Carpenter ants in bedroom crawlspace


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Old 02-22-24, 11:23 AM
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Carpenter ants in bedroom crawlspace

My sister has lived in the same house for 25 years and never had a problem with insects. Now she has a nest of carpenter ants in her bedroom crawlspace, and they are making their way into her bedroom in large numbers (eg. 25 per day). She has hired a company to take care of the problem, but they haven't come out yet. She has two questions.

#1) What causes carpenter ants?
#2) If the carpenter ant nest is in the bedroom crawlspace, why are the ants coming up into her bedroom?

Thanks.
 
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Old 02-22-24, 01:55 PM
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Carpenter ant colonies can only get so large when a new queen will split-off a section of workers from the original colony. They will then move as a group. This colony is called a satellite colony. Most likely there is a mature colony in a tree near the house, and the satellite colony entered your sisters house. It happens overnight.

They like moist areas, moisture damaged wood, even if it's dry now but was wet previously. That said, they also like simple void spaces such as in between floor joists/wall studs and the insulation, even if dry. Carpenter ants forage longer distances than most other ants do. The workers, major and minor workers, forage for food to return and sustain the colony. Most likely that's why they see them above the crawl space.

What is the outdoor temperature where her house is? Hopefully the company will use the "active ingredient" fipronil on the exterior. I'm retired now, but I believe the fipronil based insecticides (Termidor, Taurus, Fuse SC and others) do have labeled instruction for limited indoor treatment. Individual state laws can be more restrictive than just the label directions.

Fipronil is a "non-repellent" insecticide. That means that we as homeowners shouldn't do our own treatments before or after the pest control company does. Using the more traditional "repellent" insecticides near/on the "non-repellents" will work against the non-repellent strategy. They may opt to go with a baiting strategy instead, or a combination of both. Keep us posted with results and what they use, if you can. I'm curious.
 
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Old 02-22-24, 02:10 PM
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A inspection by a professional is a good idea. I view ants and termites the same as icebergs. You only see a tiny but but most of it is out of sight. Since carpenter ants are wood eating they can do a lot of very expensive damage to a home so it's best to make sure there aren't any more (or termites) elsewhere in the home.
 
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Old 02-22-24, 03:57 PM
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PAbugman Thank you for the very thorough and very helpful reply. To answer your question, my sister lives in suburban Chicago, where it has been incredibly warmer than typical (highs in the low 60s, as opposed to the average which is in the upper 30s).

Pilot Dane Thanks Dane. Sounds pretty creepy.
 
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Old 02-23-24, 12:08 PM
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PAbugman
Keep us posted with results and what they use, if you can. I'm curious.
The pest control company used Termicide. Results: so far so good, but they said it may take a while for complete effectiveness. Thanks again.
 
 

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