Carpenter ants INSIDE my home!

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Old 03-13-17, 06:19 AM
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Exclamation Carpenter ants INSIDE my home!

Please give me advice because I am desperate and crying and fed up with this situation that does not get better. I purchased this home a few months ago and always noticed tons of carpenter ants outside. I would buy the home depot granules and it would control them outside just a little bit but they were always there. It got worst and worst to the point that I saw a million on the outside walls and they looked like they were going somewhere inside the house because they were going to a wood in the fascia of the roof. I called a pest control guy and he sprayed the outside with Cross Check Plus which is bifenthrin 7.9% and nothing was sprayed inside my home. The next day, I did not see any outside but a MILLION inside. They became TRAPPED in my attic. They were coming from all of the ceiling lights and falling on the floor. They moved from the outside to INSIDE. We have been MISERABLE ever since. This was 6 weeks ago. I have so many carpenter ants inside my home that I feel like I am outdoors even though I am indoors. This guy messed everything up because at least they were outside before and not inside. I got fed up and went purchased Termidor and applied myself. I noticed it got a little bit better after a few days because I would find a lot of dead ones in the morning on the floor. I applied the Termidor about 5 weeks ago. About a week ago I applied Phantom inside my home too. This past weekend and especially last night I have seen them all over again like I never applied the termidor. They are also not dead, they are very alive!!! I would have thought that the termidor would have killed them by now. Right now I have to start from scratch again. What should I do? I am desperate. They are obviously coming from the attic. Should I just call another pest control man? A family friend pest control man told me we should just tent the house for termites and that would solve the problem but that is thousands of dollars!! Would a tent really help? We simply do not have that money. He also said he could put termidor again and phantom inside again (Maybe when I applied it I didnít put enough). What can I put in the attic? Itís an unlivable attic? Should we put termidor or baits? If so, exactly which brand of baits? Thank you so much for your help. We have had to put grocery store bags in all of the ceiling lights so we can see less of these stupid ants! I am tired of living like this!!! Thank you again for your help and advice and I apologize for my lengthy post.
 
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Old 03-13-17, 06:22 AM
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I forgot to say that after I applied the termidor 5 weeks ago I saw a million of the really big carpenter ants with wings too!! I see those and the normal carpenter ants too! There were a million of those inside my house!!! I feel like these ants are laughing at the termidor!!! they are back and strong again after 5 weeks!!! Also I have noticed that I see them all day, day and night? I thought they were nocturnal.
 

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Old 03-13-17, 10:19 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

Unfortunately the forum pro here is away until Thursday 3/16.

I would have thought a pro could handle a problem like that better than he did.
I would consider your location important to this discussion.

You have a pretty severe issue there. I think if it were me I'd call on the services of another pro.
Someone familiar with your area and the pests. Possibly use Angie's list or a service like that or check with friends and neighbors and see if they recommend someone.
 
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Old 03-13-17, 12:10 PM
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I would call a new professional exterminator. Carpenter ants or any flying ant like thing that swarms inside your home is serious and needs to be addressed immediately. Insects like carpenter ants and termites can do extensive and expensive damage. Many professional exterminators will provide a guarantee for a certain period and will come back for free and re-treat if needed.
 
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Old 03-13-17, 01:45 PM
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When I had a carpenter ant problem I called a small independent exterminator. It was the owner, an older man likely in his early sixties, that came out. He explained that a single application would NOT eradicate the ants and instead proposed a monthly program after the initial treatment.

He first used a blower to dust the crawlspace, then added a perimeter defense from the foundation to about ten feet out. Then he came inside and using a pin-point trigger sprayer connected to a canister on his belt he sprayed the inside of all the cabinets at their rear walls, the baseboards in all the rooms and then he went into the attic and used both the pin-point sprayer as well as a broader misting sprayer to fog the attic.

Monthly he came back to renew the perimeter defense and one time he found a rock near a tree that was covering a nest. He sprayed that as well and re-dusted the crawlspace. His charge (back in the mid eighties) was $20 a month and I had him continue for about a year. I never saw another carpenter ant for the next ten years I lived there.

I later found out that this man was totally honest when my mother in-law had him come about some bugs she found in her basement. He told her they were "water bugs" and totally harmless. He didn't even charge her for the inspection.
 
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Old 03-13-17, 05:19 PM
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You said you bought this home several months ago. Did you have it inspected? These did not just appear when you moved in. The previous owners were aware of it. Does you state have a disclosure clause about home selling? Contact your lawyer. You may have legal regress against the previous owner.
 
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Old 03-15-17, 08:00 AM
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Iím back, vacation ended early thanks to Stella...

Termidor and Phantom are an excellent combo on ants, especially carpenter ants. Iíve used much of it in my career and is still my ďgo toĒ for carpenter ants.

What state are you in? Geographic location is helpful and necessary when giving advice on problems that can be specific to location.

One of the few actions that can make Termidor/Phantom ineffective to a degree is to use a repellent insecticide in recent conjunction with the T/P application and that appears to have happened.

T/P are ďnon-repellentĒ, meaning that the insects targeted donít even know that it is there. The insects continue with business as usual, living and working within and over the residual insecticide. This is what makes Termidor and the generics so effective on termites, too.

The presence of a ďrepellentĒ insecticide, such as Cross-Check (active ingredient: Bifenthrin) will ruin the T/P treatment strategy whether the Bifenthrin is applied prior or after doesnít matter.

Carpenter ant colonies will always have workers leaving the nest to forage outdoors for food to bring back to the ants that donít leave the nest. These guys would contact the T/P and bring it back and transfer it to the rest of the colony. The Bifenthrin is keeping them inside but they are hungry and confused so they are all over the place now.

Thoroughly re-treat the exterior with Termidor. Treat the exterior perimeter where the foundation walls meet the soil, several feet up and several feet out on the soil using a fan spray. Treat up as high as you can to get the spray under the soffits, fascia, venting, etc. Probably need to use a pin-stream spray for this due to the height involved. If a two story house maybe you could spray out of a second story window towards the soffits. Also treat, with fan spray, any stumps and mature tree trunks near the house. About 4-5í from soil up.

Attic: If you can enter the attic, spray it thoroughly with Phantom as Termidor is not labeled for indoor treatment, at least not yet. Spray high, low and out towards the soffits. If you can, lift up the insulation on top of bathroom and spray in there, too.

The good news is we know that the T/P combination does work, so once the bifenthrin wears off a little then you will be on a good path to a solution. Also, we always told customers to wait two weeks after a T/P treatment before re-assessing the need for re-treatment. They die slowly, which is a necessary part of the strategy.

Keep us posted.
 
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Old 03-15-17, 11:44 AM
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Mom hasn't been back. Hopefully the ants haven't gotten her down there in Florida.
 
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Old 03-20-17, 06:49 PM
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Hi, i am sorry its been a few days, my two kids and I were all battling strep throat. PJMax, I am in Miami, Florida. So the past week we have been finding a million inside the house and they are all very alive. Obviously the Termidor is not working anymore so i am going to reapply tomorrow. How should I apply the phantom? I put it about 2-3 weeks ago and I put it under appliances, on the baseboards where it meets the floor, and in the toilet and sink pipes. Is this correct? I feel the phantom is not working because they are very much alive. Do you know how long it takes phantom to kill ants and if it has a transfer effect? The attic is a little hard to get to since I have a shingle roof. I have been told that the two attic entrances do not connect to eachother and theres points where you cant go further. I will try to prepare some phantom and put as far as I can walk. Do you also recommend Diatomaceous earth? I was thinking of making a huge pile of the stuff and turning on a leaf blower to see if it could go far into the attic? Would you recommend I buy diatomaceous earth? If so, which brand? I feel so desperate. I hear about people putting Termidor once and thats the end and these ants just laughed at the termidor. Thanks for your advice. You have no idea how much i appreciate it. I hope one day this will end. I am scared my home will just always have this problem. I feel so defeated by these stupid scary ants. At least lately I am seeing the worker ants. A few weeks ago i was seeing a million of the huge reproductive ones with wings. Those scare me more than the workers. Although the workers terrify me too!
 
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Old 03-21-17, 04:30 PM
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Forget diatomaceous earth (DE). That will only work against us with T/P treatments as it is repellent.

Termidor/Phantom treatments work very well for carpenter ants. We need to get it in locations where the ants will contact it. Donít spray inside the pipes/drains/toilet as that is useless. Ants donít come from drains but they go to them. Treat into the wall voids where the pipes exit such as for the toilet water supply and underneath all sinks. Move the shiny cover plates away and treat into the pipe voids throughout the house. Treat the attics heavily. Do another round of Termidor outside. Refer to my original reply for ideas too.

If you have mature trees outside I would treat the trunks from ground level up to 4í or 5í.

What kind of spraying equipment are you using? Is it a compressed air spray, the kind that you pump up? That would be best as you will need 1 to 2 gallons for exterior for average sized house.
 
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Old 03-21-17, 08:46 PM
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I sprayed the Termidor today outside and I did all the trees too. I have a lot of oak trees. I used a backpack with a handlebar pressure spray that held 3 gallons at a time. The bad news is I opened the attic and it is not walkable. It is only like 2 feet high and when I flashed my flashlight to see where it goes, there is the end and it stopped before the master bedroom and bathroom. This is because the previous owner made the room and bath as an addition. What should I do when the attic is unreachable and doesnt have access to the entire house? Should i just stand on the ladder and just point and spray as far as it can go? It will be just a small part of the house though

Or do you think the Termidor outside will be enough?

When they have moved inside and made a colony inside the home, will the Termidor be enough? Will they ever go back outside and get the termidor or do they just look for food inside my home and never go outside again?

I am scared that this indoor colony wont ever go outside and pick up the Termidor?

Since I saw so many of the big reproductive ones with wings a few weeks ago, that means i have a colony inside my home right?

When should i reapply the Termidor again?

This is such a disaster. I was hoping I could go up into the attic

I am so thankful for your support and advice.
 
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Old 03-22-17, 05:03 AM
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Definitely spray the attic as best you can.

The backpack is a good sprayer for exterior. How much Termidor did you use outside? Iíve had good success with Termidor even in rainy seasons, though PA isnít like Florida. As long as it dries before a serious rain, it will stay put.

If you get good results with this treatment Iíd reapply in May or June as a maintenance treatment and keep on a bi-monthly (or so) schedule after that. Youíll get the feel for what you need soon enough. For now, wait at least two weeks to re-assess.

Yes, if there is a colony indoors, and Iím thinking there is, they will forage to the exterior for food to bring back. I addressed that in my original reply; donít hesitate to re-read comments, especially the lengthy ones as info can be glossed over. I know Iím guilty of that at times.
 
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Old 03-22-17, 10:41 AM
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I made many gallons. Maybe like 9? I am not sure how many My house is very long and then i made sure to do the soffits etc and the lower part of the trees. I took my time and was very detailed. No rain so hopefully it will work.

I didnt see any last night so I dont know if that is just coincidence or a good sign 🙏🏻

Its a shame that there are many parts of the house that do not have an attic entrance at all and do not connect to the other attic because they are additions to the old house. There are a lot of ants in my master bathroom but there is no attic there i guess now i have to wait and hope it works. hopefully they will go outside soon to pick up the termidor.
 
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Old 03-22-17, 12:28 PM
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When I replaced the toilet im ny previous house I also had to replace a section of the sub-floor. I found a nest of carpenter ants in the rotting wood. I sprayed them with an OTC ant killer and then sucked them up into my built-in vacuum system along with some kind of ant killing dust. I then changed the bag, sealing it in a plastic bag before tossing in the garbage.

Some years later when I replaced the plastic paneling in the bath area I found another nest of the critters in the wall insulation. I used the same treatment. It was after finding this second nest that I had the professional treatment I detailed in an earlier post.
 
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Old 03-22-17, 01:10 PM
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Furd, yes, i saw in your post that you had to repeat it monthly until they were gone. I will be very persistent with this too until they are gone. I have big rocks that border a whole bunch of oak trees. I sprayed those too just in case. Thank you so much for your advice. It gives me hope that you were able to get rid of these persistent pests! 😃
 
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Old 03-22-17, 03:13 PM
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Sounds like you did a terrific job outside, probably more volume than needed. As I said before, as time goes on you will settle into what works for you at your house. When the ants are gone you can cut back the volume.

Indoors, in the event that you donít have any other sprayer and the backpack is unwieldy, you could mix phantom in a trigger bottle and spray into pipe openings that way. Sprayers do nothing more than deliver the insecticide to the target. Donít need to be fancy or expensive.

Keep us posted.
 
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Old 03-22-17, 10:09 PM
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I am sorry that I write so much but is it normal to see a million of them coming out of everywhere the day after a Termidor treatment? They are coming from places ive never seen them before. Its like I angered them. I thought this was invisible to them? Maybe something has gone wrong. I have not read about it getting worst the day after treatment. Its so many!! Its the worst ever! I am feeling so defeated by them right now. They have taken over my home. I feel like this situation is getting worst. I have been dealing with this for over two months. Should I try to stand on a ladder and spray Termidor as far as I can in the attic? Should i just tent the house? Help!
 
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Old 03-23-17, 07:21 AM
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When an ant colony is living indoors you will see ants indoors. Previously I said to wait two weeks before re-assessing; that doesnít change. Please re-read the previous comments/advice as there is good info in them. The non-repellents work slowly so that the insecticide can be brought back to the colony. If the foragers died to quickly than it wouldnít work. I suspect that is what the bi-fenthrin treatment caused, as I commented on earlier.

Yes you should treat the attic as Iíve stated several times now.
 
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Old 04-05-17, 06:10 AM
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UPDATE: 2 weeks have passed and I am playing musical chairs with the ants. I dont see them in my room and bathroom anymore, now they are coming out once again in the kitchen and family room. Whenever I spray they move to a different side of the house. I am going to reapply Termidor today. Was thinking of putting Termidor instead of Phantom in the attic so it could be stronger. This attic is not walkable so I will stand on a ladder and just shoot out as far as I can. I will put Phantom on baseboards indoors. Should I make the outdoor Termidor batch stronger than the 0.8? I see on the label that there are stronger concentrations that could be used for heavier infestations, which I think I have. Looks like i am going to be spraying every 2 weeks for a while I feel like these ants are laughing at all of these chemicals.
 
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Old 04-05-17, 06:48 AM
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I like attic spraying. Make sure you are hitting the peak of the underside of the roof as well as spraying out towards the soffits. Hit as much woodwork as possible.
Spray the attic floor joists, if you can see them, especially in the areas overtop of where you see the ants. Donít hesitate to use the maximum concentration allowed by label.

As far as frequency of spraying, the exterior should be good at once a month as long as it is thorough.

Are you finding dead ants? Where the greatest density of dead ants is found will be in the neighborhood of the colony. Could be a clue there.

Are you spraying into the wall voids underneath sinks where the pipes enter/exit?

The chosen chemicals work very well for ants which eliminates that variable. Re-treating the same areas may not be the direction to go now. Once conventional treating and thinking have been done repetitively, then itís time to think unconventional. Think about areas that havenít been treated. The problem may lie in there. Wish I was there to eyeball the situation.
 
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Old 04-05-17, 12:51 PM
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Yes, I am spraying Phantom behind pipes and on baseboards and under appliances. Should I spray the Phantom indoors with the 0.75 or 1.5 ounces per gallon? I have children and pets, would it be safe to use the highest concentration indoors? Since it is supposed to rain tomorrow, I am going to prepare some Termidor in the highest concentration and will spray the two attics. When the weather is sunny I will spray outside again with the highest concentration as well. The mystery is that where I was finding all of the dead ants after my first treatment 2 months ago was the kitchen and then I didnít see any there. 2 weeks ago I saw the most dead ants in my bathroom and bedroom and now I donít see them there. Right now they are back at the kitchen but are very alive. The attic is close to the kitchen so maybe my strong spray today up there will work. They are moving around all over the place too its hard to know where they are. Whats mysterious is that I put plastic bags in every light in my bathroom so they could fall into the bags and I would still find them on the floor. So where are they coming from? The bottom of the baseboards? Its such a mystery. Regardless, I was finding them dead or dying so this is good and now I donít see them there. This house has a history of having Subterranean Termites so maybe the ants are coming not just from the attic but the bottom of the house as well. Should I hire a company to do the trenching treatment? Maybe a tent? I am going to try a few times with the highest concentration of Termidor to see if it works. Maybe the 0.8 was not strong enough for them. P.S. This house is so crazy that I will just be walking around my house at night and see them squeezing through the bottom of the doors to get inside and they do. They are so determined to come inside. Ugh. Thanks for all of your advice and support
 
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Old 04-05-17, 03:12 PM
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Have you checked for damp/wet wood on or around the house? That's what the Carpenters like. Years ago I had aerosol ant killers set off in my attic.
 
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Old 04-06-17, 05:19 AM
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Either concentration of Phantom will be good enough. I would treat into areas that are inaccessible to the kids and pets as that is where it will do the most good. If the baseboards have gaps, openings, etc then treat directly into them. Surface spraying baseboards doesnít help.

It is a good sign that you are finding dead ants.

Forget the plastic bags over the lights.

I remember finding carpenter ant nests actually inside wooden doors, both solid exterior and hollow core interior doors. Check on top of the doors for any gaps, cracks, holes that you could let the Phantom run down and into the door, to whatever extent. Donít over do it as obviously the excess will puddle. Lay towels, newspaper, etc under the door for absorption.

There could be several colonies in and on your house/property. Iím suspecting that youíre getting the insecticides in their neighborhood, but the nests/colonies are in the more inaccessible areas. What youíre doing will work in the long run. Once you feel you've treated thoroughly, just stop treating and let it work.

The trenching and tenting is for termite treatments. If you need a termite treatment then do it, but otherwise no.
 
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