How long does Terro take to kill a Carpenter colony? Call an exterminator?

Reply

  #1  
Old 01-22-21, 09:01 PM
J
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 2
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
How long does Terro take to kill a Carpenter colony? Call an exterminator?

I was stunned to discover ants making their way around my house the week before Christmas here in the Upper Midwest. I discovered where they were entering (a second floor bedroom closet, haven't seen any others around the house) and put down a mixture of Terro and Raid baits, which attracted and killed a hundred ants, filling the Terro to its brims. I placed a towel to block any more from spreading across the house and making the closet a kill zone.

I checked back about a week later and there were perhaps 20+ more dead ants but they no longer seemed to be swarming the Terro bait. I checked again a week later and maybe that same number dead but not filling the Terro bait. This week I've checked every few days and there were a few more dead.

I believe I've identified these as carpenter ants and the number of them seems to be decreasing but they are still coming in to that closet, perhaps 20 a week. I am about a month in on this battle. Do you recommend me continuing to let the Terro/Raid bait strategy work its course or biting the bullet and calling an exterminator? Thank you!

 

Popular Reply

 
01-23-21, 07:12 AM
PAbugman
PAbugman is offline
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,850
Received 43 Votes on 37 Posts
As long as they are accepting the bait, keep plenty out there and let them behave like business as usual. There are better baits more designed for carpenter ants though. Advance and Max-Force make baits for carpenter ants. As pointed out, ants of all species do change their diet preferences from carbs to proteins throughout the seasons. The baits you are using are carbs (sweet); Advance and Max force carpenter ant bait are protein.

Bait strategy is such that it does take a long time. The idea is for the foraging ants to take the bait/food back to the colony. Not all ants leave the colony, only the foragers. If the bait was too toxic, the foragers would die too soon. Be patient and let it happen. Do not spray anything or use cleaning agents in or near the areas. Most sprays are repellent as well as toxic to the ants, and we don't want repellency. That works directly against a baiting strategy. There are a few non-repellent spray. The active ingredient: Fipronil is non-repellent and very good for termites and ants though it is labeled for exterior use only which you may want to consider in the warmer months unless you are in a warm zone now. Use in a clean sprayer though. It is low in toxicity, they don't know it's there, so they accidentally transfer it back to the colony in their foraging behavior. I still wouldn't spray it near baited areas though.

I, too, believe they are carpenter ants.
 
  #2  
Old 01-23-21, 05:41 AM
Marq1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: USA MI
Posts: 7,144
Received 462 Votes on 430 Posts
Typ carpenter ants nest in areas where there is wet decaying wood, get rid of the environment they like and no more ants. You might want to start looking at the house to see why they would be in there in the first place!
 
  #3  
Old 01-23-21, 05:48 AM
J
Member
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: United States
Posts: 44
Received 5 Votes on 5 Posts
I have had great results from Advance Carpenter Ant bait. It's a protein bait and the ants will always want it. Terro is sweet-based and the ants only want it at certain times. I've also heard good reviews on Maxforce baits.
Your ants are likely foraging for their nest. Try to find their nest(s), and their path to your home.
For locating the nest, look for woodpiles, decayed trees/stumps, or wood under your home if you have a crawl space. Areas that are constantly wet are also possible links to the nest.
For their entry point, since you are seeing them on second floor, look for tree limbs touching your house.
 
PAbugman voted this post useful.
  #4  
Old 01-23-21, 07:12 AM
P
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,850
Received 43 Votes on 37 Posts
As long as they are accepting the bait, keep plenty out there and let them behave like business as usual. There are better baits more designed for carpenter ants though. Advance and Max-Force make baits for carpenter ants. As pointed out, ants of all species do change their diet preferences from carbs to proteins throughout the seasons. The baits you are using are carbs (sweet); Advance and Max force carpenter ant bait are protein.

Bait strategy is such that it does take a long time. The idea is for the foraging ants to take the bait/food back to the colony. Not all ants leave the colony, only the foragers. If the bait was too toxic, the foragers would die too soon. Be patient and let it happen. Do not spray anything or use cleaning agents in or near the areas. Most sprays are repellent as well as toxic to the ants, and we don't want repellency. That works directly against a baiting strategy. There are a few non-repellent spray. The active ingredient: Fipronil is non-repellent and very good for termites and ants though it is labeled for exterior use only which you may want to consider in the warmer months unless you are in a warm zone now. Use in a clean sprayer though. It is low in toxicity, they don't know it's there, so they accidentally transfer it back to the colony in their foraging behavior. I still wouldn't spray it near baited areas though.

I, too, believe they are carpenter ants.
 
jrsick, marksr, Pilot Dane voted this post useful.
  #5  
Old 01-23-21, 08:23 PM
J
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 2
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks

Thanks for the advice guys. I bought some of the Advance bait granules and try those out along with continuing to use the Terro/Raid traps in that closet.

What point would you call an exterminator, by chance? I'll look around the outside and for wet wood but I'm not sure i have any trees connecting to the house but there was a ant colony I have been battling in the summer that I thought was taken care of. Is it possible the ants found a way in searching for food or warmth?
 
  #6  
Old 01-25-21, 05:44 AM
P
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,850
Received 43 Votes on 37 Posts
As long as you're getting results, in this case dead ants, I wouldn't call pest control yet unless you're just tired of it or if others in your household are pushing you hard. You are getting results. When we did carpenter ant jobs here in PA, using the newer non-repellent sprays and sometimes baits, we'd tell the customer to wait two weeks before reassessing the need for follow-up service. Baiting alone will take longer so stick with it longer. The addition of the Advance bait is a good choice and should be given time to work.

As to the ants you found outside this summer-what happens is that once an ant colony gets too large to sustain itself, new queen(s) emerge, recruit a cross-section of workers, and literally overnight they will move out and take up residence somewhere else. The new colony is called a "satellite" colony, the original is called "parent" colony.

This is why it is beneficial to treat the exterior when weather/seasons permit with fipronil based insecticides as a prevention and treatment.

 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: