Posted by Ellen on 9:54:34 3/7/2014 from 18.104.22.168:
Hello there! Thank you for such a helpful website. My house has a history of carpenter ant invasions. Usually I just vacuum them up no big deal, but this year I am afraid things are getting more serious. I was only seeing ~20 per day last spring. Now it is up in the 50-100 range, which from everything I've heard means they are probably nesting in or very near the house! I vacuumed up 30 of the winged swarmers yesterday.
Maybe I am being optimistic, but this is what I do not understand. If I really had a nest in my home, behind a wall or something, then how come the ants still only appear seasonally? Shouldn't they be foraging throughout the year? I hadn't seen a single ant since late last summer. I started seeing a few in January and they kept increasing in number until yesterday, when I spent pretty much all day vacuuming ants as they appeared.
The ants enter from under the baseboard heater and between the molding on the east side of the house. There is a porch on that side. Does it seem more likely that the nest would be under the porch than in the house? We have cedar siding but it is solid and not rotten at all. I know because we are planning to paint this year and I inspected it thoroughly. However, I could believe that there is some sort of moisture problem on the east side because our house is built at the BOTTOM (!!!) of a slope.
Furthermore, I am disturbed by some new behavior on the part of the ants. Last week I found a group of ~20 swarming beneath the baseboard heater on the WEST side of the house! And the weirdest part was they had collected pine needles from our Christmas tree (it has been down for a while but there are still needles hanging around) into a little heap. No sawdust. Just pine needles. What on earth are they doing? They keep trekking back and forth between the east and west side of the house and I can't tell if they are establishing a colony or maybe just an ant trail...right through my living room.
Lastly, how long does ant swarming typically last? I can deal with those fat foragers, but the winged reproductives give me the creeps! Normally I would not be so impatient, but I am having a baby next month and I need them gone!
Yesterday the snow finally melted, so my husband and I will be going on a hunt for the nest this weekend, but any advice in the meantime would be much appreciated. Those ants are going to die.
P.S. I think you should put a donate button on your site.
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