Posted by George on 9:23:39 10/9/2008 from 220.127.116.11:
We moved into a 37-year old house in a heavily wooded area in June this year. The house was extended--someone before us built a second floor on top of a section of the one-story house, with a tall, 14-foot, slanted ceiling and a big beam going down the middle connecting the 2 slants (see picture). The second-floor room is surrounded on 3 sides by attic space.
When we first moved in, we had a little sawdust as well as dead ant droppings below one area of the beam (there was only enough droppings to actually notice them after about a week), and we had the lone ant activity sighting (1-2 a day--on the ground, not on the beam). The ants were not big (no bigger than 1/8 of an inch and smaller), and some would be carrying dead ant carcasses (including wings) to the area where the droppings were. So, we've never been able to discern, whether the sawdust and ant droppings came from ants carrying it there (as sort of an ant graveyard), or it was dropped from above where the beam is.
I used a white borate powder and dusted it in cracks, around the beam and the attic. No moist wood or nest was discovered. I also sealed the crack between the beam and the sheetrock with caulk, and perimeter-treated the entire house with a powerful insecticide. No problems and absolutely no more ant sightings or droppings in the entire house until today (October), when I found a big, 1/2-inch sized winged carpenter ant, dead on the floor of that 2nd floor room.
So, I am still not sure if we have any sort of infestation, and if an inspection is necessary. Obviously, the ant could have come from outside, or escaped from the firewood, that we brought in the night before. This is the first time, that I positively identified any of the ants that we have seen as an actual carpenter ant--the other ones looking like regular house ants.
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