An ant infestation is not quite as devastating as a termite infestation, but it does require careful attention to avoid structural failures that can result from their tunneling into your home. Unlike termites, ants do not eat wood for its nutritional value. They burrow into the wood to make their nest in order to breed and use the wood shavings to build partitions (walls) inside the tunnels of their nests. Most species start their nests in any moist wood that has begun to decay around the parameter of the house. They commonly nest in wood retaining walls, wet porches/decks and fascia boards, dead portions of standing trees, stumps, and logs. They attack both hardwoods and softwoods, but normally they do not cause extensive structural damage like termites do.
CARPENTER ANT DAMAGE
The first step in carpenter ant control should always include mechanical modifications to the structure and environment. The object is to reduce the avenues available for carpenter ants to enter a home or structure, as well as removing possible food and water sources.
If any tree limbs are in contact with the roof, cut them back. Carpenter ants can easily drop to a structure from tree limbs as high as five feet above the roof.
Move firewood away from the house as you would for Termites.
Seal cracks along foundations, siding, windows and doors with caulk and install fine mesh screens over crawl space and attic vents.
Ants need water in addition to food and eliminating any sources of water will make an area less hospitable to carpenter ants. If necessary, fix plumbing leaks, insulate sweating pipes, reroute air conditioner drains and make sure sprinkler heads are properly adjusted.
Any wood trim (around your home) that continues to remain moist, will attract Carpenter Ants. They thrive on moist wood. Always take precautions on keeping all wood in and around your home dry at all times.
Be sure to keep your house and yard free from any sweets or grease that might distract the ants. If you start to see ant trails, place containerized baits near a suspected ant trail; put liquid bait in cracks and void areas where ants have been seen. The first sign that the bait is working is an increase in the number of ants, in the bait area.
Do not kill any ants, as they must bring the bait back to the colony where it can be effective. The entire population should decrease eventually.
Do not spray any insecticides once you have placed a bait. Doing so could make the bait ineffective or kill the worker ants that must transport the bait back to their breeding area.
THIS IS A CARPENTER ANT COLONY THAT WILL DRAMATICALLY INCREASE IN SIZE
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Buying a home is arguably the most important, exciting and nerve-wracking purchase a person will ever make. This is the reason you need a great home inspector, and Dave Valley is just that. He is empathetic – he understands and appreciates the various emotions a potential home-buyer goes through. Most importantly, Dave provides you with objective information so you can make the most informed decision possible.
It was a pleasure working with Dave – he contains all the qualities that make a great home inspector – he is the consummate professional, prompt, courteous, meticulous in his detail and honest. Dave was reasonably priced – in fact Dave charged me the same amount I spent 10 years earlier on a smaller house and provided a far better work product.
I arrived at the house at the agreed upon time on a cold and nasty day, and found Dave outside inspecting the exterior of the home. He was already a half hour into his inspection – I think this exemplifies and is symbolic of the fact that Dave is respectful of his client’s time.
Dave was pleasant to deal with, personable and thoughtful not only to his client but also to the buyer’s real estate agent.
Dave spent almost four hours in his investigation of a 2,000 square foot house. He answered all my questions and reviewed every observation he had with me. David provided a detailed report, and encouraged me to call and email him to discuss the report and to ask questions.
The highest compliment I can give Dave is to say that I would use him again and will encourage and recommend him to others.
Michael S. Giaimo