Carpenter Ants- LONG Post/Rant...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Texas Fluffy Feet, Jun 9, 2008.

  1. Texas Fluffy Feet

    Texas Fluffy Feet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 20, 2008
    Arlington, TX
    Earlier this spring I noticed some carpenter ants coming in one of our bedroom windows. I tried DE and eventually resorted to spraying with Ortho Home Defense to keep them out of the house. I have not seen anymore in the house since then.
    Now, the pool is up and in full use for the summer. Whenever we are out there in it or even when I am cleaning it, carpenter ants are falling on us from the tree limb above. This tree also happens to be right beside my coop and run. The tree was struck by lightening a few years back and the top was knocked out of it. It is a cypress tree and I hate it anyway (it has no business in North Texas where we are dry as a bone all summer) and I hope against hope every year the darn thing will die only to see it come back to life. This year along with the ants, I have seen a woodpecker at the top where the lightening had got it. I had hoped the two pests working together would do the thing in and did not consider it a problem until now.
    Last night, DH was on our roof trying to catch a feral kitten who made it's home under the eave of the house where the greenhouse connects to the outside wall. While up there he said there were tons of carpenter ants on our roof as well as a tree next to the house- not the cursed cypress but a nice oak. So now I'm thinking we may have to get an exterminator. What- if anything- can they use to safely get rid of the ants and not harm the chickens and or the bugs that buzz my garden and the fish in our backyard pond which sets under yet another dastardly cypress? Unfortunately cutting the trees down is not an option. Even though I hate them, we don't own the house and the person who does doesn't want any trees cut down.
    Anyone have any ideas?
     
  2. spook

    spook Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dry 20 mule team borax. Get up in your eves, wearing a mask, poof out the white dry powder and you will find less of those buggers. They take the borax and carry it back to the nest, killing them all and not toxic to you all. Mice don't care much for it either. (they also use borax powder for roaches according to where you live, fleas, silver fish etc etc, do not like it)
    Then, I have noticed a decline ant population in our yard! And have you ever noticed how bugs avoid the chicken yard?
    Put a pullet in your eves (jk!)
     
  3. Texas Fluffy Feet

    Texas Fluffy Feet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 20, 2008
    Arlington, TX
    Wow thanks for the fast reply! I think I actually have a box of Borax in the garage so I will have DH try that asap! We are expecting rain for the first time in 2 weeks tonight so I will wait for that to pass before I send him up there with it. I sure hope it works!
     
  4. poopcoop

    poopcoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 17, 2008
    Swansea, SC
    Here is the thing with any ant colony. You can use dust and powders, that will help kill off the colony, but you must get rid of the source of the problem as to which they are there in the first place. Carpenter ants will nest in damp wood or wood that has be eaten by termites or other decaying organisims. So first thing is to find what is creating the environment for them to want to be there. Then you will want to trim back any limbs or branches that might be touching or over hanging the structure that is infested. Now you can go for the kill. A can of Raid will be the quickest knock out. Raid does not leave any type of residual, it is made for the instant kill only. Wait a day or two and then apply some type of powder (Delta Dust or Borax) and that will kill any straglers.

    Fix the problem and you should never see ants back in that location again. The problem could be a roof leak, leaky gutters or just because branches are touching and the main nest is in the root system of the tree.

    Hope this helps a little. I could go on, but my fingers are starting to hurt.LOL

    Ray
     
  5. Oblio13

    Oblio13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 26, 2008
    New Hampshire
    We have a huge carpenter ant problem here, and I found a solution on the internet that's worked really well for us for several years:

    Mix 1 teaspoon of boric acid (a powder you can buy at drug stores) with a cup of jelly or molasses. We squirt it into short sections of soda straws, then place the straws every 15 feet or so around the house.

    Hopefully, you'll soon see a line of ants ferrying the bait back to their nest. Leave them alone, and in a few days they'll be gone. The boric acid is a slow-acting toxin that wipes out the colony, including the queen.

    If you see dead ants around the bait, reduce the percentage of boric acid. They need to live long enough to get back to the colony and regurgitate it for their mates to eat.

    I've also heard about using a 1% boric acid in a 10% sugar water solution, but I've never tried it.
     
  6. Texas Fluffy Feet

    Texas Fluffy Feet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 20, 2008
    Arlington, TX
    The yard behind us has a tree that fell more than a month ago that has never been cleaned up. I am wondering if that is home base and they are coming to my place because of it. We do have leaky gutters though so that could be it too. In fact DH made the comment that they seemed to be going to the gutters so maybe that is it. Whatever the case, as soon as the rain comes and goes I am shimmying his rear end back up to the roof with Borax, jelly and straws! I will update y'all in a few days as to the progress.
    DH had me toss up the wasp spray last night because they were crawling on him while he was getting the kitten. He emptied the can so I guess he did the instant kill part alright.
     
  7. Oblio13

    Oblio13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 26, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Not Borax, boric acid.
     
  8. s6bee

    s6bee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2007
    Western, NY
    It may be time thought to call an exterminator. Even if you think the problem is gone, it might not be before it's too late with the house.
    It does sound as if the tree is on it's way out. Just not as fast as you'd hoped.
     
  9. s6bee

    s6bee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2007
    Western, NY
    Quote:I would assume this would work on those tiny ants too? Those are the ones I have issue with..
     
  10. Texas Fluffy Feet

    Texas Fluffy Feet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 20, 2008
    Arlington, TX
    Does Borax not contain boric acid?[​IMG]

    Hmmm... okay if the borax is not right I will go to the drug store and get boric acid. Whatever will kill them.

    56bee believe me, if the boric acid doesn't work I will be calling an exterminator. I know those ants can be as bad as termites and I certainly don't want them to eat the house. If only they were satisfied with a cypress tree I'd leave them be. I just want to try this first because I have nowhere for the chickens to go if the exterminator has to spray.

    Dh has already been told gutter cleanup is top on his list of honey do's right now. [​IMG]
     

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