Carpenter ants usually live in rotten trees, some times the main nest is
hundreds of yards away, they also set up "outposts" as then veture outward
from the main nest. They can enter via any trees touching the house or on
the ground. They mostly travel at night, making it more difficult to find
them. The professionals usually take a shotgun approach, they poisen
everything, everywhere, hoping to kill them. Keep in mind carpenter ants
are attracted to wet wood, look for any water damaged wood and replace it.
Clear everything from within 4 feet of your house and spray the area with
dursban or some other ant killer, spray up the outside walls as well - if
you have a 4 foot barrier, it may stop them from getting into the house.
You may have to shoot insecticide into the walls as well. The key thing is
to look for water damaged wood and get a barrier set up outside the house.
There are mixtures you can make, using borax ( not the soap boraxo) and
sugar to kill them if you have pets to worry about. Good luck, you have a
hard fight ahead of you.
Oh, lord, that brings back unpleasant and expensive memories of replacing
sills and studs. You'll need a professional exterminator. Also someone to
tell you what damage has been done and how to correct it, if necessary.
There are resin-injection remedies that will prevent your place from caving
in like a house of cards. Good luck and mucho sympathy.
Are you sure it's not termites instead?
Carpenter ants don't usually attach healthy wood but termites do.
Carpenter ants prefer wood that's already damaged by water and other
You need a professional exterminator either way.
Is the noise on an outside wall? Wood siding? You sure the sound is not
coming from carpenter bees...the ones that look like a bumblebee and make an
absolutely perfect 1/2 inch hole? They are VERY audible. They were at work
on the soffit on my porch and I could hear them from 10 feet away. Wish I
could train them to drill half inch dowel holes where I wanted them drilled!
I second that...they are VERY loud. I can hear them
from 20' away on my house :(
(remove the ZZZ to contact me)
If you are in a union area, refuse to pay them contract rates for the work
and they will depart.
But seriously - exterminator to get poison back in all the stud bays.
I've had somewhat of a similar problem and it just bothers me that
these ants are inside the studs of my house. Any way, I've read that
the sprays and stuff don't work because you're just dealing with the
ones you can see, when it is the queen you want to kill. This is what
I've found that works.
I mix a 1:1 ratio of Boraxo (yes, the laundry detergent) and sugar.
Mix thoroughly in a can or whatever. I usually keep a good dry supply
premixed in case I need it. Spoon out a couple of teaspoons into
another container, cup, baby food jar. Then, mix with just enough
water to get it to a honey-like, syrup consistency. Now, put this
stuff along the "ant trail" that they've made in your home. They'll
find it, tell their buddies, and with a few hours they'll be 20-30
ants at the source. They'll take it back to the nest and hopefully
end up feeding the queen. They eat it because it is sweet, but an
ingredient in the Boraxo does something to their digestive system
which kills them. Some people find they have to mess with the ratio
because it either doesn't kill the ants so they have to make it
stronger or it kills them too quickly so they have to make it weaker.
They idea, of course, is for them to get it back to the nest.
REMEMBER: this stuff is poison, so animals and little children might
tend to eat it because it is sweet. So, keep these in mind when
placing it. Good luck.
I just whooped a carpenter ant infestation in my shed. I could hear
As others have said, find the nest before you take any action. If you
spray trails, you'll just make it tougher to find the nest. Don't seal
their access point if you find it, you'll just trap them.
For mine, I had to remove the wallboards, peel back fiberglass
insulation, find the nest, then spray (Ortho carpenter and killer from
the Borg). I got about 2000 of them. Maybe 150 winged big females,
that flew around. Crazy. I felt like I was in a bug horror movie.
If your walls aren't insulated, then when you find the nest, you can
spray through small holes in the drywall/plaster/whatever. Once you
have a good idea where the nest is, spray between all studs six feet
on either side of the nest. I would drill three holes between each
pair of studs, high, mid, and low (to get around fire breaks/bracing).
I just used one of the hand-pumped garden sprayers (note that the
spray says for outdoor use only -- use your own judgement here).
That should get them.
If you're really worried about your situation and structure, I'd say
to just go into demolition mode and pull off your wall surface to get
a look at everything. You'll know for sure where the nest is, you'll
know for sure that you got them, and you'll know what kind of damage
you're looking at. Drywall work isn't that tough, and is probably
cheaper than an exterminator if you want to hire it out.
Next you need to seal off the access point. Mine was a vine travelling
up into my shop's eaves. They used it as a bridge. The nest was very
close to this entry point, at about 18" (I would guess this is
common). Anyway, I did some deforrestation in that area. I still need
to caulk the cracks, but that's part of a big shop overhaul to come
Good luck, and act fast -- they'll drive you crazy if you have to
think about them chowing in there for long.
On 10 Jul 2003 15:46:40 -0700, email@example.com (Mike
Reed)Crawled out of the shop and said. . .:
interesting,,,i have read alot of great information here,,,but no one
has said or asked one thing.,
do termites and or carpenter ants eat flooring like OSB? or are they
strictly solid wood eaters?
Serious q here,,,i got saggy OSB subfloors that i am planning to just
glue and screw another layer of flooring grade plywood over, but if
these things eat floors...i might be in trouble!!!
The thing with carpenter ants is that it takes about two years before the nest
become mature. You can tell a nest is mature and ready to make satelite nests
is when you see flying carpenter ants. Carpenter ants can move their nest in
under 2 hours once disturbed and the large ants you see only make up 6% of the
nest. Those are the foragers. It's the small ones that do the damage. Also,
you have to keep this up for at least 10 months as there is nothing that will
kill the eggs and larvae. It takes about 10 months for and egg to develope
into an ant where our poisons will work on them. The other advantage to not
giving them so much poison that it kills them right away is that carpenter ants
are carnivores. So they eat their dead and thus you also posion the one that
was at the feeding trough. They like a source that is close to food, water and
is dark, so find a place in your house (if the nest is actually in the house)
that meats that criteria and start there.
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