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carpenter ants - experience anyone??

I think we have carpenter ants in our deck.  They're not the normal size ants that you see but the larger ants. 

Yesterday I noticed carpenter ants in our deck. We already have a service we're using to help contol the normal ants but carpenter ants so NOT cool.

I noticed all wood shavings on the steps of our deck yesterday. DH went poking around and 2 steps are completely hollow. I then started walking around the fence and there's a TON of large black ants going into the fence posts. Like an idiot I thought ant spray would work so I wasted an entire can spraying the deck and fence to find out they're still alive.

The exterimator is coming out tomorrow to do an estimate - luckily we can replace the stairs ourselves but if they're more in the deck I don't know what we're going to do.

Anyone have experience with these buggers?

Re: carpenter ants - experience anyone??

  • ~NB~~NB~ member
    5000 Comments Combo Breaker

    Yes, I have experience with them. What exactly do you want to know? You've already called an exterminator; she/he should be able to answer your questions.

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  • We found out a few months ago that we have them in a wall in our house.  The exterminator has been out twice and we still have them.  Less than before, but they're still there.  We are calling to have them come out again.  We just bought the house a year ago and the inspector didn't think they were living in the house, but they are.  Who knows how long they've been there.

    Good luck.



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  • We've had carpenter ant problems and they try to resurge each year. They are mainly hard to get rid of because the ones you don't kill can retreat to a location far from the house and they will send out scouts to find tasty locations constantly. We haven't completely gotten rid of them and likely never will because we live out in the woods where we will always be surounded by rotten wood.

    The bad news is that the only way to get rid of them is to just stay on top of them. You don't have to hire people to get rid of them, but if that's what you prefer to do, you may have to hire them to come out every year.

     What we do is keep track of when the scouts typically show up (we'll notice one or two wandering around the house in May-June for us in WA) and spray around the house at the first sign of them. You can buy a spray backpack and carpenter ant spray concentrate at any home & garden store. Last year we started looking around the house for nests and found several in rotten tree stumps full of 'em. We sprayed those areas too (took an axes to the stumps to bust them open first) and we didn't see them the rest of the year. This year, we tried to spray around week or two before they usually show up, but we've been so wet & rainy this spring that the rain must of washed most of it out. Plus they abandoned the nest from last year. DH sprayed last weekend again and I found some still alive in a new location, but they were very sluggish and seemed to have taken the bait.

     Carpenter ants are a bad sign for any homeowner, so it's important to try to nip them in the bud ASAP. We moved into our house Aug. 2009 and they used to be EVERYWHERE. We're still fighting them, but they are harldy as bad as they used to be.

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  • Mrs.H.Mrs.H. member
    Ancient Membership 2500 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker

    we built our home and within the first week of living there we had them. It was driving me crazy because we had no idea that ordinary ant spray and traps would not work on them. I finally called an exterminator and they got rid of the problem for us. I have them come quarterly and check and do what ever is necessary.

    9 years later........over the weekend my son saw ants and sure enough, they were carpenter ants.  Called the exterminator and he came within 3 hours and did a double whammy on them.    I havent seen a single one since he came.


  • Carpenter ants are so annoying! I can certainly feel your pain. I'd definitely recommend investing in some strong ant killer to prevent them from returning once the exterminator leaves. I've been using stuff I buy off gempler's and it has worked really well.

    Here's a link to it.

    Hope this helps!

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