Saturday November 5, 2011
You recently answered a question for me regarding the best method of eliminating carpenter ants from a residence during the winter. Thank you for the answer. However, how do you know the nest has been eliminated?
Good morning Judith, and good question. I suppose it would be like many other pest insects in that you judge the success by the lack of the insects in the future. This would mean placing insect monitoring traps in places where they might be likely to capture wandering ants over the next few weeks, but not where they will bother the residents or be accessed by the family dog. If you believe you know where the nest was located you could also listen to see if any "rustling" sounds could be heard within that void, pehaps using a stethoscope to enhance your ability to hear things within some hidden space. Perhaps a sharp bang on that wall would stir up any ants still inside that space, and if so you might be able to hear them running around.
But, with just about any kind of pest, from termites to roaches to bed bugs, we have to measure success by the fact that no more activity is being seen from the pest. This may take awhile, and for pests like carpenter ants there even is the possibility that pupae that were in that satellite colony in the structure could hatch to new adult ants, and these ants could then become active. This would be particularly so if only bait was used to eliminate the colony, as that bait might not be present in the nest any longer. Another good reason to dust within the nest itself if you possibly can locate it, using a residual dust or an inorganic dust that will last for a long time. This way any emerging adult ants would immediately be exposed to the dust and be affected by it.
Mr. Pest Control
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