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Swarming Carpenter Ants


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Posted by Tom on 17:28:25 6/28/2010 from 98.150.194.225:

I live in Maui Hawaii. Yes, life is good, but bugs and pests are a way of life year round in Hawaii, So I don't freak out about an occasional ant, roach or spider. And I do typically use pesticides to control their entry to my house and cottage.

I came across your site several years ago when I started to see hundreds of carpenter ants on the second floor of my house, Before finding your site I treated them with bug bombs and this seemed reasonably effective on a short term basis, After a bombing I would find thousands of dead ants and they would be gone for months, but the swarms would return seasonally.

Then I took your advice more seriously and found the source of the moisture that had been allowing them to survive (leaking wax ring on toilet and some gutter/flashing problems). Since then, no more carpenter ants on the second floor of my house! Thanks!

But now I have massive flying swarms of ants in my post and beam cottage. I do not see many non flying ants, but the swarming (dozens to hundreds per night) has been going on for more than a month. I cannot locate a nest or a single source of their entry except that they emerge from the ceiling. The 3 room cottage has vaulted ceilings with open beams with tough and groove planking. I think there is sheet Styrofoam insulation between the tough and groove and the cedar shake roof.

When I get up on the ladder I see that the ants will walk right along the channels in the tongue and grove to move from one place to another. I poked a small rod through each of the tongue and groove channels and knocked out a few ants, but never found a nest. A friend has suggested that I caulk all the gaps between the ceiling planks and the beams, but this is hundreds of linear feet and I don't think would solve this problem.

Outside I find the perimeter of the cottage dry and clean, except that a few months ago I had a water heater, located in the crawl space under the cottage, let go and it created a major flood under the cottage in an area that otherwise has been bone dry for years. somehow I think this may be related to this infestation.

I am not adverse to calling in an exterminator, but I like to try to solve these types of things on my own. I welcome your advice



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