Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are at it again. Each year they become active in Spring and remain active until early Fall. It is in early Spring that mature carpenter ant colonies will release reproductive individuals into the world.

All reproductives have wings and are commonly refered to as “swarmers”. It is their purpose to mate, lay eggs in a new location and establish a new colony. During the winter months, outdoor colonies will become dormant however some indoor colonies can continue to show activity.

Carpenter ants are generally about .25 to 1 inch in size and are indigenous to many parts of the world. Like their size, they can cause large amounts of damage if not treated. There are a few ways to find out if you have carpenter ants, the first of course being seeing them. You may also see piles of a sawdust like material called frass. Carpenter ants don’t actually eat the wood but instead tunnel through it which causes the frass. You may also begin to see some damage if left untreated for a long period of time.

Some ways to reduce your chances of getting carpenter ants include maintaining dry conditions-they prefer moist wood to nest in-so if they can’t find it either in or around your home, they won’t stick around. And remember, any place that wood comes in contact with soil, it could potentially become infested with carpenter ants.

If, and when you do get a carpenter ant problem (or any other pest problem), give Cottage Country Pest Control a call at 705-534-7863 or email us. We are happy to answer any questions and book an appointment at your convenience.

Pests not covered …

Pets can be pests too - but they're much cuter :)

Pets can be pests too – but they’re much cuter 🙂

Was surprised to read that damage by pests is not typically covered under home insurance in this CBC article 6 big home insurance misconceptions.

Not because I thought they would be – but because I would never have thought that they might be in the first place! Doesn’t seem, to me, as if it even needed saying.

In most cases, if pests have got to the point where they have actually caused that much damage, it is because a relatively small problem was left untreated and allowed to grow to the point where the damage caused far outweighs the amount it would have cost to deal with it.

Of course,  a determined rodent or two can make short work of whatever takes their fancy, as I learned when my new chinchillas got access to a bit of window frame for a very short time (stupid cover fell down; oops! It’s a good thing they are cute).  And we have seen significant amounts of damage caused by a few hungry woodpeckers in search of carpenter ants once or twice. Distressing – but highly unlikely to ever be covered by insurance. I wouldn’t have even thought to ask, actually.

Pretty sure insurance companies expect that we keep the rodents out (or in cages if they happen to be cute!), and deal with carpenter ant problems long before the woodpeckers show up.

It is always cheaper to prevent a problem than to solve one, or to intervene when it’s small rather than waiting until it gets big – and Ross at Cottage Country Pest Control is always happy to help you to save time, money & aggravation. Give us a call at 705-534-7863, or email ccpestcontrol@gmail.com and we will be happy to help.

 

 

 

Busy day!

Yikes… the carpenter ants are going crazy, seems like.

Got home from work today to answering machine full of messages and missed calls. The messages are great – I really appreciate it when people leave them. The missed calls, not so much!

Wish I could be here to take your call right away all the time… but on the other hand, I love teaching too, so….

Wednesdays & Thursdays, just for a few more weeks, I teach in Barrie – but I will get back to you as soon as I get home. Or, if you wish, try emailing me at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com and I’ll call/email you on my next break 🙂 Ross just ~loves~ seeing new appointments pop up on his calendar even when he thinks I’m at work so he’s “safe” from surprises, honest 🙂

Carpenter Ants on the rise

Carpenter antsAn article on the CBC site today talks about increasing numbers of carpenter ant infestations in Windsor, ON and Halifax, NS … no mention of here in cottage country Ontario but could have told them that we are definitely seeing a lot more calls for them here as well.

Used to be mostly Balm Beach that had them, with a few up Honey Harbour way as well… then last year, started to see them all over Tiny Township; here in Victoria Harbour and Port McNicoll; up in the Parry Sound and Huntsville area…. and this year they seem to be everywhere we cover.

Not that we’re complaining, of course. Ross is happy to go to wherever the ants are and evict them for you.

You might be interested to know that there can be major differences in how pest control companies treat carpenter ants. Spraying kills only visible ants (generally about 10% of the population) and while it will provide some temporary relief from the aggravation of seeing ants wandering around, it allows the queen(s) to continue churning out new ants, and the ants that you are not seeing to continue to damage the structure of your home or cottage. You should be looking for a pest control company that is actually going to solve the problem, not just mask it – and that typically involves bait. Do be sure that when you are comparing quotes on carpenter ant treatment, you are actually comparing the cost of fixing the problem, not signing on for years of masking it.

If you think you might have carpenter ants (big ants, sometimes with wings; piles of sawdust-like material, which can be coloured if they’re tunneling through insulation; and or noises in your walls or ceilings) give us a call at 705-534-7863, or email ccpestcontrol@gmail.com and we will fit you in.

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter antsWell, we’ve pretty much finished up the first round of spider sprays – did we miss you? We’re sorry! Give us a call or drop us an email at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com and we will certainly get that done for you – but mostly what we’re dealing with right now are carpenter ants. They are all through cottage country these days – we’re getting calls from all over Simcoe, Tiny & Tay, Port Severn & Honey Harbour. Tiny still seems to be the most impacted though.

Carpenter ants are, of course, the big ants – and they can do an awful lot of damage, although fortunately they are much slower about it than termites. There are a number of ways to tell that you have them – seeing them, of course… but also you might find piles of a sawdust like material (sometimes coloured, if they’re tunneling through insulation). And if they are really bad, you might hear them as well, crunching in the walls. You do NOT want them crunching through your walls!

Give us a call at 705-534-7863 or email us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com and Ross will be happy to solve your carpenter ant problem by making sure that both the main and satellite nests are eradicated.

Busy days

Well, the season started off slow – but now we’re hopping…. today Ross and Carly, his new helper, are out on the islands up near Honey Harbour with Big Red Works; lots of others appointments booked for the next while as well…BUT not to worry, we can and will fit you in somewhere!

Still seeing lots and lots of carpenter ants in this area; even if you don’t have a problem with them now … or especially if, really! …. we highly recommend that you consider an exterior spider spray. Not only does it keep your home or cottage free of spiders and their webs, it also to prevent carpenter ants and other insects from getting in. Given that we know that there are carpenter ants all through Tiny, Tay, Muskoka and Simcoe, it is a really good idea!  As long as they stay outside where they belong, they don’t cause a problem.

The one pest we’re not hearing much about lately is bedbugs, which is a definite improvement…. hope it stays that way – at least until the carpenter ants, spider sprays and all the other pests we deal with this time of year settle down. In any case, if we haven’t yet contacted you this year, I apologize – please do give us a call at 705-534-7863, or email me at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com and we’ll get Ross out there at a time that works for you.

Lauralee

How can I tell if I have carpenter ants?

Carpenter ants are a big problem for a lot of people right now, but sometimes people may not know if what  they have are carpenter ants or just “regular” ants.

 

We’ve covered carpenter ants before and explained their characteristics, appearance, life cycle and treatment but today’s post will show you more than just explain. If you want to read the previous post on carpenter ants you do that here.

Carpenter ants. Notice their size as that is one of the big differences between this species and other ants.

Another ant species. As you can see this species is considerably smaller than the carpenter ants.

Some of the damage that carpenter ants can cause if left untreated long-term.

Another example of damage caused by carpenter ants if left untreated long-term.

This is frass. This is a major indicator of whether or not you have carpenter ants. When carpenter ants burrow into the wood, this is what remains.

A single carpenter ant. Again, notice the size of the ant. Carpenter ants are generally about .25 to 1 inch.

A carpenter ant queen. She will always be found in the main nest (a moist an decaying wood source) where she will lay the eggs. The main nest is almost always found outdoors. The main nest will almost always be located outside in places such as rotting trees/stumps or decaying landscape timbers.

A carpenter ant worker. The workers can be found both inside and outside in either the main nest or the satellite nest. Satellite nests are often located in wall voids, eaves, ceilings or under insulation found in attics or crawl spaces and can also be found in roof gutters and in downspouts. Generally, any nest found in a home will be a satellite nest.

If you know you have carpenter ants or suspect you do (or any type of pest), give Cottage Country Pest Control a call at 705-534-7863 or email us as we will be happy to answer any questions or book an appointment at your convenience.

Wanderings

Ross new volvoIsn’t it pretty? Ross picked up his new-to-him vehicle yesterday… spent some time this morning (between phone calls and my pestering him about invoices & so on) figuring out how he wanted to set everything up in it…. but eventually had to quit playing and get off to work.  He’s doing several spider sprays here in Victoria Harbour today, then tomorrow he’s off to Muskoka for a few more. Those ones are for people who have had carpenter ants in the past …. the carpenter ant problems are solved, but following up with spider sprays in subsequent years just makes sense.

Even though we call it a spider spray, the spray that we use is effective on most insects – and it lasts for several weeks – so it helps to keep carpenter ants – and ladybugs – and mosquitos – and …well, you get the idea – on the outside of your home or cottage, where they belong.

And that, of course, is the main thing… we wouldn’t want to kill off all the insects, even if we could…. they are an important part of the food chain! But keeping them outside of your home, cottage or business just makes sense.

 

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are a rather large species of ant (they are generally about .25 to 1 inch) and are indigenous to many parts of the world. They are a particular problem in this area of Ontario – with Balm Beach being the clear leader in our service area.

 

They reside both indoors and outdoors in moist, decaying or hollow wood and will build two different types of nest. The first is the main nest; this is where the queen will go to lay eggs and in order for her to do so, it must be a moist, decaying wood source that must remain moist in order for the eggs and young larvae to survive. The main nest will almost always be located outside in places such as rotting trees/stumps or decaying landscape timbers.

 

The second type of nest is the satellite nest. Carpenter ants will make satellite nest where they care for older larvae and pupae that can tolerate drier conditions. These satellite nests are often located in wall voids, eaves, ceilings or under insulation found in attics or crawl spaces and can also be found in roof gutters and in downspouts. Generally, any nest found in a home will be a satellite nest.

 

Each year, carpenter ants become active in the spring (March-April) and remain so through early fall (September-October). A mature carpenter ant colony usually releases reproductive individuals in springtime. The reproductives have wings and, like winged termites, are commonly known as “swarmers.” The swarmers’ purpose is to mate and, in the chase of females, to fly to a new location, lay eggs and establish a new colony. In winter, most carpenter ant colonies become dormant, although indoor nests may show some continued activity.

 

Carpenter ants, while building their nests do not eat the wood but rather tunnel through it, which is why when investigating to see whether or not you have carpenter ants, it’s important to look for piles of a sawdust-like material called frass.

 

Controlling and eliminating carpenter ants can be done and the best prevention is to maintain dry conditions, so that they are unable to find moist and decaying wood to nest in. Remember, anyplace that wood comes in contact with soil, could potentially become infested with carpenter ants.

 

Reducing woodpiles around and in your home or cottage can help to prevent infestations and damage.

 

The key to controlling any infestation is to find where the queen is laying eggs (the main nest). This will require a thorough inspection and an effort to follow foraging ants back to their nest. It is recommended that if you see 10-12 ants (or more) in your home during the evening then it is worth investigating.

 

Thoroughly inspect (or hire a professional like Cottage Country Pest Control) all crawl spaces, attics, porches, etc for signs on nesting such as the mounds of loose shavings or the frass beneath a crack in the wall or eavespace.

Give us a call at 705-534-7863 or email us to ask a question or to book your appointment.

Carpenter Ants Waking Up

Carpenter antsSeems like it’s getting just warm enough to wake up the carpenter ants here in cottage country. They are still pretty slow moving though …. and no reports of winged ants/swarms yet….

SO … it is a really good time to deal with the problem before it gets well established.

Give us a call and we’ll be happy to help you nip the whole thing in the bud.  This early in the season, sometimes 2 visits are required but hey, guess what? We don’t charge you any extra for that.

You can reach Cottage Country Pest Control by email at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com or by phone at 705-534-7863. If you don’t get an answer please do leave a message and we will get back to you as quickly as possible …. giving final exams this week, and then I will (mostly) be around to play pest control secretary