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FAQ's Continued...

CARPENTER ANTS

1. Usually, I only see carpenter ants for a two or three week period of time each spring and then they seem to disappear. Should I be concerned?

Many homeowners will claim "we treat the outside and they go away." In reality, this is more of a coincidence or the biological fact that they start foraging outdoors. You see them more in the early spring because the temperature inside your house is to their liking. In addition, many early calls for carpenter ant activity are a sure sign the nest is indoors as they are less likely to be foraging in and out that early in the year. Further, a carpenter nest location can be somewhat easier to locate at this time as their metabolism has not peaked yet and they are usually found not far from the (a) nest location. In a sense, they “give themselves away”, whereas later in the year the warmer temperatures make it more difficult to locate nests and more humid conditions cause carpenter ants to forage later into the evening and night.

2. If I only see carpenter ants crawling around outside should I be concerned?

This speaks to the idea if “I do not see them, I do not have them." A classic example that contradicts this mentality is when homeowners replace decks attached to homes, have replacement windows put in, or replace the wood overhead door with an aluminum one. What they find is not only are they replacing a deck, windows, or a garage door, they have a new, unsuspected, and unwelcomed problem-a carpenter ant infestation. Their first words to me are often “And I never saw an ant inside."  In these situations the carpenter ants have chosen a nesting site that provides them with what they need without being seen or having to forage  in a kitchen or a bathroom. A free inspection from Michael can help you with this question and potentially save you thousands of dollars.

3.  Don’t carpenter ants hibernate in the winter?

While it is true carpenter ants metabolism slows in the winter months, they are preconditioned by nature to produce a material called glycerol, which acts as a form of antifreeze to protect them throughout the winter. Further, and contrary to public perception, entire colonies live outdoors and survive year to year. Given the right conditions (ex. warmth of a fireplace and a nest being located in a ceiling void), carpenter ants can be evident throughout the year inside. What is interesting though is that when most homeowners call it is only after seeing carpenter ants for two or three years in the same location, only in the third year there is substantially more carpenter ants noticed and the homeowner then becomes alarmed and rightfully concerned. In reality though, those carpenter ants are usually the same colony, only in the third year, left untreated, the colony has become so established that it  no longer produces 15­20 carpenter ant workers but hundreds and even thousands. The lesson here is that any carpenter ants seen either inside or outside of your home should be taken seriously. Waiting will only cause more damage, more frustration and cost you a lot more money. A free inspection by Michael can help you with this question and potentially save you thousands of dollars.

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