Posted by Suze on 20:34:32 9/11/2011 from 22.214.171.124:
HI there, thank you for the great website full of good advice and information. We are rebuilding an old cabin in California, in the dry interior of California where it never rains in the summer. We have a carpenter ant problem apparently, as we keep finding these huge piles of what we think is chewed up rigid insulation. We vacuum these up and the next day there is a new pile. The only insulation like that is in the upstairs, but we find these piles both upstairs and downstairs. We've cleared out one huge population of ants that was nesting in an old water heater that was empty but half filled with mud. There were bazillions of ants in there, not big black carpenter ants but smaller by half, black and red ants. We took care of them by vacuuming and finally getting the water heater out of the house (that was very comic, I'll tell you)--did not use any sprays.
I am sure we will find ants once we tackle the insulation in the ceiling upstairs, but as you mentioned that the main thing to look for, and to deal with, is finding a leak or source of water in the walls or ceiling. I am wondering if that is not true in California because it is so dry in the summer here -- there is zero moisture in the ceiling where the ants presumably are. Any thoughts? Also, since the water heater episode we've not seen a single ant! Thank you! --Suze
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