How to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants
LESLIE: Sandra in Florida has a question about carpenter ants. Are you seeing them around? Are they leaving their tools everywhere?
SANDRA: Yes, they certainly are. (laughing) And they’re not saws and hammers. (laughing) I have a four-year-old home. We had it custom built. And about the end of October, we started seeing carpenter ants on the lanai and around the pool area.
SANDRA: We do have … quarterly, we have bugs – exterminator people – that feed the lawn and spray for bugs and so forth. So I called them. They came out and did what they said was going to take care of the problem.
TOM: Which was what? What exactly did they do?
SANDRA: They put granules all the way around the perimeter of the pool cage and on the outside wall of the family room; which faced the yard. And then, two weeks went by and we started seeing them in the family room.
TOM: Because they came inside.
SANDRA: No, they weren’t … they were not coming in the sliding glass door.
SANDRA: Alright? So they came out and they worked their deal again. They put some kind of liquid all around the perimeter again. Now we no longer have them on the pool cage. We only have them in the family room. This went on and on until the week before Christmas and I was having the family for Christmas Eve dinner. And I had them all over.
TOM: Well, listen. The good news here is you can get rid of the ants. I don’t know what they’re using but they’re not using the right stuff. I would recommend a product called Termidor – T-e-r-m-i-d-o-r. Termidor is a nondetectable treatment for insects. And what a nondetectable is – or an undetectable – means that the ants don’t know that the product is there. And when they don’t know it’s there, they basically plow through this stuff once it’s applied. They get it on their bodies and then, most importantly, they take it back to the nest where they pass it to all of their ant buddies; all of their carpenter ant buddies. Just like they share their tools, they share their Termidor. (chuckling) And eventually, it kills the entire nest.
Any other type of treatment is only going to give you a temporary effect. But if you use something like Termidor, you’re going to get rid of them once and for all. So I would …
SANDRA: Well, last month they came and they dug around every ornamental, tree, bush. They removed the dirt that was alongside of the wall of the family room. I mean they put a thing that much looks like a pressure washer …
SANDRA: … down into the ground …
SANDRA: … and puffed some kind of …
TOM: Yeah, they trenched it. Sounds like a termite treatment. Well, listen. You, as the homeowner, have a right to know what product they’re installing in your house.
LESLIE: And they should be writing that on their receipts.
TOM: They absolutely should …
LESLIE: They should be – on the invoice should be telling you exactly what treatment they used.
TOM: And how much of it they used and what it’s supposed to do. You need to be more … better educated about the products they’re putting in around your house. It sounds like you’re not getting the information that you need. And let me give you a website to look more into this particular product; because I’ve used it personally and it’s something that has to be applied by a professional but it works very, very well. It’s made by BASF; they really know what they’re doing.
TOM: No, T-e-r-m-i-d-o-r. Termidorhome.com. Termidorhome.com.
SANDRA: Termidorhome …
TOM: .com. And you’ll see that it’s a product that’s designed for both termites and ants. And on that page, you click on the ant control button and it’ll tell you how it’s used for ants. Okay?
SANDRA: Okay. Thank you so very, very much for your help. I greatly appreciate it.
TOM: You’re welcome, Sandra. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. If you have a question about your home improvement project – and maybe it includes some insect control – we’d be happy to take that call right now.