Carpenter Ants Anyone?

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Carpenter Ants Anyone?

Postby Call_Me_Op » Wed Aug 28, 2013 4:22 pm

I am sure that some of you have had problems with carpenter ants being observed in your home. I am interested in ideas as to how they might be eradicated without the use of chemical insecticides. Also interested in any experiences/thoughts about these critters.
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Re: Carpenter Ants Anyone?

Postby livesoft » Wed Aug 28, 2013 4:23 pm

Try Terro. Is it a chemical? Is tooth paste a chemical? Is your laundry detergent a chemical? Is that ammonia and vinegar in the pantry a chemical? How about that Ragu sauce in the fridge? How about that rubbing alcohol in the bathroom? They can all be used as insecticides.
It's all about short-term opportunistic rebalancing due to a short-term change in one's asset allocation, uh, I mean opportunistic rebalancing, uh I mean rebalancing, uh I mean market timing.
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Re: Carpenter Ants Anyone?

Postby Call_Me_Op » Wed Aug 28, 2013 4:40 pm

livesoft wrote:Try Terro. Is it a chemical? Is tooth paste a chemical? Is your laundry detergent a chemical? Is that ammonia and vinegar in the pantry a chemical? How about that Ragu sauce in the fridge? How about that rubbing alcohol in the bathroom? They can all be used as insecticides.


While technically everything is a chemical, the potent neurotoxins used to kill insects are much more dangerous than tooth paste and vinegar. I don't think you can take-out a hidden nest of carpenter ants with Crest.
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Re: Carpenter Ants Anyone?

Postby jebmke » Wed Aug 28, 2013 4:45 pm

I have had good luck with Terro on ants. If you are using the baits you need to leave them and resist the urge to snuff the ants on their way back to the mother ship.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
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Re: Carpenter Ants Anyone?

Postby Rob5TCP » Wed Aug 28, 2013 5:01 pm

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Re: Carpenter Ants Anyone?

Postby stingray5688 » Wed Aug 28, 2013 5:04 pm




"...another method is to create a solution of boric acid and sugar. The sugar is really there only to bait the carpenter ants into taking the boric acid to the colony. The colony will feed on the acid and die. This will totally eradicate the ant colony BUT you have to take great care with the solution. If you use too much boric acid, you will kill the carpenter ants on contact and they won't be able to take it back to the colony."


AKA Terro. It works well.
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Re: Carpenter Ants Anyone?

Postby JMacDonald » Wed Aug 28, 2013 5:05 pm

I used Terro to get a rid of an infestation of ants last year. It took a while, but the little critters have not returned.
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Re: Carpenter Ants Anyone?

Postby tomd37 » Wed Aug 28, 2013 5:16 pm

Call Me,

I had carpenter ants in the insulation in my stand-up crawl space. Used Terminix Company to get rid of them, but if the ants ever come back I will use the powder products sold in the big box stores (Lowes etc.) as they are the same and use it the same way the Terminix guy did. It was very effective and I have not seen them since (six years or so). Carpenter ants and carpenter bees can do a lot of damage in a short period of time.
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Re: Carpenter Ants Anyone?

Postby lws6772 » Wed Aug 28, 2013 5:38 pm

I caulk wherever the walls meet the floor and also any penetrations through the floor, walls, etc. Outside, I soak fire ant beds with scalding water from sun warmed black water hoses(Craftsman lifetime warranty hoses I bought several decades ago). :happy
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Re: Carpenter Ants Anyone?

Postby Call_Me_Op » Wed Aug 28, 2013 6:47 pm

Is this Terro stuff safe as long as you do not eat it?
Best regards, -Op | | "In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Einstein
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Re: Carpenter Ants Anyone?

Postby livesoft » Wed Aug 28, 2013 6:51 pm

IMHO, Terro is safe even if you eat it.
It's all about short-term opportunistic rebalancing due to a short-term change in one's asset allocation, uh, I mean opportunistic rebalancing, uh I mean rebalancing, uh I mean market timing.
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Re: Carpenter Ants Anyone?

Postby rayout » Wed Aug 28, 2013 6:55 pm

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Re: Carpenter Ants Anyone?

Postby jwtietz » Wed Aug 28, 2013 6:57 pm

Termidor- look on ebay. It kills ants and termites. Easy to do, they track it to the nest.
http://www.termidorhome.com/Termidor-fo ... es-of-ants
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Re: Carpenter Ants Anyone?

Postby Call_Me_Op » Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:00 pm

Do you folks who use the Terro bait stations put them indoors or outdoors? I nsupposethey will initially increase the number or ants, so my druthers would be to put it outside right near the area where I am having a problem.
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Re: Carpenter Ants Anyone?

Postby livesoft » Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:04 pm

I don't use the bait stations, I just squirt drops of the liquid wherever I see ants inside: On the countertop, by the shower, on top of the shower stall. I wipe it up later whenever I feel like. Terro does not increase the number of ants because it is not Viagra for ants. It might increase the number of ants you see, but those ants were there anyways hiding out of sight.

I would think that outdoors, the liquid would dry up too quickly and not be as effective, unless you checked daily and placed new liquid as needed.

I would recommend buying the smallest bottle possible at a big box home improvement store or at Walmart. It should cost about $4 or less.
It's all about short-term opportunistic rebalancing due to a short-term change in one's asset allocation, uh, I mean opportunistic rebalancing, uh I mean rebalancing, uh I mean market timing.
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Re: Carpenter Ants Anyone?

Postby windaar » Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:01 pm

Use the Terro; it is just a sweetened boric acid solution. Put it wherever the ants seem to be coming in or are most numerous, along the wall or in corners. Ants will increase, DO NOT kill them, just let them keep lapping it up. They bring the residue back to the nest to kill it. We had some weird scenes like finding ants staggering in a circle in the basement, where we had never seen them before. Keep putting out fresh Terros if they are emptied. After a few days, maybe a week, no more ants. Works on sugar ants too. The only thing that worked for us. The exterminators just wanted to put us on an endless monthly plan. No need for that.
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Re: Carpenter Ants Anyone?

Postby JMacDonald » Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:32 pm

Call_Me_Op wrote:Do you folks who use the Terro bait stations put them indoors or outdoors? I nsupposethey will initially increase the number or ants, so my druthers would be to put it outside right near the area where I am having a problem.

I put the Terro ant baits where I found the ants. I have cats so I placed the baits where the cats could not access the baits. Here is what Terro says http://terro.com/products/liquid-ant-baits
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Re: Carpenter Ants Anyone?

Postby livesoft » Wed Aug 28, 2013 9:22 pm

The baits take the cheap solution and add paper and plastic to increase the cost about 100-fold per ounce.

I tested liquid Terro on my dog. He sniffed it and walked away. You can test your pets, too. If they lick it, it won't kill them.
It's all about short-term opportunistic rebalancing due to a short-term change in one's asset allocation, uh, I mean opportunistic rebalancing, uh I mean rebalancing, uh I mean market timing.
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Re: Carpenter Ants Anyone?

Postby alisa4804 » Wed Aug 28, 2013 9:43 pm

Brings back memories of hearing carpenter ants munching on our rafters at night, when we owned a cabin in the woods. They can do serious structural damage, so I suggest quickly consulting with a professional exterminator, and perhaps a home inspector also. Good luck!
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Re: Carpenter Ants Anyone?

Postby Jack » Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:12 am

Terro is not a product -- it is a company. The company produces a variety of products for ants. Some are more benign boric acid products. Others contain a variety of neurotoxin insecticides. Read the labels carefully. Beware of information from random internet users. You do not know their qualifications for evaluating chemical safety.
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Re: Carpenter Ants Anyone?

Postby 123 » Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:52 am

I have had great success against ants by making up a paste consisting of around 50% sugar and 50% Borax, the "20 Mule Team" laundry soap with a small amount of water. Put it on/near their trails. You probably need less then a tablespoon all together. The ants are attracted to and eat the mix because of the sugar. The borax is what kills them after they get back to their nest. The proportions of sugar and borax are just general, they can vary a lot and it will still work. The "20 Mule Team" Borax laundry soap is around $5 or $10 max at a large grocery store.

I spread some of the paste on ant trails on the kitchen counter one evening and the next morning, and all the mornings for at least six months since then, no ants. After the ants are gone a few days, just to be sure, wipe off the residual paste with hot water and a towel. That box of "20 Mule Team" borax can come in handy for other purposes as well.

Seems to me to be a relatively safe and effective solution.
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Re: Carpenter Ants Anyone?

Postby gks » Thu Aug 29, 2013 10:19 am

I have used diatomaceous earth on several carpenter ant "hills" in the yard and around the house. It may take several applications, but it does work. It also works on other exoskeleton pests, such as fleas, spiders, and aphids. It worked good on our rosebush that lost almost all of its leaves before getting dusted.

http://www.richsoil.com/diatomaceous-earth.jsp
http://www.earthworkshealth.com/How-Dia ... -Works.php
http://eap.mcgill.ca/publications/eap4.htm

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Re: Carpenter Ants Anyone?

Postby Call_Me_Op » Thu Aug 29, 2013 10:33 am

I consulted with an exterminator who told me that a bait product (like the Terro bait station) will not eliminate a carpenter any colony without also using a spot treatment of (neurotoxic) insecticide. I do not know whether this is true, but it seems to run counter to the claims of the Terro product.

The idea of the spot treatment is to place some insecticide at locations on the outside of the house through which the ants travel. The ants get the insecticide on their feet and when they groom other ants in the nest the poison is transferred. In 2-3 weeks, supposedly they are all killed.

It does bother me to use any of this insecticide (it is called Phantom insecticide, generic name chlorfenapyr) even if it only ends-up on the ants themselves. Some of these ants enter the house and crawl around on things, and I believe the insecticides are quite toxic. The Borax in the Terro product has relatively low toxicity.
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Re: Carpenter Ants Anyone?

Postby eharri3 » Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:01 am

We are in a 107 year old home that has ant issues, like just about all of the older homes on the block. We started seeing them in the living room a few months ago. We took a comprehensive approach: Terro and AMDRO ant bait stations inside and out, and granules along the foundation any time I know it will stay dry out for a day or two. I started only using AMDRO bait stations but then heard good things about the Terro ones so I threw some of them in. Haven't seen a single ant in the house since we did all this. I think treating both the inside of the house and the peremiter of the foundation made the difference. My understanding is carpenter ants can be more finicky about food than other species so you may have to switch baits a bit more often to get them to bite. The general rule of thumb is if you go a couple weeks with zero activity try switching or repositioning the baits. If you see live or dead ants at the bait station, don't touch it.

I do not really trust the national chains like Terminix. They always want to sell you a contract and there are too many stories floating around of them watering their poisons down to save a few pennies to put towards their considerable overhead. If I must bring an exterminator in, it is an independent local guy I know who has a stellar rep on Angie's list.

I see no problems with the indoor baits. I just put them where the dog can't get at them and make sure not to let any spill out.
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Re: Carpenter Ants Anyone?

Postby fatlittlepig » Thu Aug 29, 2013 5:16 pm

terro is okay (in my experience they came back) but if you really want to decimate the ants get this stuff
Advion
http://www.amazon.com/Advion-Bait-gram- ... B002Y2H6VS
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Re: Carpenter Ants Anyone?

Postby The Wizard » Thu Aug 29, 2013 5:35 pm

lws6772 wrote:I caulk wherever the walls meet the floor and also any penetrations through the floor, walls, etc. Outside, I soak fire ant beds with scalding water from sun warmed black water hoses(Craftsman lifetime warranty hoses I bought several decades ago). :happy

Won't that tend to make those fire ants MAD?
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Re: Carpenter Ants Anyone?

Postby jeffyscott » Sat Aug 31, 2013 11:54 am

Call_Me_Op wrote:Do you folks who use the Terro bait stations put them indoors or outdoors? I nsupposethey will initially increase the number or ants, so my druthers would be to put it outside right near the area where I am having a problem.


We put ant baits indoors and outdors. For indoors I use whatever brand outdoors, I've used these (sometimes I just reload them with liquid bait):

Image

There are other products designed for outdoors, this is just the one I happened to see in local store

We have a partially wooded lot and ants of various varieties find their way in the house typically each spring

I don't freak out over the occassional carpenter ant sitings, as my understanding is they nest in rotting wood and (hopefully) the wood structure is not rotting.
press on, regardless - John C. Bogle
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Re: Carpenter Ants Anyone?

Postby frugaltype » Sun Sep 01, 2013 7:49 am

gks wrote:I have used diatomaceous earth on several carpenter ant "hills" in the yard and around the house.


i'm not sure about the safety of diatomaceous earth or any very tiny abrasive material when it comes to human and pet lungs.
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Re: Carpenter Ants Anyone?

Postby Call_Me_Op » Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:49 am

Update: I have sealed all visible openings around my side door (where I had been seeing ants) with duct tape. I saw a gradual reduction in the number of ants appearing inside, and the last two nights (I have been keeping vigil from 6PM - 9PM each evening for a week) I have seen zero ants. I don't know what this means, but I take it as a good sign.
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Re: Carpenter Ants Anyone?

Postby livesoft » Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:10 am

So duct tape is an ant poison? What color works best?
It's all about short-term opportunistic rebalancing due to a short-term change in one's asset allocation, uh, I mean opportunistic rebalancing, uh I mean rebalancing, uh I mean market timing.
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Re: Carpenter Ants Anyone?

Postby Call_Me_Op » Sun Sep 01, 2013 11:15 am

Gray.
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Re: Carpenter Ants Anyone?

Postby minesweep » Sun Sep 01, 2013 12:37 pm

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Re: Carpenter Ants Anyone?

Postby Call_Me_Op » Wed Oct 02, 2013 6:54 pm

Curious as to whether anyone has tried the outdoor bait stations (Terro or other).
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Re: Carpenter Ants Anyone?

Postby travellight » Wed Oct 02, 2013 7:59 pm

I am concerned about pets licking where the ants have walked and tracked with the poisons.
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Re: Carpenter Ants Anyone?

Postby Call_Me_Op » Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:32 am

travellight wrote:I am concerned about pets licking where the ants have walked and tracked with the poisons.


This is a misplaced fear with ant baits because the baits do not generally get on their feet and have very low toxicity - particularly the borate-based baits by Terro.

I believe you are referring to "contact insecticides" which are placed along ant foraging paths. The contact insecticides do get on the ants feet, but the amounts are so small that I am highly doubtful that this would affect a pet except for the case where you have thousands of ants and a pet that enjoys licking a distasteful poison. A much greater concern would be if your pet licked the areas where the contact insecticide has been placed. I don't know why the pet would do this as the insecticides are not appetizing.

Baits are, as I understand it, the safest way to eliminate ants and their colonies. But the baits initially attract a lot of ants, which is why I would prefer an outside bait station rather than inside.
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Re: Carpenter Ants Anyone?

Postby abuss368 » Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:41 am

Napalm may do the trick.
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Re: Carpenter Ants Anyone?

Postby Lafder » Sun Oct 06, 2013 6:22 pm

I am very cautious with poisons in my house. I have successfully used diatomaceous earth on ant mounds outside.

I put some of the plastic ant bait stations in my house. I thought they were out of reach of my dogs. But they must have smelled good because they found a few and ate them.

I was afraid it would kill the dogs. Turns out the pesticide in them is a low enough amount it is not toxic for dogs. But the sharp plastic can be a problem for their digestive track.

Luckily my dogs were fine and did not need surgery. I am more careful about where I put the little bait stations now.

I had an exterminator come out for carpenter ants since I could not reach where they were. He told me he put some form of bait down from the inside as well as areas he saw them on the roof.

Best of luck.

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Re: Carpenter Ants Anyone?

Postby Call_Me_Op » Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:10 pm

Thanks Lafder. The diatamaceous earth is safe as long as you are careful when applying it (respiratory irritation). Also, as you pointed-out, the baits are pretty safe, because the poison content is quite low. Much more dangerous are the "contact insecticides" that kill instantly and are broadcast all over the place.
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Re: Carpenter Ants Anyone?

Postby StoneReader » Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:03 am

Like 123, I use a water solution of 20 Mule Team Borax Laundry Booster and table sugar, both bought at the local grocery store. If you look at the ingredients on the Terro box, it is a 5.4% solution of borax by weight in water with enough sugar added to make it slightly syrupy. Since the borax weighs about as much as water, you can use a 1:20 ratio by volume too. The exact concentration is not critical but you want much more sugar than borax so that the ants lap up the solution readily.

Terro marks up the price of this solution by at least 100X.

http://www.terro.com/products/liquid-ant-killer
Specifications
1 oz
Contains sodium tetraborate decahydrate (Borax) (5.40%) and other ingredients (94.60%)


I just put the solution in some old bottle caps from milk cartons in corners around the house. The carpenter ants eat it, return to the nest and regurgitate some of it to feed their young and queen. It kills all of them. You'll still get some ants until the last eggs in their nest have hatched - 6-7 days- but the main invasion is over in 2 days.

The solution gradually dries out over time as the water evaporates so you have to go around once every few weeks and add some water to the bottle caps.

Several years ago, carpenter ants apparently made a huge nest in our attic and invaded our kitchen. They drank at least a handful of this borax-sugar solution over two nights. It was surprisingly how much these little ants could cart away in just one night. Within 5 days, they were all gone for good.

Carpenter ants have a main nest and then put out ~10 satellite nests to expand their territory. If you keep the solution out, you'll get the whole complex and will not be bothered for a few years until a new horde moves into your neighborhood.
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Re: Carpenter Ants Anyone?

Postby likegarden » Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:20 am

I treat pests before they become a problem. Carpenter ants are outside my house, so I buy a bag of granular insecticide i.e. from Ortho at Home Depot and lay down a 1 ft wide band around my house. I do that once a year, and there are no ants in the house. I do similarly with mice, put poison pellets in mouse holes on my small property, and there are no mice in the house. None of neighbor's cats eat any of that. Squirrels are also happy, ants and mice are not. All these products are legal and tested by the US government.
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