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carpenter ant questions

treating carpenter ants while wall is open George, We have carpenter ants (Eastern Massachusetts), and have also located the wet rotting wood (inside our kitchen wall) where they probably have a nest. This will not be the first nest we have found while repairing water damage in various parts of the house over the last few weeks. I have a few questions: 1) When the carpenter opens up the siding to replace the rotted plywood and framing, what should he do to address the nest while the wall is still open? 2)Also, once we've sealed the water source and removed as much of the nest as possible, is there some kind of chemical we should spray or ?? inside before replacing the fiberglass insulation, plywood sheathing, siding, and sealing things back up? 3) Should we also bait now as well? Any recommendations? We are finding a bunch in the kitchen, esp inside the dishwasher, where they seemed very interested in a kernel of corn. Thanks, Jim You are asking excellent carpenter ant questions. I'll answer as follows: 1) Ideally, delay the work until you have baited for the ants, making sure that they are taking the bait product. If you go ahead with carpentry, be certain that your tradespeople are armed with aerosol containers with the active ingredient pyrethrins plus piperonyl butoxide. They will need to kill the ants immediately as they uncover them because they will relocate, possibly multiplying the new locations, although remaining one colony. In addition, since these ants have been of long standing, you may already have multiple satalite locations within the buildings structure. Baiting will be best handled by a sustained reapplication of bait until it is no longer taken. Patience is required. The bait must be converted into a pap which is then fed to larvae and queen(s). The amount of bait carried away will have been stored in the colony where nurse ants perform the conversion of solids to the liquefied toxic product. My recommendation for the early season baiting is a large granule protein bait such as "Advance Carpenter Ant Granular", later in the year, ants will prefer sweet carbohydrate baits which come in paste or liquid form. 2) The use of a borate salt such as "Tim-bor", placed in the areas of the roof system and voids, cracks and crevices, will have long-time active effect against most crawling pests, ei, silverfish, firebrats, psocids, and other types of ants such as acrobat ants. 3) Start the baiting immediately. Place baits where ants are seen. If you have pets or small children, the bait is not of a strength that would do bodily harm if taken in the small doses available, but it will pose a problem, since the ants will be deprived of their designated food substance. You might check exterior activity to see if ants are moving about. Best times after 2PM and into the night. These ants are mostly nocturnal, but not exclusively. Spread granular bait, and watch for acceptance. Good luck Jim--keep me posted if you wish, George Manning Consulting Entomologist Pest Control Chicago


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