Carpenter Ants

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  #1  
Old 12-12-19, 05:34 PM
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Carpenter Ants

I see several carpenter ants every day walking along a wooden fence that encloses my yard. The fence is about 20 ft from the house. Between the fence & house is stone, artificial turf, a pool & pavers.

I have not (YET) seen any evidence of carpenter ants in the house. Have had several outbreaks of ghost ants however.

There is construction going on next door.

Wondering if I treat, or let them be as they are not too close to the house? I do not want to use any chemicals, as we have a dog that uses the yard. I was thinking of Terro - that attracts them and then they bring the boric acid back to nest & kills them.

In SW Florida
 
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Old 12-12-19, 08:07 PM
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Baiting along the fence could be done in a way that keeps bait from your dog. The trick is to bait along the ant's path in places the dog can't access. If possible, though, follow the ants and see if you can find the nest, perhaps in a tree. Note that carpenter ants vary their diet but generally prefer sweet baits.
 
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Old 12-12-19, 08:53 PM
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I've tracked them to the other side of our fence - either on a neighbor's property, or maybe IN my fence.

I also have some Monarch caterpillar chrysalis' hanging from the pieces of fence where the ants are crawling - I don't think they're going after the monarchs.
 
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Old 12-13-19, 07:57 AM
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If you want to use only bait for carpenter ants, then you should do a search for "carpenter ant bait" and use one or more of them. I don't know if Terro makes a carpenter ant bait. If so, great. Otherwise stick with carpenter ant baits as carpenter ants have different feeding habits then do the smaller ants such as you've had previously. Read the various bait instructions/label carefully before you buy so as to learn how to target carpenter ants. Example: when treating a ground nest some baits require that you bait away from the nest as baiting too close will evoke a defensive reaction by them carrying it away. This reaction is then mistaken by us as bait acceptance when it is just the opposite.

Some baits don't tolerate moisture well at all which is an issue in Florida, due not just to rain, but humidity. Also, baiting at dusk is sometimes a labeled direction as it puts the bait out when ants are most active and while the bait is freshest. The attractiveness of exterior ant baits disappears quickly. This will not be a "once and done" effort.

Gels, granules, liquids will all be available in bait form. Also be aware that the active ingredient in some of the baits is the same chemical/insecticide that is found in the insecticide sprays.

Personally, when I want to preventatively treat our house against carpenter ants I use a spray that contains active ingredient: Fipronil. Fipronil is the same active ingredient in Frontline and other animal flea/tick meds. Some baits may contain fipronil. Treating the base of structure, a foot or two out on the soil perimeter, soffits, other cracks/crevices, mature tree trunks about 4' up from ground, stumps, etc. That type of application won't be available to pets and it works very well against all ants. No need to figure out what the ants want and how they want the bait to be presented. Ants dietary needs change throughout the year; sometimes they want carbs, other times proteins.

Take some time and learn what fits best in your situation.
 
 

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