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Be Ready as the Ants Go Marching

Posted: 7/29/2016

Are you finding an organized parade of critters making their way into your home or garage? The Camponotus species of carpenter ants are wood-destroying insects that commonly infest structures. The infestations indoors are satellite nests, while the parent nest is outside.
 
Camponotus tend to attack wood that has been weakened by moisture first, because they need a moist, humid environment for their nests. Piles of wood shavings are an indicator of a nearby nest. The following are considered likely conditions for carpenter ant infestations:

  • Voids around windows
  • Honeydew-producing Homopterous insects: Aphids, scale, etc.
  • Power or telephone lines, overhanging branches and vines touching the house
  • Woodpiles
  • Adjacent areas to leaks or water damage
  • Gutters that have not been cleaned
  • Poorly ventilated attics, crawl spaces or other voids

Carpenter ants infest a structure by trailing to it, either across the ground or by using a bridge such as a tree limb or power line.  Once you find the access point, in addition to cutting back limbs, you can create a treatment zone and take care of underlying conditions if possible. Plan to treat the indoor nest site with your insecticide first. The ants will emerge in mass if you have a successful application.
 
There are several methods of treatment to consider:
 
  • Labeled dusts, crack and crevice products, and foams can also be very useful.
  • Non-repellents sprays use the ant’s biology against itself, and intoxicated workers spread the pesticide into the colony through touch.
  • Labeled baits for carpenter ants include, but are not limited to: Advion® Ant Gel, Advance® Granular Carpenter Ant Bait, Maxforce® Carpenter Ant Bait Gel, Maxforce® Complete Brand Granular Insect Bait and others. They should not be accessible to children, pets, non-target animals, food and food contact surfaces.
  • Labeled dusts or foggers are appropriate for treating attics and crawl spaces.
 
Treat trails across the ground to block the point of entry into your home. You can treat edges of sidewalks, buildings, etc. with a non-repellent, transfer product, such as Alpine®, Arilon®, Transport® & Termidor®.
 
Carpenter ants actively feed on honeydew secretions from homopterous insects such as aphid and scale. Controlling these insects help to prevent a carpenter ant problem in the structure. If a tree is the issue, apply a band of pyrethroid granules (Bifen®, DeltaGard G®, Demand G® and Talstar®) to the base of the tree to cut off a nest site in the tree.
 
For additional details, check out our informational sheet.
 
Remember to always read and follow label directions. Contact your WinField® Expert for help with your carpenter ant infestations.