer? I just sprayed one section of the trail of some
ants my kitchen, 3 feet out of a lot more, and they disappeared for
almost a year, over a year maybe. They have scouts and the scouts
On Sun, 5 Mar 2017 21:20:51 -0800 (PST), email@example.com wrote:
From the plumbingsupply webpage:
These sand and sediment interceptors are designed to separate and
retain sand, gravel and similar materials, in addition to any oil,
grease, gas or diesel fuel-laden waste material. This is accomplished
through the principle of gravity and flotation separation. The
separator's eight chambers, with varying passage elevations, trap
virtually all solids which separate from water under gravity
conditions. Larger and heavier materials are retained in the first
compartment, while smaller and lighter materials are trapped in other
compartments. Oil, grease and similar materials will be retained at
the surface of some or all eight compartments. Any gaseous fumes will
be collected between the top of the water and the bottom of the cover
and vented through the 4 individual 2" threaded vent connections.
These sand / sediment interceptors are constructed of fabricated steel
and have an acid resistant coat for durability.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.