Carpenter Ants

What We do and What to Expect

A little background on Carpenter ants is in order.

First, they do not eat wood. They hollow out sound wood and introduce moisture into the wood, if the moisture is not already there. The first condition we look for and ask about is moisture, even small amounts, in the walls, roof or floor. All species of ants in a structure will set up their colonies in or very near a moist spot.

Unlike other smaller species, Carpenter Ants have one Queen in the colony. She can live over 10 years and if she dies, the entire colony eventually dies.Here in this part of Oregon we deal primarily with four sub species. For three of them the treatment is essentially the same.

On our first visit to the house we often find conditions that make a successful treatment difficult. Moisture problems can be caused by bad caulking, leaky windows and roofs, trees and brush touching the house as well as the adjoining decking and fencing.

Other areas of concern are; electric and telephone wires running from the house and into the trees. Bark dust and dirt touching the siding. Old stumps and rail road ties near the house. It is very important that the homeowner and technician discuss these conditions and remedy them when practical.

Ants are cold blooded. When the temperature falls, they become inactive. They need over 55 degree temps on the ground to forage actively. While it is important to get treatment started as soon as possible, the speed of the colony kill is very much weather related.

All of the carpenter ant colonies produce winged reproductive’s. These large winged ants usually stay in a “staging area” away from the main colony. They are waiting to do their mating flight and they sometimes get confused by the warmth of your house and emerge prematurely inside rather than outside. These ants do not eat or forage while waiting for the right flight conditions. Therefore they have not come into contact with the products we have treated your home with. The best solution for these winged nuisances is to vacuum them up. There aren’t very many of them and the vacuum kills them very well.

You should expect to see ants along the foundation for a few days after we have sprayed, this is a good thing. Because the spray is non repellant, ants will freely walk on it and track the active ingredient back into the colony where it will kill many more ants through the ‘domino’ effect. The second reason to see ants after the initial treatment is that there are still ants emerging from pupae or cocoons. They haven’t had any contact yet with any active ingredients and will often wander about looking for the rest of the colony. The rest of the colony is dead, and these wanderers soon die also.

Call us back for more treatment if you see strong ant activity entering the house two weeks or more after the treatment.

We could put toxic products on the interior surfaces of your home but prefer not to.

Questions are always welcome. Call us at 503-579-3680.

Learn more about our Ant Control services