Ants in tub/shower - thoughts?

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Old 06-03-20, 06:52 AM
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Ants in tub/shower - thoughts?

Live in CT. Found ~10 ants crawling around in the bathtub/shower the other day. Some larger and all black (appear to be carpenter ants). The bathtub/shower is a single piece, plastic type of insert (~1988) attached to the 3 walls and with a shower curtain.
The ants appear to have come from just below the faucet (not the faucet itself?). We saw a few come out... There is a small hole on the underside of the faucet. No idea what it is for.... I stuck a coat hanger in there and it seems not to go far and seems like metal. I don't think it i an overflow as it is above the top of the tub wall. The drain was not draining fast so I cleaned it with some liquid plumber (and cleaned the tub as kids left if quite filthy which I read can attract ants).

We got rid of the ants and i put out some HotShot baits (but later noted they do not control carpenter or pharaoh ants.).

We did notice one more ant last night. We left him alone (hoping to bait him) and today he appears gone.

I took off the shower controller and plate, and looked at the piping (above the faucet) and the connections, etc. all looks dry. I am concerned there could be a nest but unsure if I should call someone. There is no access to the piping in the walls - I would have to cut some sheet rock in the opposing hall or closet.

Thoughts?
 
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Old 06-03-20, 07:13 AM
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If they are carpenter ants then they could be coming from the attic, exterior, trees, etc as carpenter ants forage greater distances than do other ants. Seeing that many in one spot makes me think they are closer than that and are actually in the structure somewhere. Carpenter ants can be a difficult DIY situation.

Fipronil as an "active ingredient" applied to exterior is a very good choice. Interior treatment would be with a non-repellent residual spray and/or carpenter ant bait. If you hire someone, make sure they do use a fipronil based spray. There are some good carpenter ant baits though I've never used them. Not all ant baits are for carpenter ants as you've discovered so search for those that are if you want to try it yourself.
 
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Old 06-03-20, 07:21 AM
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Thanks for the reply. A month ago we noticed an ant or two in the kitchen every few days (first floor and other end of house) and had someone spray around the outside of the house. After 2 weeks we didn't see any new ants there except maybe 1 recently.

The bath I refer is on the second floor. I need to catch an ant and specifically identify. Some seemed larger and the smaller ones seemed fast. lol.

I ordered some Combat Gel (Fipronil) to maybe spray into the wall (i can remove the shower control cover and drop it in behind there - along the pipes) and see if that helps....

Talked to the exterminator who treated around the house and he said to give it a few weeks more. He thought that if there was any type of infestation I would see many more each hour (and he will treat around the house again). I will use the Gel anyway once I get it and clean that tub more.

I had some Triazicide to treat some tiny ant hills in the lawn and my lawn guy said to sprinkle that around the house too.
 

Last edited by desmo907; 06-03-20 at 10:03 AM.
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Old 06-03-20, 12:39 PM
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I don't like triazicide in this case as it is a repellent and if you or your pest control guy use fipronil, then those two active ingredient are working against each other. Fipronil is non-repellent which is critical to how it works. After using fipronil we too would tell people to wait two weeks before reassessing. Hoping that is what he sprayed outside. The invoice should have info on that. I like the Combat gel, good move. Don't spray anything near the bait.
Since you're seeing them on the 2nd floor, he may need to be treating the soffits and maybe attic interior as well, at least next time if needed. .
 
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Old 06-03-20, 02:01 PM
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Thanks. Yes he sprayed that around the house back in April.
Waiiting delivery on the Gel... but no ants today..
 
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