treat for ants before or after repairs

Old 06-22-22, 02:02 PM
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treat for ants before or after repairs

I have a rotten window (wood clad exterior - wood interior) that I need to replace. It is being replaced with a new construction style window so the opening will be taken back to the studs and the entire old window removed. I have known that there were small ants around the window and had a treatment for them a few years ago. A comment was made at the time that the rotting wood was feeding the ants. I recently removed the interior trim so that I could measure for the rough opening found many dead ants. Happy that the prior treatment had worked, I continued probing for the rough opening and behold, a new crowd of ants came rushing out. I dowsed them with Raid spray but I understand that there are probably many more alive in the wall.

So, do I have someone come out prior to removing the old window or try to coordinate it so that they are here when I pull the old window and have access to the framing? Since this is a large first floor window only about 10 feet from the sidewalk, I really am trying not to leave it open waiting for a treatment. My last option is to try to treat it myself when I get it open but I don't know how to do that or what I would use.

How do I proceed?

- Peter
Old 06-23-22, 05:05 AM
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A lot depends on they type of ants or if they were ants. Another part of the equation would be to inspect the house for more signs of insects and to determine what type "ants" you had. If they were wood eating like termites or carpenter ants it would need a more serious response. If they were other, non-wood eating ants then simply keeping the wall dry could make them move on.
Old 06-23-22, 06:17 AM
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Small ants aren't wood destroying as are carpenter ants, but liquid treatments can be much the same. Non-repellent insecticides are by far the best for any ant, and termite for that matter. Look at the active ingredients section of the label for: fipronil. Some examples of brand names are Taurus SC and Termidor. Is available in other brand names. I don't think you can find it in aerosol, but as a concentrate that you mix with water. You could spray or pour it in to the opening when ready, close up right away if desired.

Ant baits work well with the small ants, especially the gel baits that come in plastic syringes. These could be applied after work is completed by getting it into, under, behind the baseboard area and any window gaps, interior or exterior. Baiting is a slower process, so be patient. Since the small ants are present already, you may want to start a baiting treatment/strategy for the first floor, interior and exterior, now. You can also use the fipronil based products in an air compressed sprayer for the exterior. Liquid fipronil isn't labeled for interior treatments, but wall/window voids and exterior perimeters are allowed.

Drying it all out, like Pilot pointed out, will go a long way for control. It would be helpful to know for sure what kind of ants, and too make sure that they are in fact ants, not termites. Worker termites are white/cream colored in nature. In early/middle spring, the reproductive swarmers look like black flying ants.


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