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carpenter ants

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Posted by mark w on 17:16:06 6/23/2015 from

First off can I just say thanks for your site and all the info and humour there!
We have an old house built in 1869, old farmhouse style,but definitely built by farmers and adjusted and added to over the years by crazy 15 fingerered builders! We're in Clinton Iowa,so pretty changeable weather at best.
A few weeks ago my wife yelled me to our upstairs bedroom and on turning on the main light and pulling our bed away from the wall,I saw many c ants. I'm guessing over the course of the next 15 minutes we death hop scotched our way through a good 40-50? This room was 2 originally and I knocked the retaining wall through to make one large room with no previous issues. The rear wall which our bed is against,was re cement boarded etc.
I do believe however we made the mistake of not stripping out the old plaster and lath, as my suspicion is that at one time the house had a leak, nothing major,but evidence suggested.

This seams to be where we have seen the greatest number of c ants,although were seeing in the ones and twosies and up to tensies(does that work?)daily. Downstairs kitchen,bathroom,lounge,and the bedroom I took great pains to move us into after the initial invasion fleet landed upstairs!
Last night I was bitten in an almost,No man should be bitten area. Fortunately for me I was moving to the bathroom at the time. I don't blame the ant, I'm figuring i kinda rolled over on him a lil bit, but it was too close for my comfort!!

We do have a pest guy in currently to treat the house as my wife is a wee bit jump the gun........should see her freak out when the bats come out!
He has sprayed inside and out thus far and is coming back for 6 months, although under contract he has stated we will alter that to go month on month if we get rid of the ants beforehand? I will hold him to that, I'm British and we don't have bulldogs for no reason! Grr!
We have several trees lining the house on 3 sides, I have cut back all branches overhanging the property and any that were touching cables running to the house too, was his first question to me and first job to do for me.
Scraped up dead leaves along the driveway, cleaned out the gutters, will be replacing some dodgy roof tiles next week as well. It's a shed load of work, but all this stuff needs to be done.
Frankly I hate this crappy old house and wish I'd never touched it, but its my giant lemon now and I'm stuck with it!

I had also made a huge mistake of making a deck from pallets which was touching the house in 2 places, upon lifting said decking, it was like an ant grenade had just exploded....... E exterminator mentions to me "yep, they love that kind of untreated lumber, you pretty much gave them an open invite buddy"
So as our man John suggests.......only use treated lumber!
Don't be a dumb ass like me! In my defence I built it for my wife so we could sit outside,have a drink and listen to her moan........I mean, have good conversation!

Well we will have to see how our treatments go? And if I have to rip down the bedroom wall again? So be it I guess!

In the interim I shall be scouring for other signs of moisture, wearing a junk protector to bed, and making sure I stay on top of debris build up!

Funny thing is, not a single frickin ant in the whole double garage,where everything is exposed?

Anyhow, I just wanted to give thanks to John for his insight, for everyone who has asked questions and shared experiences, I'm less concerned than I was before.

Stay strong people, We shall fight them on the beaches! Sorry wrong battle, We shall prevail!

P.s. if anyone wants to come to Clinton and cut down my 5, I'm shading your whole yard trees......you can keep as much wood as you like! I really don't mind!!

Take care one and all 😀

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