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Wildlife & Pest Control Resources
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Carpenter Ants Under Toilet

Carpenter ants, commonly known as “big black ants,” are a common pest in many Michigan homes. They forage into homes from the outside and chew out wood that might be rotten or wet. The wood is removed to create a complex series of tunnels that will become their colony. Once inside the home, they forage for crumbs and other food sources and drink from leaky or sweating pipes. Sometimes colonies can remain in place for three years before they fully mature (i.e., before you realize there is a big problem). How many carpenter ants can live in a mature colony? Sometimes up to 10,000. At that point, the ants will start to thrust out the excess population in order to start a new colony – that’s when you start seeing them all over the home.

Unfortunately, by the time you start seeing them all over, it can often mean that the colony is already quite large. That is why it is very important to call a pest control professional at the first sign of carpenter ants. The ants always forage in from the outside before they set up a colony inside, so whether or not you see a colony, the presence of a carpenter ant in the home means at the very least that the home is being scouted.

Here is a story I saw today on a home repair forum from an individual who knew his mother had a carpenter ant problem but didn’t take any action on it until it got out of hand. This person posts:

“My parents have a two-story house in Michigan. They have had a carpenter ant problem in-between the first and second floor. A couple weeks ago a plumber was in the second floor bath to replace a leaking toilet seal. When the toilet was removed, a very large mass of ants fell out from under the toilet. Evidently, they had crawled up through the rotted area around the toilet drainpipe. A lethal dose of RAID was administered. The problem – carpenter ants continue to appear on the first floor. Any suggestions on how to extract all the ants without a full house fumigation or removing the first floor ceiling drywall? A small section of drywall on the first floor below the leaking toilet was removed (water damaged), but there are no signs of ants here.”

Had a pest control company, like Creature Control, been called as soon as the first sign of ants was detected, this unfortunate scenario could have been avoided. RAID might have worked for killing the immediate mass of ants that fell out of the toilet, but to destroy the rest of the colony, typically a pest control company that specializes in carpenter ant extermination needs to come in, do a thorough inspection and develop a customized treatment. This may not necessitate removing drywall, but it may involve drilling small holes strategically in the drywall to administer targeted pesticide applications to knock out the ant colony.

Please note, you cannot “fumigate” the house for carpenter ants; carpenter ant treatments need to be very targeted and focused on treating the specific colony.

If you see “big black ants” in the home, you ought to call a pest control professional right away and at least get an inspection. A treatment for a carpenter ant invasion in the initial stages is not expensive or involved, but treating and removing a full-blown colony in the advanced stages of maturity is a bit more so. When it comes to carpenter ants, it pays to be proactive!

Call Creature Control’s carpenter ant experts at 1-800-441-1519 for a free phone consultation, or click here to read more about carpenter ants.