Carpenter ants in winter will show up inside in New England from nests in the wall. Anytime from December to March ant activity inside is not originating outdoors. A typical nest active in winter is on the inside of the insulation and on a south-facing wall. Solar exposure makes afternoon ant activity more common. Carpenter ants start nests in wet wood. Carpenter ants start nests in wood wet from prior events. Humans can always see a water stain on wood. Similarly, ants can also always find wood that has gotten wet.
Inspect for wet wood, it’s not good.
Pest control starts with pest identification and a thorough inspection. Around windows and doors with bad flashing wet wood is often found. First, start looking around and under sinks, tubs or toilets that have ever leaked. Pay special attention to tiled showers and tubs with tiled surrounds. Leaks occur in tiled showers both from compromised grout and a drain and pan problem. In addition, look inside the bath trap or plumbing access panel for wet wood or ant activity. Then check on the exterior, any chimneys or fireplace flues are hotspots since the flashing around the stone or brick often has issues. Finish looking at attached decks and porches with ledger boards and roofs that connect to the house.
Here you can see carpenter ants moving inside the bath trap access area. The wood frame is visibly wet. Ants are congregating around the opening to the nest.
Fix leaks, then treat the ants.
The two steps to controlling carpenter ants, first maintain your property and fix any water leaks or leaks from the exterior trim, flashing or roofing that let water in. Second, treat the nest location, or if not accessible, treat the trails to the nest. Carpenter ants must climb up to the nest which makes treating the foundation with a residual insecticide a successful solution. However, do not rely on just one material to solve your ant issue. Successful control will come by integrating methods from moisture control and a variety of materials. Finally, if you cannot find the trails, use bait, especially at night, to locate ant trails.
Selecting the proper material for carpenter ants is important. Call us for an inspection and service.