:) My entire neighborhood is a termite and carpenter ant farm, so this is
:) something I know about.
:) Carp ants are esiy to ID. They're black and compared to the little black
:) or red "picnic" sized ants that tebd to show up in our homes looking for
:) crumbs and other food we eat, carp ants are really BIG, with these
:) nasty-big pinchers mounted to their heads.
Size over color is a easier way of description. In my part of the country,
I will deal with dozens of colonies that are red in the front half, black in
the back half. The solid black ants will be seen in trees maybe 6 times
throughout the year. They can also come in all red coloration.
:) Neither termites nor carp
:) ants are anything to screw with, and once you get either, you're screwed
:) if you don't get the matter professionally taken care of. But on the
:) bright side, you're less screwed if they turn out to be carp ants
:) because they only burrow into soft rotted/damaged wood to make their new
:) nests. They will completely ignore dry/healthy wood. Termites, on the
:) other hand, will even eat into healthy wood.
:) Short of burning down your house, pouring gasoline will not solve the
:) problem with either pest. You have to kill the queen; once you kill the
:) queen, the nest will die, too. Problem there is, the queen is usually
:) well-hidden in some very remote, highly-protected (and usually
:) inaccesible for do it yourselfers) place, which makes ridding yourself
:) of either pest really, really hard to do, and why it's usually necessary
:) for several treatments (never cheap) to be done by a professional
:) exterminator over a period of several months or several years if you're
:) infestation in incredibly bad.
Actually there are a couple of baits that are designed for carpenter ants
that makes home treatment success easy. One is Advanced Carpenter Ant Bait
and the other is Maxforce Carp Ant gel. They are not restricted use products
but you will have to buy them from a Pest Control supply house, a Do-It-
Yourself type pest control store or over the web. It can be a bit pricey but
are effective even if you have no idea where the actual nest is located at. I
have used the Advanced product a number of times and had great success and I
hear other exterminators claim the same with the Maxforce product.
:) But extermination in your home isn;t enough. Carp ants and termites show
:) up in your home because there's another nest somewhere else outside,
:) usually within 50-100 feet of your house, and the reason they're in your
:) house is because the other nest has become overcrowded and they're
:) branching out. You can find those nest sources by following a carp ant
:) carrying something (usually a dead insect or something like that) and
:) and see where it goes -- and that will almost always end up being a tree
:) or rotted deck nearby.
Another benefit of the baits is you are not only removing the satellite
colony that may be in your home, but reducing the number of nests in
surrounding trees. The newer termite liquids that have proven to be the best
out there for termites is now used in ant control and a barrier treatment is
used along the foundation and is keeping all types of ants at bay, including
:) Outdoor termite nests are a different matter,
:) especially if they're subterranean. They swarm one or twice a year when
:) it's really warm out, but you kinda have to be around for that to see
:) where the nest entrance is.
Where the swarmers are exiting isn't actually the nest, only the pathway
they have chosen to leave the colony. The nest can actually be 10-15 feet
deep and over 100 feet away.
:) I personally tend to stay away from the major-name commercial
:) exterminators like Orkin. I've found the independent ones to be more my
:) cup of tea, but even there, only after I have a good reference on them
:) from someone who's had a pest problem just like mine.
As sound advice as it gets :)
Lar. (to e-mail, get rid of the BUGS!!
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