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Susanl from Gaithersburg, Md writes

A few carpenter ants on multiple floors of my house, ignoring bait

I see 3-5 large black ants/day in various places in my home - on 3 levels. Occasionally see a few dead ants, as well. Some of the ants I see seem "dazed"... walking in circles, etc. Before my Kit arrived - Maxforce + Advanced, I had put out some sugar water and peanut butter to try to attract them and find their entrance point. The walked right past it. I've looked all around the perimeter of the house for nests or trails and find nothing. Have put out the granules and gel and ants ignore it, as they did the PB & sugar. I'd really like to resist a perimeter spray, as I am a gardener and don't want to kill the beneficial insects. How can I locate the source of the critters when I only see a few/day and they're in different locations? (Front/back of house, 3 floors, etc) An exterminator placed gel bait and did a targeted spray for a small brown ant infestation about 6 weeks ago - perhaps this is the cause of the dead and zombie-like carpenter ants?


The productst the exterminator put down were likely residual products so this could be a partial culprit for the "dazed" look you are seeing with the ants. If its carpenter ants, they trail in solid lines the most between 10pm and 4 am, so normally to try and find a true nesting site you have to set an alarm to get up in the middle of the night with a flash light in and aroud the home to try and find the point of entry. Are there any bushes or trees that have branches that over hang the home? Do you see any activity of ants of any sort in any areas of your yard or on nearby trees to indicate a nest in those areas? Sometimes it takes making the gel a little stronger scented to draw them to it so try adding a few drops of apple juice or a juice with a strong sweet odor to it to draw them in. Also, if the ants are not particularly foraging for food then the bait wont work until they are in need of a food source again. You could likely do a non-repellent transfer spray like Phantom Aerosol indoors without having to harm any beneficial insects outdoors if the baits continue to be unnatractive to the ants.

Answer last updated on: 07/05/2014

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