Along with cockroaches, flies and termites, ants are the most common insect pests of homes, and they are the most ubiquitous insects in urban and suburban areas. Some of the most commonly controlled ant pest species in residential areas throughout Georgia include pavement ants, odorous house ants, Pharaoh ants, ghost ants, and red-imported fire ants. According to a recent nationwide survey of pest control professionals, carpenter ants are the most commonly controlled ants of homes and buildings in the country. Many carpenter ant species can be found in the US, only some of which are known pests of homes. Carpenter ants are notorious for their habit of establishing nests within structural wood and indoor woodwork, but not all carpenter ant pest species nest within finished wood. The black carpenter ant is the most common carpenter ant pest in the eastern US, and it’s also the most economically important, as they infest finished wood more frequently than all other carpenter ant pest species in the country.
While the black carpenter ant may inflict costly damage to structural lumber and other finished wood sources on occasion, most infestations see these ants pose nothing more than a nuisance. However, the black carpenter ant, and several other carpenter ant pest species in Georgia frequently establish nests within inaccessible indoor areas, most notably within wall voids and in subflooring. Indoor carpenter ant nests are known as “satellite nests,” and they are established by workers while they forage away from the original “parent nest.” Parent nests are almost always located outdoors, and multiple satellite nests are often found within heavily infested homes. In order to eliminate infestations, all indoor nests, and the parent nest, must be located and destroyed, which can be a difficult task even for the most seasoned pest control professionals.
Insecticide spraying is insufficient, and in many cases, unnecessary for the elimination of carpenter ant infestations. Baits containing hydramethylnon, sulfluramid, avermectin or boric acid are more ecologically friendly than chemical insecticides, and more effective for eliminating carpenter ant infestations. However, workers do not typically take baits immediately, and seven to ten days must pass before baits noticeably reduce carpenter ant pests in homes. In order to destroy concealed satellite nests, it is often necessary to inject insecticidal dusts or liquids into wall voids, which is a complicated process that requires professional service. In some cases, removing portions of siding and sheet rock is necessary to destroy hidden satellite nests.
Have you ever found ant pests foraging in your kitchen?