Posted by John Fasoldt on 5:09:47 4/6/2015 from 126.96.36.199:
In reply to: just took off the paper towels and posted by Marcia on 14:52:11 4/3/2015 from 188.8.131.52:
Sorry, Marcia, had to run up to my daughter's (in Boston) for a minor emergency.
It's the window! Well, it LOOKS like the window, at least from here... And those ARE ants and not termites. From your pictures, I can also see out your window. It would be nice to see an outside shot of that area, so I can see the pitch of the roof and the side of the house, down to the ground. There are several potential trouble spots I see, and that you should check on.
And those "dried dead ants" ARE dried dead ants. That's the ejecta from their colony. The trash and rubbish they accumulate is ejected from various points, along with the dead bodies of their comrades - no ceremony here, it's "out with the trash." We should be so straightforward lol.
Couple of questions here. The roof. What kind of shape is it in? Also, does rain pour over the roof and go down the side of the house? (Your IP says you're in Cali - maybe Sunnyvale?) If so, I know you're under a water watch and probably haven't had much rain, but water that is running off the roof and cascading down in these areas can cause this kind of problem. Just a thought.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:
Take off the inside window trim - carefully. Make sure you are standing by and have your shop-vac at the ready to suck up any insects that emerge. DO NOT SPRAY ANYTHING, use the vacuum. I say the inside trim because it's usually easier to get to. Depends on conditions, but that's where I usually start.
Assuming you see ants come out in force, (sometimes they do, sometimes they don't) or see where they have nested, the next thing is to FIX the problem. Might be as simple as removing the window and having it re-flashed with better and/or bigger flashing. If you require flashing, specify copper flashing. Could be a replacement window - make sure it's a GOOD one. Might also be repairs to the roof too, who knows? You'll probably need a REPUTABLE and knowledgeable carpenter for this, make sure you get one! Whenever you have this done, make sure that shop-vac is there and that he (or you) use nothing but the vacuum for any ants you discover. If all goes according to plan, you won't need any exterminators, just the repair guy(s).
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