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Carpenter ants coming out to die?


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Posted by Leanne on 10:17:48 5/5/2015 from 142.150.192.172:

We have some carpenter ants in our basement, and I'm trying to get a handle on whether the problem is something we should be worried about.

We just moved into this house in late fall 2014. In the winter we replaced the cabinets in the basement kitchen and upon removing a piece of the drywall we found a colony of several hundred ants which we vacuumed up with the shop vac. Also, after realizing that the basement bathroom shower stall was not properly sealed and there was some water damaged wood, we re-did the shower stall. We also cleaned away a lot of dirt and spilled food found under the old kitchen cabinets. Point being, in theory I think we've removed a lot of the conditions that carpenter ants enjoy, though I will admit we did not pull down all the drywall and look for further colonies.

We didn't see any ants for 2 months or so after vacuuming away the 1 colony. Then, in the last 2 weeks we have started seeing them again. Thing is, we almost never see healthy looking ants. The ones we see seem to be crawling out of the wall to find somewhere to die. They stagger around and collapse on the basement floor. I vacuum up anywhere from 3-10 dead ants each morning.

What should this be telling us? Is this typical carpenter ant behaviour, and is this a typical number of daily dead ones for a healthy ant colony? Or are we dealing with a situation where the last remaining ants can no longer find food and are slowly dying off?

We want to rent the basement apartment soon and so are eager to get rid of the carpenter ants once and for all, but aren't sure if we should be calling an exterminator or just waiting it out for a little while longer.

Thanks for your advice!



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