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Pest Info

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We know our pests!
Find out more information here about pests that are common to the Northwest and how we control them
Carpenter Ants

Carpenter Ants

The Facts

Carpenter ant control in the Pacific Northwest is a necessary fact of life.  They are the most important insect in the wood destroying category, accounting for many more infestations than termites and powder post beetles.  Although seeing one carpenter ant does not necessarily mean that your house is infested, the presence of one indicates that a nest is nearby.  Ants with wings are known as "winged reproductives", which when seen indoors is almost always a sign that the nest is inside the structure.  These are often confused with termites.  To differentiate the two, carpenter ants have a narrow waist and uneven pairs of wings, while termites have a broad waist and two pairs of wings that are the same size.  Carpenter ants do not actually feed on wood as termites do, but they can do extensive damage as they will create tunnels inside the wood to expand their living space as their colony grows.  They leave behind piles of frass as they work, which includes coarse shavings of wood and usually insect parts and other debris.  Our most common carpenter ant is camponotus modoc, but there are several other species occurring in the Northwest including a camponotus vicinus which can often be seen trailing up the corners of homes in the spring and finding their way along the soffits and into attics.

The Solution

A carpenter ant colony begins outside the home, usually with a parent colony in a tree or stump, and will move into a dwelling to form a satellite colony.  Because of this, it is crucial to do a thorough inspection to find the colonies, and any traffic between them, as well as trails where the ants are foraging.  In most cases the ants are drawn in because they have found damp or decaying wood, which is what they prefer to nest in.  They will however readily build nests in dry, sound wood, or in the insulation in wall voids.  Many pest control companies will offer to drill holes in your siding and inject repellents into the walls, but this can do damage to your home and there are many newer methods that are less intrusive and up to date with current technology.  Eradicon Pest Management will apply a non-repellent product to the nest and foraging trails.  Even when the nest is not accessible, the ants will spread the product among the population, wiping out the entire colony in a few days!  

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