Carpenter ants in spring/summer. Should I worry?


Old 02-03-17, 07:40 PM
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Carpenter ants in spring/summer. Should I worry?

We get these big black ants coming into the house in the spring and/or summer. We usually don't worry about them, but should I be worried? LOL!

Maybe there's a nest somewhere and I can get em out of here finally? I realize they can eat wood?
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Old 02-05-17, 11:43 AM
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Sorry for my delayed response. They are probably carpenter ants and can be destructive but not always. Technically, they don’t eat wood but sometimes they hollow out the wood for nesting cavities. Oftentimes they will live in wall/ceiling voids between studs and joists, behind/under insulation, etc.

Where you live is heavy with carpenter ants so I would treat periodically. A very good insecticide for ants, especially carpenter ants are any of the brand names that use fipronil as the “active ingredient”. Termidor, Taurus, Fuse are just a couple examples of brand names. Focus on the active ingredient when shopping. You may have to go on-line to get it. Fipronil is the same active ingredient that is in Frontline, the dog/cat flea and tick treatment.

You want a liquid concentrate that you mix with water and apply with a compressed air sprayer. Treat exterior perimeter where soil meets foundation wall, about 3 feet out and 3 feet up. If your sprayer has a pin stream function I would also spray as high as I could to the soffits, fascia, attic vents, etc. Fipronil is not labeled for interior treatment at this time. Carpenter ants that nest inside the structure have to exit/enter periodically for food and general scouting so they will contact the insecticide and eventually transfer it to the colony. Don’t use any other insecticide, now or later, as fipronil is non-repellant, meaning the insects don’t even know it is there. Very important when treating for ants. Most insecticides are repellent as well as toxic and the repellency will work against you in this case.

I would also fan spray the trunks of trees close to the house to a height of about 4 feet, more or less. Carpenter ant colonies like to live in mature trees. When the colony gets to large, a new queen emerges and recruits a cross-section of the colony and leaves overnight and shows up somewhere to start a new colony. Called satellite colonies.

I would treat 3 or 4 times a season, meaning spring, summer and fall.
Hope this helps.
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