Don't get these ants in your pants...

Fire ants anyone???

One poor lady paid the price…

Very common here. Everyone I know has a least one bed/colony on their property. We deal with them rather harsely though. Poison the hell out of the nest. Once you kill the queen the colony dies off quickly.

http://uts.cc.utexas.edu/~gilbert/research/fireants/photos/ifaustdist.gif

http://www.e-bug.net/Html/Images/antstings.jpg

I’ve grown up with them as have most Texans. We treat and they move the nest. Neighbors treat and they move back. Like roaches at an apartment complex. If all units aren’t treated at the same time they just migrate around.

Just another reason I’m glad to live in more Northern climes. Of course we do have to contend with these at times. Not bad this year as it has been relatively dry here.
Mosquito.jpg

Keep you eyes open there are other Ants for HIs to be concerned about .
http://www.ecnnews.com/cgi-bin/15/etstory.pl?-sec-morning+ants.0703 Roy Cooke sr . Royshomeinspection.com

Barry,
Your map confirms what I have always heard about the origin of the fire ant being introduced to our country through the Port of Mobile, AL. Story goes they came in through a cargo shipment from South American (I believe). They are nasty little buggers and the bite is extremely painful and itches like crazy for several days. The poison of choice here is Andro or other knock-offs with the same active ingredients. There are some home remedies that claim to work but I haven’t tried any. One thing for home inspector to be aware of is the fire ants love to move into outside AC units (Heat Pumps), especially in the winter time as the compressors often have heat strips and they will bed or build a sizeble nest around the base of the compressor.

Roy,
The link appears to not link properly.
Consult the local AHJ and try again.

Is this a site that requires registration?

sorry gone bad worked great this morning Roy sr
http://www.ecnnews.com/cgi-bin/15/etstory.pl?-sec-morning+ants.0703
No longer works

Try this one it is working now .
http://www.ecnnews.com/cgi-bin/15/etstory.pl?-sec-NHNews+fn-fn-fn-ants.0703-20060703-fn

Sorry about that Roy sr

FYI on fire ant killers. I use a product made by Bayer (Yes the same ones that make aspirin) and it comes in a powder form. It does not take much to kill them pesky buggers and a light dusting of the mound works well. If you stir the mound a little and piss them off then sprinkle they will carry it back down and kill the entire colony.

This killer is great stuff! Within an hour you can see all the dead carcasses around the mound and if you dig down you see many, many more! I’ve been using it for 5 years now and also noticed one very unusual thing. The fireants never reinfest a 3 foot wide area around the treatment.

I have a 10 acre place and have spot treated a large portion of it with this killer. After the first two years I have not seen many more colonies around.

http://www.nelsonideas.com/fighting-carpenter-ants/carpent0.jpg

Roy,


Is this the article link you were trying to post?

Published: July 03, 2006 12:00 am http://static.cnhi.zope.net/images/icons/printicon.gif http://static.cnhi.zope.net/images/icons/mailicon.gif
Marching one by one, ants wreak havoc on homes
Eagle-Tribune

View as a multiple pages
While some may think carpenter ant season is over, those pesky black insects could be quietly damaging homes and other buildings.
With all the heavy rainfall across Southern New Hampshire in recent weeks, exterminators like Larry Johnson are finding many carpenter ants trying to get inside.
“We’ve been very busy,” said Johnson, owner of Absolute Pest Management in Derry. His business has been going strong from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. to address the calls lately.
Although some say there is no direct correlation between the recent rain and humidity and carpenter ant activity, it can lead to wood rot if wood is not pressure-treated or if it is exposed, said Margaret Hagen, director of the Family, Home and Garden Education Center at the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension. The carpenter ants build nests in wood that is wet and punky, she said.
One of Johnson’s recent customers, Al Turmel of Manchester, said the recent rains brought back a carpenter ant problem he had a few years ago.
“I was very happy to see them leave,” he said. “I know that they can cause a lot of damage.” Turmel tried to address his carpenter ant problem a few years by himself, but the insects returned, so he called in a professional. He made that same call again when he recently saw the ants inside and outside his house and an apartment he owns.

Since the extermination, Turmel said he hasn’t seen the carpenter ants come back.
Carpenter ants are attracted to places where there is excessive wetness, Hagen said. Inside the house, that could be behind the dishwasher or in the bathroom if there are leaks. Outside, wooden siding, steps, porch columns, gutters and window trims are places carpenter ants might nest.
Carpenter ants pose a year-round problem, though the insects are more active in the spring, Hagen said. The ants’ activity typically begins to taper off in early July.
“They don’t go away, you just don’t see them,” Johnson said. The insects become nocturnal in the winter.
Winged carpenter ants, which reproduce and hunt for a new place to nest, are mostly done for the season, Hagen said.
During this time of year, Johnson said carpenter ants are attracted to sweet foods, which is why his company uses a sugar bait now. In the fall, he switches to a protein bait because the carpenter ants are attracted to such foods during that time of year.
Though aphids’ honeydew is their favorite food, Johnson said carpenter ants also eat meat and vegetables. “If you wouldn’t eat it, they won’t eat it,” he said. The exceptions to that rule are toothpaste and fruited candle wax.

Lately, home inspectors are finding many of the problems as this is the time of year when people are buying and selling homes, Johnson said. Inspectors are finding carpenter ant damage and sawdust, he said.
If there is an infestation, homeowners would typically see the insects in the spring and early summer, Hagen said. During other times of the year they remain out of sight, but could still be causing damage to the house, she said. Owners should look for sawdust when hunting for ants. The insects do not eat the wood, Hagen said, but excavate it to create nests.
Homeowners can treat the problem themselves if they can find the nest, Hagen said. But finding the nest can be difficult if it is in an unusual place, such as underneath the shower if there was a leak.
Once the nest is located, commercial sprays can help exterminate the insects, Hagen said. If it is in window trim, for example, Hagen said a homeowner could remove the trim, spray the nest and replace the trim with pressure-treated wood.
Exterminators can use some pesticides that are not available to homeowners. Johnson estimated it costs about $300 to $400 to treat an entire house, depending on the building’s size and the amount of infestation.

Hagen urged homeowners to be aware of potential problems. If there are a couple of ants every day or so, there’s no need to worry, she said. But if several are seen each day, owners should check to see where they’re going.
“You just have to pay attention,” Hagen said.

Carpenter ant facts

  • They may have nests in a number of locations - inside and outside a building.
  • Parent colonies contain the egg-laying queen, brood and 2,000 or more worker ants.
  • Satellite colonies may have a large number of worker ants, but do not have a queen, eggs or young larvae.
  • About 200 to 400 winged ants develop in the spring and remain in the nest through winter, leaving the following spring or early summer.
  • Winged carpenter ants reproduce.
  • The carpenter ants mate during a brief flight, after which the male dies. The female winged carpenter ant, known as a queen, removes her wings and finds a nesting site, usually in soft, moist, decaying wood. * A new queen lays 15 to 20 eggs to produce the first brood of offspring, which later become sterile female worker ants that gather food and feed the queen and subsequent larvae.

Sources: University of Kentucky Entomology and Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences Cooperative Extension

Carpenter ant prevention

  • Reduce the moisture level in basements and crawl spaces
  • Remove scrap wood from around the home and move firewood at least 25 feet away from the foundation
  • Keep bark mulch away from wood siding
  • Eliminate wood to ground contact
  • Keep gutters free of leaves and debris
  • Fix water leaks as soon as they are found
  • Replace damaged timbers with sound materials
  • Do not allow wood within 18 inches of the soil, where possible
  • Fill visible cracks and voids in foundation
  • Direct water run off away from the foundation
  • Ensure gutters and downspouts are working correctly Source: University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension