How to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants

Several years ago, not long after we purchased this house, I noticed that we had a herd of large ants parading through the house. Being a long-time member of the ‘see a bug, kill a bug’ club, I stomped on the little suckers every time I saw one – and that was fairly often. Finally I decided that it would be a good idea to try to identify the kind of ant that it was and purchase the appropriate product for destroying the ant. I was a little worried when I discovered that the herd of ants was actually a herd of ‘carpenter’ ants, especially when I read up on what those little suckers ate. To put it bluntly, they eat houses. Or at least they eat the portion of the house that is made of wood, and that happens to be a large and important part of my house.

So I bought the little ‘ant motel’ type of things. Didn’t work. I bought sprays. Worked if you could directly hit the ants with the spray, but apparently did nothing for the ones that were hiding, because while a few of the ants did die from the spray, they were quickly replaced by their naughty little friends. I continued to mess around with trying to kill the little buggers myself for several months – and then I discovered just exactly what they had been eating. They had been eating the main beam that held up our front porch. Those little bitty ants had essentially hollowed out the beam, and my front porch was about ten minutes from collapsing.

I had no choice but to call in the big guns. I called a local exterminator, explained my ant-related problems, and he arrived within a couple of days armed with the kind of ant-killer that you just can not buy at the hardware store. For $350 he sprayed my entire house, inside and out, and told me that if after thirty days I saw another ant, to give him a call and he would return to spray again. He also warned me that due to federal regulations, exterminators could no longer use long-term sprays so my house would have to be retreated each year to keep the hungry little buggers away. He also told me that by the time a home owner can see carpenter ants, they are well into eating some part of the house.

It worked. Every spring I become $350 poorer, but it cost around $5000 to fix my porch so I see it as a good investment. If you see a carpenter ant in your home, do not waste our money on over-the-counter products. Call in the exterminator – you will not regret it.

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