Carpenter ants

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  #1  
Old 03-15-19, 05:56 PM
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Carpenter ants

Ok PAbugman, you got me educated on rats, now onto bugs! Actually, I don't have a big problem, but I had noticed a lot of carpenter ants moving around my deck last year (it is Trex) but never saw where they were going until I saw them really moving around near an area of the siding on the house so I think they were in there. I sprayed some Ortho Home Defense in that area and later I came back and there were a bunch of dead ones. Surprisingly after that, I don't think I saw an ant on the deck the rest of the summer. Do they really just move on if they are disrupted like that?

Anyways, they were back again yesterday in a different location from last year as I noticed a few inside the house, then saw a bunch of them around the door out to the deck. Again, I sprayed the Home Defense inside along the baseboards and outside along the wall and even under the deck. There were a couple dead ones inside later on but I haven't seen anymore.

I want to do a more thorough job this year with the bugs. I do see the occasional spider in the house (probably more often than I should) so I was wondering if there is a better spray or something else I should be using to keep the ants away (and spiders too if possible), or is that Home Defense adequate? Is my best bet to spray the entire perimeter of the house with something every so often?
 
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  #2  
Old 03-15-19, 07:04 PM
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They won't touch Trex but they will go after the framing.

If you are seeing them where the deck joins the house..... it sounds like you have a water penetration problem. They like to follow water and they will.... right into your house.
 
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Old 03-16-19, 12:40 AM
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s that Home Defense adequate?
Home Defence is pretty good for normal bugs, the key is to use it on a regular basis to keep it potent vs a one time application when you find something.

However, carpenter ants are around because there is something rotting that they have found. Ive had them a couple of times and with some investigation found the bad area.

You just need to spend some time and follow them, they will lead you!
 
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Old 03-16-19, 07:08 AM
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The active ingredient fipronil is outstanding on ants and termites (when used as a termite treatment). It can be found in various brand names such as Termidor, Taurus, Fuse and probably some others. These are concentrates that are mixed with water. Labeled directions call for exterior treatment only with some exception. It is a non-repellent which is key to its success. If you choose to use fipronil, then don't use any other insecticide unless you know that it is non-repellent. Ortho home defense is a repellent.

Carpenter ants colonys expand until they get large and then a "satellite" colony breaks off. New queen(s) take a cross section of workers with them and overnight there will be a new colony in or around your house. A likely scenario is a mature colony is in a tree nearby and broke off a satellite colonly. If you choose to use fipronil, then I would spray the bottom 3-4' of tree trunks that are close to your house, if any.

Fipronil isn't great for spiders, but I'd focus on the ants first as the good "spider sprrays" will be repellent. If you are seeing live ant activity then now would be a good time to start. Two to three times a year of fipronil should be adequate. You can work in spider sprays in between. The fipronil will help with the spiders so it may be enough, but if someone was hiring me I wouldn't use it for spiders.
 
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Old 03-18-19, 09:10 AM
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Since I already sprayed Ortho, will that make the fipronil less effective, or will that wear off soon? I actually haven't seen any ants since that first day, but they must be somewhere. I do have a couple of big trees that are about 50 feet away and a few smaller ones closer so I could spray the trunks like you said. In addition, if the Ortho didn't hurt anything, would you recommend spraying the perimeter too and maybe around ever post of the deck? Basically, any means that they could enter the deck or house?

I looked up the difference between repellent and non-repellent sprays so I can see why the non-repellent is so effective. How much time in between can you go before using a different type? You're right, the spiders aren't a huge problem. There are actually stink bugs that seem to be more of a problem that I forgot to mention.
 
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Old 03-18-19, 03:29 PM
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I'd wait 4 weeks, 6 at the most, before using the fipronil again; same when switching chemicals.

Basically a low and high perimeter. High meaning up to soffits. If you can't reach that far from the ground, try leaning out a window and spraying.
 
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Old 04-01-19, 09:25 PM
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I have not seen an ant since about 3 weeks ago when I had some in the house and saw them outside the door and sprayed the Home Defense. Do you think I even need to get the fipronil, or should I just thoroughly spray the entire perimeter with Home Defense since it seemed to work and has in the past?
 
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Old 04-02-19, 06:29 AM
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I know I wouldn't use anything but fipronil on ants on the exterior; as a preventive or as a cure as it is so effective and safe that it's a no brainer. Our industry went to non-repellent sprays for ants for a reason.

Fipronil is not labeled for indoor use but Phantom (trade name) is, and is a non-repellent and effective on ants.
 
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Old 04-02-19, 07:24 AM
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Bug Dude: Just curious, but what are the determining factors behind whether a product is labeled for interior or exterior?
 
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Old 04-02-19, 12:23 PM
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Tow Guy: Good question that goes back to the manufacturer early in the registration process. The manufacturer has to request the various uses that they want (hope) the EPA will approve. Each request is expensive and time consuming and made (or not made) with consideration to what the competition is doing too.

The various uses involve but are not limited to are residential or commercial or both, interior or exterior or both, food handling establishment, which particular areas of food handling establishment, specific insects, flying and/or crawling, specialty uses such as in seed processing, direct application to plants/trees, etc.

Even methods of application within the above areas such as: spot; crack & crevice, general, broadcast (fleas), high/low pressure, weather restrictions on day of application, etc. EPA then tests the chemical for the requests.

Each specific request costs X amount of money and takes a lot of time. Sometimes companies want to get to the market quickly, especially if they are the first such as BASF was with Termidor. They requested exterior and subterranean termite treatment only at first so they could get to market quickly as there was nothing like Termidor (active ingredient: fipronil). They soon got it registered for carpenter ants exterior only. They were the only company on the market with fipronil and had patent protection. Fipronil is a safe insecticide for use indoors as it is used in Frontline for direct application to pets. BASF simply didn't request for indoor insect treatment application. They already had Phantom registered for indoor application only which they then marketed in tandem with Termidor as an indoor/outdoor carpenter ant treatment. This tandem was and still is a very effective carpenter ant treatment.

Patent protection for Termidor has been off for some years now and fipronil can be found in other brand names such as: Taurus SC, Fuse, and others. The knock-off companies must use the exact same label and instructions unless they want to request and pay for other uses, which they never do.
 
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Old 04-03-19, 04:16 AM
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Thanks, makes sense.
 
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