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Get Out Of My House!!!

Spirit
March 28th, 2007, 08:19 PM
So since I have a dog, I decided this goes in the "on topic" forum.

We have ants. Carpenter ants. And I hate them. HATE!! The good thing is that they keep my dog busy (he's such a good little exterminator), but they're showing their ugly little heads faster than he can get rid of them. I swear I just killed 30 or 40 of these little *******s in my kitchen, all within the last hour.

We've had the house checked twice (once last year, and the year before), and we can't find the nest... SOOOO... we think they're coming in from a neighboring house. Last year we only killed a few a day (and they didn't seem to stick around for more than a few weeks)... but I guess since this rain FINALLY stopped, they're all coming out at the same bloody time.

Is there some sort of dog-safe anti-ant stuff to either keep them from coming in, or kill them if they do?

And totally off topic (and a little bit on), did you know that these little masochists tear the heads off of the dead ones, and pile them up into little triangle shaped piles?? I mean "ew"...

/hate

jessi76
March 28th, 2007, 08:27 PM
recent ant discussion here:

http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=38292

hope that helps!

Spirit
March 28th, 2007, 08:34 PM
Thanks, Jesse. Unfortunately though, this is a fairly large house, and they could be coming in from just about anywhere. They don't seem to gather in one spot either (I mostly find them crawling on a wall, counter, or middle of the floor), so if I used spray or powder, I'd have to treat (and constantly retreat) the whole house.

I have NO idea where they could be coming in from. I've sealed every crack I can think of, and I have screens on all my windows, and even on my patio doors. I think the only place I haven't seen them, is in my downstairs lobby (our main entrance).

Frenchy
March 28th, 2007, 08:48 PM
Please get them into a rescue in your area so they can be relocated :p

bekka_1
March 28th, 2007, 08:57 PM
we had a pretty bad ant problem (not carpenter ants though) and all we did was stick peppermint tea bags in our kitchen where the ants seemed to be coming in.

Winston
March 28th, 2007, 08:58 PM
Spirit ...when I was young we lived in a house that we found out after a few years had carpenter ants! It took us awile to determine that they were coming in from roof area at the back of the house...the exterminators said they were coming from a neighbours Weeping Willow tree! We ended up moving! You are right ! there are usually tons of them!

Good Luck!

Cindy

Spirit
March 28th, 2007, 09:21 PM
Sine the worst area (at least today) seems to be the kitchen, I'm definitely going to try that peppermint tea bag thing. What about loose leaves? Would that kill them? If this works, I'm going to buy in bulk.

:thumbs up :D

clm
March 28th, 2007, 11:32 PM
We've had ant problems twice in the 20 years we've been in the house. Took us a while each time to see where they were coming in from. Have to find the source.
Good luck, they're a royal pain.

Cindy

Prin
March 28th, 2007, 11:42 PM
Carpenter ants? Are you sure? If you're sure, then they're not "coming in"... They're already in... They make colonies in your walls.:o When I was younger, we were replacing a window on the second floor of our house, and I was taking off the gyproc in a room, and there were THOUSANDS of carpenter ants... But we only ever found them in the laundry room, on the bottom floor on the opposite side of the house... :o

You can usually hear them a little bit.. They make a clicking noise in the wall. And when you take the gyproc off, there's usually quite a bit of saw dust.:o

Creepy bastids.. My dad sucked them up with the central vac...

Spirit
March 29th, 2007, 12:14 AM
The exterminators couldn't find a nest anywhere, and since the majority of them were outside, we assumed they were coming from elsewhere. I, however, have never been convinced that they're not in the house somewhere.

Tonight though (after I posted), I somehow managed to chase one into a hole in the wall. It's a fairly big hole, right at the base of the door to our patio. You can only see it when the door is open, but it seemed more than obvious to me that this is where they're coming in (especially since they're often seen out on the patio too). I'm going to watch this area CLOSELY over the next few days, and get the bug killers back in if this seems to be the high traffic area.

I wonder if I can borrow a stethoscope from someone... lol :highfive:

Edit: Regarding this though:

Carpenter ants? Are you sure? If you're sure, then they're not "coming in"... They're already in... They make colonies in your walls.:o

It depends on whether it's the parent colony (outside, where the queen stays, lays eggs, etc), or the sattelite colony (the larger colony, inside, where the workers stay). It's possible that they WERE coming in from outside, but this year I'm more than convinced that they've built the sattelite colony inside. The last few years I've seen large amounts outside and only a few inside... this year it's quite the opposite.

I've done some research, and a way of baiting them to find the nest, is to put honey on masking tape (tape to floor, honey on non-sticky side), and following them back to the nest. I'll try that tomorrow or the day after and see if they do go back in through that hole.

Spraying borax into the hole supposedly kills them, but it's my dog that I'm worried about... not too sure how safe that is?

Prin
March 29th, 2007, 12:45 AM
I wonder if I can borrow a stethoscope from someone... I was going to suggest that, but I'm tired and I couldn't spell stethoscope. :laughing:

Honestly, I don't think you'll be able to follow them back to the nest... If they were bears maybe, but these are little jumpy insects.:D

I hope you figure it out soon... Those guys are creepy. :o

TeriM
March 29th, 2007, 12:49 AM
I had an ant issue last summer. The buggers all of a sudden were everywhere:eek: . I was vacumning them up about three times a day (easiest way I could thing to kill them). I finally re-caulked the area with silicion where they were coming in and that solved the problem.

Spirit
March 29th, 2007, 12:51 AM
Maybe... but I followed 2 back into that hole today, but only because I was trying to kill the little bastages and they were running for their lives. I'm going to try that honey trick tomorrow or friday (might not have time tomorrow) and see what happens. I may end up sitting on my kitchen floor playing solitaire all afternoon, but I honestly think this might be it. I found a whole bunch around the doorway when I was BBQ'ing lunch, but I thought they were just coming in from outside (or going out from inside). But as the day went on, I found more and more in my kitchen (by the sink). This is definitely not like last year at ALL. Last year they were all outside, except the random one I'd find crawling around on the middle of a wall or my living room floor.

This is so weird for me. Household bugs don't normally bother me. :shrug:

I LOVE the vacuum idea. I'd strap that baby to my back and suck them up everywhere I walked. But I don't have a vacuum (hardwood)! :sad:

Prin
March 29th, 2007, 01:27 AM
I think the carpenter ants become scary because of the sheer number of them... (lol I'm actually getting jumpy now :D) They also can pinch too, the little ****ers.. *shudder*

SARAH
March 30th, 2007, 10:00 AM
I saw the "Holmes on Homes" last night - part one, as the house was in such a state he has to finish the program over two days! There was a nest of carpenter ants in a corner of the basement, in what was the laundry room with a bathroom in the corner of it (weird set-up). The room was humid. The wood where the ants were looked fine until Mike pulled it out ... and discovered thousands of the creeps! Further away in the same basment there was another nest, also totally invisible until they pulled off the drywall and other coverings.

The hole you found near your patio door may be just the entrance to their nest! If I were you, I'd start by buying some insect spray and douse them right up that hole you found. Empty 10 cans if you can, go to town!

Mike was saying they don't eat the wood like termites do, they just make tunnels and nests in it, but the result is still weakened structure, so you really need to get rid of your unwanted guests!

The mint trick I'd never heard of for ants, but I did hear that the beduins place mint branches around their camps to keep snakes out, so why not?

Spirit
March 30th, 2007, 12:36 PM
There is no question that this hole is the door to their nest. Since I stuffed it full of paper towel (when was that?), I haven't seen a single ant. Not one. I want to spray something inside to kill them, but before I do that I'm trying to find something that they can take back to the queen (she lives in the parent nest, which I still believe is outside).

So far I haven't found anything that'll work to kill her, and hopefully they'll just die if they can't come out (blocked by the paper towel). I know thats' wishful thinking, so I'm going to treat the hole anyway. What should I use that's safe for Ben though? IS there anything?

:thumbs up

Dog Dancer
March 30th, 2007, 12:47 PM
Spirit - ewww. I know the feeling though. I had a colony in my kitchen ceiling a couple years ago. I could hear them at night when it was very quiet, you could hear what sounded like static or lightly running water. If you are sure this is the hole to their nest I'd call the exterminators back in and have them open it up a bit and treat it. They spray stuff in there that the ants take back to the nest. It's not nice, dead ants by the thousands fell out of my ceiling, larvae and all. Uck. shivers thinking about it. I wouldn't cook in the kitchen for a week! You may need to keep the dog away from the area for a while, but I would trust the job to a professional so that you are sure it's done right. Good luck.:fingerscr

SARAH
March 30th, 2007, 02:17 PM
I once had a bees nest over my front door, between the original outer wall and the inner drywall mounted on metal framing. I could hear them buzzing in there over my head as I walked through the door! One day I saw their "door", a small hole, because one crawled in as I was looking up there. Boy was I ever quick to get the can of bug spray out! It was a brand new can too, and I emptied it in there!

There was frantic buzzing as they couldn't get out (the spray nozzle was right up in the hole, and I plugged it after the can was empty), and for about a week afterwards I could smell the decaying bodies (:yuck: ) but then that was it. Not one bee ever tried that stunt again!

I had two young kids, 3 cats and 2 dogs at the time. Granted, the hole was on the outside of the house and well above all their heads, and the bees were killed inside the wall and not one ever fell out. In the case of your ants being close to the floor, it's more tricky.

I'm worried that if you plug their hole, they'll eat their way out somewhere else and you'll have even more galleries than you have now! I doubt whether they'll be asphyxiated from the lack of oxygen ...