DO IT YOURSELF PEST CONTROL
Ants a common name for members of a family of social insects.
All ants are social, which means they live in organized colonies.
Development The four life stages of an ant are egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The minute white or yellowish eggs laid by the queen hatch in two to six weeks and develop into white larvae, or grubs. After feeding a few weeks to several months, larvae become pupae, commonly but incorrectly called ant eggs. In some species the pupae are naked, and in others they are covered with cocoons spun from a substance that they secrete at the end of the larval stage. After the pupal stage, during which no food is taken, the adults appear. During development the immature ants are fed, cleaned, and attended by the adult workers. As in all insects with a complete metamorphosis, the ant has attained its full size when it leaves the pupa stage. Left to themselves, males generally die after fertilizing the queens in the nuptial flight. Queens and workers of some species are known to live longer than 15 years.
Are you sure these are carpenter ants? If the words "large, black ants" describe your specimens, then yes, they are probably carpenter ants. For further proof of identification, look for the evenly rounded thorax pictured on the carpenter ant .
Are the ants with wings also carpenter ants? Probably, if they are large, black, winged ants. Carpenter ants can also be very small depending on the age of the colony.When the colony is new the workers (called minor workers)are very small. As the years go by though the workers become larger.This is one way the professionals can judge the age of the infestation.Winged ants are swarmers; that is, members of the colony produced as reproductives (kings and queens) for the purpose of flying off and starting new colonies.
Is moisture and wood decay always necessary for carpenter ant nesting? No. Carpenter ants usually nest in moist wood such as inside hollow trees, dead limbs, logs, stumps and firewood, and in structural wood exposed to water from leaks or condensation (window and door frames and sills, shower and tub walls, and kitchen plumbing walls, roof sheathing and rafters, and so forth). Nests may be in sound timbers, dry cracks and joints, existing cavities such as hollow doors, or even in foam insulation.
Can I treat carpenter ants myself or should I hire a pest control operator? It depends.Carpenter ant treatment is most effective when the nest is located and treated directly. If you do hire a PCO, check around and get more than one cost estimate. Prices for carpenter ant control vary from $25 to $1000. The latter treatment includes a drill-and-dust application to every wall void in the house, whether the walls are insulated or not, and whether ants are likely in those walls or not.It also comes with a recommendation for monthly treatment for a year.
How can I treat for carpenter ants? Begin by trying to locate the nest. This is easier said than done, but the effort pays off. Look at both indoor and outdoor sites, and look at night when foragers are most active. Look for ant trails or a general direction of movement or feed foragers small dabs of honey and then follow them to the nest. If necessary replace damaged or decayed wood at the infestation site and correct moisture problems.
Homeowners can treat with 'ant and roach killer' insecticide sprays such as Empire 20 or Delta Dust. Treat wall voids and other hidden spaces where ants are entering by spraying the liquids or puffing the dust into cracks and gaps or through small drilled holes if necessary. If you can not locate the nest, make a general application of spray or dust to cracks, crevices and room edges where ants are most numerous. Dust can be injected into wall voids via the holes surrounding electrical outlets. Use extreme caution around electrical wiring. Spraying outlet openings is not recommended.
Also recommended highly is a carpenter ant bait called Advance Ant Bait. This new addition to pest control technology gives excellent results for Carpenter Ant control when used according to the label and placed where the ants frequent
Outdoor nests can be directly treated with aforementioned insecticides and granules such as Diazinon Granules or Dursban Granules or barrier treatment around the house foundation can also be used to prevent foraging ant entry.
The name grease ant is commonly used for one of the smallest ants found in homes a. These ants are technically known as thief ants. They are very small; only l to l mm (1/6th inch)long. They are smooth and shiny and may be yellow to light or dark brown. Indoors, these ants nest in cracks and crevices of walls and cabinets, under floors and behind baseboards. The nests are frequently difficult to locate since the ants travel great distances in search of food. Though they will eat almost anything, these ants prefer to eat grease, fats and meats. Grease ants form a trail from the food to the nest and the moving columns of ants can be noticed upon careful inspection.
These ants are very persistent and may be difficult to control. Sprays of residual insecticide such as Dursban Pro applied into cracks and crevices in the vicinity of the nest may be effective, though re-appearance of the ants after a week to10 days is common. A better solution would be to use a dust such as Delta Dust in the cracks and crevices .Another solution for control success has been reported when ant bait such as Drax Ant Bait is used.
These Light brown ants are about 1/8 inch long or less.These small ants rarely produce swarmers or winged forms. They establish small to large nests indoors, and are common throughout the year.
(Monomorium pharaonis) Colonies may consist of a few hundred to thousands of workers and queens. They are often located in many sites throughout the infested structure. These ants will feed on a variety of foods, but seem to prefer meat and grease, and forage during the day and night.
Spraying for these ants should not be done because it only fragments the colonies. This causes the colony to "bud", or split-off to form a new colony and worsens the problem. Baits placed in all locations that the ants have been seen is the best strategy, but baiting may take several months to achieve control.
STEP ONE: TREAT INDOORsBecause their nests are usually well-hidden behind cabinets and inside walls, it's best to use baits to eliminate the problem. We recommend Drax Ant Bait for the treatment of Pharaoh Ants. For best results follow the label directions and place the bait in areas that you know the ants frequent.
Once the Drax bait is discovered, bait the rest of the house where you see a trail of ants and they are likely to "discover" this new source of food. Place the bait in the middle of ant lines or where ants are visibly congregating. Place a small droplet of bait about the size of a lemon seed in areas where the ants are congregating and space about two to four placements every five linear feet of area being observed.
STEP 2 - TREAT OUTDOOR PERIMETER
These light brown ants are about 1/8 inch long or less. The winged forms are produced form July to early fall. Nests may be located in soil next to other ants or around house foundations or indoors. They are similar to Pharaoh ants in size and color.
(Solenopsis molesta) Colonies may be located outdoors under rock or around walkways, in rotting wood or exposed soil. Colonies may be a few hundred to several thousand workers and queens. They often nest in houses where they feed on meat and grease. They forage throughout the house and are know to bite and sting people.
The best control strategy is to locate and treat the outdoor nests with liquid insecticide,such as Dursban Pro initially and then I suggest to to maintain the control you achieve by using a granular insecticide applied directly to the nest periodically such as Diasinon Granules according to label directions. and to use Drax Ant Bait for the indoor nests. Colonies that are foraging indoors will usually be located close to the house foundation. They like close spaces and are generally found between two adjoing sections of concrete.
Colonies of ants usually establish one dwelling or nest. A few types, notably the army and driver ants, are nomadic with nesting phases. The nest of these ants is an open mass formed by the clustered bodies of up to a few million workers hanging from the underside of a raised log or other surface and enclosing the queen and brood. The activities of ant communities are characterized by a certain degree of division of labor, which in some cases involves a permanent functional differentiation among members of the colony. In certain harvester ants, for example, only the large-headed workers crack seeds. More frequently, however, the division of labor is a relative matter, as in most species of carpenter ants. The largest workers of these species predominate in defense, the intermediate-sized ones in foraging, and the smallest in brood-tending, but all castes are capable of all types of activity.In many species of carpenter and honeydew ants, individual workers may be temporarily specialized for foraging or brood-tending. Like social insects in general, ants may be termed industrious, although colony activity varies from a high degree of intensity at certain times of the day (usually early morning and late afternoon, or early evening in nocturnal ants) to lethargy at other times, as through midday or in the early hours before dawn. Activity in Temperate Zone ants also varies seasonally, from a high level in midsummer to dormancy in winter. Lasting individual differences are present within the worker population of certain species; some are characteristically energetic while others are sluggish. Some ants are capable of learning to find their way through fairly complex mazes, and they normally utilize this ability in establishing individual foraging routes from the nest. The learning capacity of ants is rigidly limited, however, and in contrast to mammalian learning is stereotyped and restricted. The complexities of ant organization that seem so remarkable to humans are actually a series of simple cues and responses. In foraging from the nest, some ants, including the army and the driver ants, operate in definite columns following chemical trails; others vary in the individual use of cues-for example, the direction and plane of polarization of light. Many ants function only through subterranean galleries, many are strictly arboreal, but commonly the species range both above and below the surface of the earth. Communication among ants is highly efficient and is conducted mainly through tactual and chemical means, although some species exhibit vibratory and even auditory processes. Typically a "finder" ant arouses the colony, and excited nestmates may be influenced in their direction of progress from the nest by one means or another, according to species. For example, in the diminutive reddish-yellow Pharaoh ant, common in kitchens, the excited finder, in returning to the nest, releases a track of chemical secretion that directs others to the food. Usually the excitement of the finder is greater when larger concentrations of food are discovered, and thus correspondingly greater numbers of nestmates are stimulated to forage. The nests of many ants are inhabited by various beetles and other insects called myrmecophiles, or ant lovers, which are continuous residents; such insects range from definite parasites to somewhat beneficial types. Many ants live as temporary or permanent social parasites in the colonies of other ant species. The Amazon ant carries out forays against other ants and brings back to the home nest some of the unconsumed brood to serve as slaves when mature. These slave ants perform the work of the Amazon colony, including excavation and brood-tending.
These ants are about ¼ inch long, and the body is brown to dark brown with pale brown legs. The winged forms may occur during most warm months, but are most common in June and July. Nests are located in soil and in the masonry walls of houses.
(Tetramorium caespitum) These ants are common in the yard, garden and around foundations. They feed on a variety of plant and animal material. They forage primarily during the day. Nests between the block walls and the sill plate of houses often contain parts of insects and wood shavings.
The best control strategy is to locate and treat the outdoor nests with liquid insecticide, such as Dursban Pro initially and then I suggest to to maintain the control you achieve by using a granular insecticide applied directly to the nest periodically such as Diasinon Granules according to label directions. and to use Drax Ant Bait for the indoor nests. Colonies that are foraging indoors will usually be located close to the house foundation.
Ant Pests In the United States, one of the most harmful pests among the ants is the black, imported fire ant, a small stinging ant that was introduced accidentally from South America, presumably in Mobile, Alabama. The large mound communities of this pest disrupt mechanized farming and damage crops. The tiny black ant and its close relative, the sugar ant, infest households in the United States. In the northern states the carpenter ant is another common intruder around dwellings. Ants of this species usually gnaw out the galleries and chambers of their nests in wood initially infested by beetles. Also common in the north is the pavement ant, native to the Near East but now cosmopolitan. The bulldog ant, which is indigenous to Australia, has large workers more than 2.5 cm (more than 1 in) in length. These ants have a formidable sting and often build mounds of considerable height. Most widely known of the American army ants is a tropical species, the workers of which include the major, or soldier, type. The major has huge hook-shaped mandibles and a potent sting. Each day, colonies of this species organize a swarm raid that may have a front almost 14 m (more than 45 ft) wide and that advances at a rate of about 30 cm (about 12 in) a minute. These ants capture, tear, and carry back to their bivouac any insect or other arthropod, such as roaches and tarantulas, that cannot escape them. At times, nestling birds, cornered snakes, or other small animals are killed by stinging. Driver ants in one African genus carry out comparable swarm raids, which usually begin in the early evening. Many arthropods and other prey are captured and torn up. Small forest mammals or domestic stock cornered in pens and unable to escape the ants are sometimes included in the kill. The economic significance of ants is difficult to judge. The carpenter ants, which must be considered destructive to wood, actually may contribute to forest economy by hastening the breakdown and recycling of timber previously infested by other insects. Also, the many ants that gather seeds are destructive to agriculture when they become excessively numerous around grain fields or storage centers, but normally their presence may favor good production by opposing the increase of injurious parasitic beetles. Ants, particularly certain aphid-tending species, are frequent pests around lawns and gardens; however, the great benefit of these and other ants in aerating and mixing the soil must also be considered. Further, important contributions to forest economy in tropical and subtropical areas may be made by the predatory driver or army ants; they are highly effective exterminators of other, more damaging, insects and are not always unwelcome in human dwellings.
Iowa -Illinois Termite & Pest Control Inc.
3909 Marquette St. Davenport Iowa 52806
(877)-472-2345 Phone (319)-386-0598 Fax