Posted by John Fasoldt on 7:41:25 4/7/2011 from 22.214.171.124:
In reply to: Wood beam Ceiling - Something's Eating It posted by Miriam on 21:48:50 4/6/2011 from 126.96.36.199:
It doesn't have to be CAs, it could be any kind of ant. And, of course, it might not even be ants, it is difficult to diagnose over the Internet....
With termites, in your area, there is a possibility of drywood (DWD) termites. But the frass from DWDs (actually, fecal pellets) are all exactly alike and look kinda like tiny little barrels, usually the same color as the wood it is coming from. These are definitely indicative of DWD termites. It's hard to misidentify DWDs if you see this.
It could also (I guess) possibly be other kinds of termites, you do have several down where you are!
But from your description, I would suspect ants. They get in between the beam and the ceiling, especially if it's one of those "faux" decorative beams.
If your ceiling employs any foam components, the ants will oftentimes tunnel into the foam areas, ejecting a very light fine rain of foam particles.
If you have (or HAVE HAD) any leaks, it's a fair assumption that there may be a pest problem possible.
Yo say you were "mis-diagnosed" but it may have been a situation where he had taken advantage of you, which is even more serious. This can happen from the big guys and it can happen with the little guys. It's why I tell people to cultivate an exterminator like you would your doctor. You're going to need good honest advice from both of them in the future. (Plumbers too. I have a favorite plumber for myself.)
At any rate, first off, you have to make sure there are no leaks or other sources of moisture in the areas where you are having this problem.
After that, either you or an exterminator must identify the problem, making sure it ISN'T termites of any sort. The next thing to consider, of course, would be ants. Certainly better than termites.
Depending on the ant, various methods (baits/dusts/sprays, etc) would probably be used against this problem.
Finally, if you do find there is a leak (or something) make those repairs first, before you have the exterminator in. As repairs unfold, if you discover ants, vacuum them up and fis the moisture problem. Wait a period of time afterwards to see if the problem is gone. If you do a good vacuum job, you might not have a problem anymore.
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