This weekend it is so ON…

8 Jun

The battle begins against the carpenter ants that have established themselves in the walls of my wee shop. I called Orkin (exterminators) to get a quote- just to see if that might be the best solution. After that sticker shock (min $500) I resigned myself to going this battle alone.

Know thy enemy

After some brief but fruitful cramming sessions on the topic I learned that carpenter ants are VERY difficult to get rid of. They can have satellite nests around the main nest, and annoyingly they can have more than one queen. Apparently I should be stalking them in the evening when they are most active to find where the main nest might be. They don’t actually eat wood, but excavate it to create their lair (that’s what I’m calling it). They leave tell tale droppings called frass. They LOVE rotten wood. Get rid of the rotten wood and they move on.

Breaking out the war paint

I have two objectives this weekend:

1)Find the sources of rotten wood that have attracted them to the area and remove it.

2)Find the main nest and treat the area

My ammo of choice…

My shop is on family property and there’s a family dog to consider so I made certain to get a  product that would only harm ants. This product is called Chemfree and the ants are supposed to ingest it- maybe even share it when they get back to the nest. I spread a little of it as a test last weekend, but I doubt it will have an effect until I find the main nest. If I find the nest is out of reach of the family dog then I might use something more aggressive.


Here is a photo of the telltale frass (black droppings) that the carpenter ants leave behind. I noticed I had a problem when I first set up shop. I cleaned the area along the wall only to find the black powder regenerating after each cleaning. The white stuff is the product I’m trying out.


I feel bad about killing off these little guys, but I see no other choice. For now I’m starting with a product that is safe for the family dog- but I might have to resort to something more aggressive later on.


2 Responses to “This weekend it is so ON…”

  1. The Butler Did It WoodWorks June 8, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

    You are up against a formidable foe. Happy hunting!

  2. Megan Rain June 8, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

    These ants have NO chance against our mighty warrior! To battle…winter is coming.

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