Cold weather & Carpenter Ants Indoors

Carpenter Ants under leaking shower pan.

As the weather cools, carpenter ant colonies that may have moved in to structures over the summer can be more apparent indoors.  This is because as the outdoors becomes too cool for foraging, the inside of  a heated occupied structure will be the only foraging areas left.  The pictures here show a colony that moved in under a shower pan with a leak. This black mass is a large group of ants in the exposed rotted wood under the shower door.  Wet wood is ideal carpenter ant nesting material.  The arrows show other ants on the shower door base. As noted by Paul Fisette in thisUMASS article on Carpenter Ants and Termites, “if you see ants in your home and the ground outside is frozen outside, you have a problem.”

 -Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc.
GreenHow.com. Effective Organic and Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control and Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.

Carpenter Ant Frass

, , ,

To the left you will see conical piles of sawdust and carpenter ant body parts (carpenter ants are cannibals) that piled on folding tables below a pair of skylights. This sawdust and ant parts is called “frass” and when falling continuously from the same spot forms conical piles. This is a sure sign of a structural carpenter ant nest and should not be ignored. An integrated or green pest management program should be implemented to eradicate the nest and a plan put in place to protect the structure from further attack.
-Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc.
www.GreenHow.com. Effective Organic & Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control & Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.

Carpenter Ants!

, , ,

You may have noticed Carpenter Ant foragers returning to the exterior of your home. Look out for foraging trails to see what lines the ants are using. This is useful for you or us to apply baits and other materials to the active areas. Carpenter Ants are most active after dusk, so inspecting at the end of the day, or early morning will yield the best results. And always think of wood that has gotten wet in the past, such as areas with former plumbing leaks or ice dams. When examining those areas look for frass, essentially sawdust with ant parts in it, falling out from wood members.
-Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc.
www.GreenHow.com. Effective Organic & Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control & Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.

Pesky ants & simple steps to reduce them.

, , ,

As it warms up into spring, remember these simple tips about ants.
1) They are primarily nocturnal, but driven by food and other factors in the spring, so you will see them active throughout the day.
2) They leave a pheromone (scent is closest definition) to tell other ants that this path leads to food. This is left by the ant rubbing or dragging its’ abdomen on the surface. Cleaning and wiping down a surface will remove any pheromone trails, forcing the ants to forage for new feeding site and find the food resource again.
3) Ants love edges. They will follow line and edges, which can also be “soft spots” on the cleaning list, so spend some time during spring cleaning focusing on edges of counters, backsplashes, trim boards, etc.
4) Prune off brush and limbs. As ants follow lines, such as branches and limbs, don’t let a destination be the soffit or worse, the window box outside your kitchen window. Prune vegetation off the structure and up to 18″ from the structure.
This will help reduce the ants you see this spring.
-Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc.
www.GreenHow.com. Effective Organic & Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control & Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.

Crocuses.



Crocuses (and ants) are like the foot soldiers of Early Spring. It seems amazing that they are already out in full bloom after the harsh and long winter we had this year. What a nice surprise to see their bright jewel tones popping out of the drab landscape in our own yard.

-Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc.
www.GreenHow.com. Effective Organic & Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control & Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.

Spring Flowers!

,

Just this past week, while measuring lawns for lawn care quotes, in some areas it was possible to see the small green shoots of bulbs coming up in some garden beds. Even though it will be cold and snowy again this winter, it will do your garden and probably your mind a bit of good to think about spring. The Massachusetts Horticultural Society, known for their work at Elm Bank on the Wellesley, Natick and Dover line, is putting on a Spring Flower Show at International Place. This event, BLOOMS, will run the weekend of March 13th to March 15th at One International Place, the Intercontinental Hotel and 125 High Street. Companion exhibits will be on display at area malls including the Atrium, The Mall at Chestnut Hill (both on Boylston St, Route 9, Chestnut Hill), and Copley Place (also on Route 9, but on Huntington Ave in Boston). These companion flower exhibits will be on display from March 12 to 22nd. Just going and seeing the color of displays should inspire spring ideas on these grey days. Take heart in the approaching spring with the signs of life, from budding bulbs, to even the return of carpenter ants and termites.
Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc.
www.GreenHow.com. Effective Organic & Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control & Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.