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I hate carpenter ants!

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  • I hate carpenter ants!

    It is bad enough that they work to weaken and kill trees around here, but until now, they have been a bother outdoors. I have been involved in repainting my interior rooms, and in some cases shifting the hues a bit. My job was nearing the end, and I was set to do two walls, and I moved a bookcase. A real shock, as a massive mold spot, and the baseboard was eaten away, and some of the bamboo flooring was also eaten through. This becomes a major task, not some small job. I called in a contractor that I have used, and also arranged for an exterminator to treat everything. Today, the contractor came and opened up the wall. Even 2x4s were eaten away, and the sill wood was gone, all to dust. But there was absolutely no sign of dampness. Since I hadn't painted that wall since 2003, and it also means the bookcase wasn't really moved much, the moisture could have been from a problem long ago. I have done a lot with the outside of the house over the past few years. And there was no sign of a carpenter ant nest, although they have been seen in the house, and some were seen above the garage when I looked after finding the damage, which is the common wall separating the house from the garage. The contractor repaired the damage to the 2x4s, and left it open so the exterminator can spray into the area. The repair of the floor is going to be a tough job.

    Floor-2s.jpgFloor-3s.jpg

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  • #2
    Wow, what a mess! Imagine if you hadn’t decided to paint and it had gone on much longer. My house was built on an anthill but I don’t know what kind they are. I wouldn’t know a carpenter ant if it walked across my hand. Hope all goes well and they get gone for good!
    Diane and Cicero - Sr. Manager:

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    • #3
      I get little ants that try and get the cat food, but carpenter ants are large black ants. The damage is done, and the ants are pretty well gone, but the exterminator will come tomorrow to treat everything. I am leaving the wall open so he can do a thorough job inside there. They like moisture as it softens the wood, but everything is totally dry. So the infestation may have been quite awhile ago. I really don't need that now. But it is only money. One of the reasons I don't move things like the heavy bookcase is that if I don't get the floor totally clean, a piece of grit can catch on the bottom of the bookcase and scratch the floor. Even an empty bookcase can do that.
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      • #4
        Wow, that's a lot of damage. As much as it's a pain, it's good that you caught it.
        Jill Gallo /Manager
        The Petsforums Management Team

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        • #5
          This picture shows the replacement of the eaten wood. The "x" marks on the floor are the bamboo pieces that will need to be replaced. The exterminator came today to do spraying. One benefit is that I shouldn't have to worry about ants going after the cat food that my cats spill in the kitchen.

          in edit: you can tell carpenter ants from other ants since they will be wearing a tiny tool belt.

          Floor-5s.jpg
          Last edited by calicokitty; 06-25-2020, 03:54 PM.
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          • #6
            I feel your pain. They are a chronic problem here. Have to treat the house every year.
            The Bee and me, Maggie Forever! (January 1988- June 19, 2010), Irving Always! (March 1987 - October 25, 1999) Vancouver, BC, Theo my big beautiful boy. July 27, 2010-April 3, 2017

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            • #7
              I don’t move things like bookcases around here either. The whole wall could be gone and I wouln’t know it!
              Diane and Cicero - Sr. Manager:

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              • #8
                The real problem remaining pertains to the bamboo flooring. Manufacturers keep making changes, and my exact flooring is no longer available, or least hasn't yet been found a case. I told my contractor that there is no rush, as the options if the flooring cannot be gotten are not real great. And the damaged area is tucked away. Once I paint the wall, then it will mean almost my entire house interior has been painted. I had hoped to get a professional to do the stairwell, as that is a major (and exhausting) task. But Covid-19 hit, no jobs could be done, I figured they got backlogged once they could resume work, and it was too small of a job to be of their concern. They did e-mail and said they would contact me. But that was weeks ago. So I painted it the other day. So the only thing left would be ceilings. So if they call, I will ask them if they are interested. I expect that the ceilings are normally done first, but I didn't see the need, nor did I have the desire. But if it could be done professionally, that would be fine.
                Looks like the carpenter ant damage is going to be a $2000 hit to my wallet, and it was a small area.
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