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Carpenter Ants


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Oh, joy, the house is under attack.

The plaster under the front picture window started bubbling, pushing inwards and chunks started falling into the house.  Window repair guy said that's not a gasket issue so I called up a contractor who said it's probably water leaking in from the top.  The two excellent carpenters he sent out pulled off the vinyl siding and a colony of carpenter ants had eaten most of the sill and were working their way up the beams.  They said I caught it just in time as the house was about to start sagging and then it would have collapsed in the front.  

It looks like most of the house is constructed out of cedar so they didn't care for that (luckily) and these photos show the exterior repair and what the inside currently looks like.  

The inside had pissants in there and they turned the fiberglass insulation into blobs of damp, smelly, brown mung - it was just horrible.  

Now the back sun room has an army of carpenter ants running up and down the back stairs so more fun awaits.

MbpVfIS.jpg

I shot ant poison in there and am drying it out right now.  Boy, this place ever smell.  This shows  just how far the carpenter ants had gotten on the outside sill.

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And here is the finished exterior, those guys really know their stuff.

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Sorry, man. Timely for me, though, as a nearby friend is claiming carpenter ants are inside a wall under her window. She says she can hear them, and has brought me to the spot a few times, where I don't hear anything. Not mice or squirrels, I'm fairly certain. The house is a monstrous 1800's Greek Revival home here outside of Cooperstown, NY. You might have given me the impetus to cut a hole and put a snake cam in there to look.

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Thanks.  I hope to get the living room mostly done today after work.

I woke up real early this morning (like 4 AM) and discovered that carpenter ants are out and about in the dark.

They're going to be difficult to eradicate.  I suspect the sun room will be coming apart sooner or later.

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Truly a hoot.

Luckily, we don't have Fire Ants up here.  We lived in Georgia for a bit and one morning I woke up and their mounds were popping up all over the place.

This one fellow was right, the meek aren't going to inherit the Earth, it'll be ants.  They'll win.

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Sound like once you get rid of them, as a reward you should get a new guitar.

Last night a baby snake got into to house. My wife did  the total cartoon run into the bedroom screaming. It was about 6 inches long and not quite as fat as a pencil. Wrapped it up in a paper towel and let it go in the yard. Always heard they were pink and wet. It wasn’t.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
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Uh oh, a snake that can get beat up by a cicada, no wonder she ran away!

Have to take care of the chimney next and that will do it for this year.

I'll have to see how much longer I'll remain in the workforce but I need to get this house squared away.  It was built right after WWII so it's well constructed but old age creeps up, too.  I figure another 5-10 grand on the house as a lot of it I can't do myself.  

However, that Martin J-40 has been calling me for quite some time...

 

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I wouldn't play around with them.  Call an exterminator.  Well worth the expense.  Back in the late '70's I had a problem with carpenter ants.  Would pour out a bowl of Sugar Crisp cereal, or Frosted Flakes and find them swarming in the bowl.  The got into the boxes.  Hell, they even managed to find their way inside a closed bottle of strawberry pancake syrup! 

We had just got done spending $7,000 for a kitchen update(a lot of money for that in '78)  with all new wood cabinets and counters and such.  Didn't want that headache.  Got on the phone to Terminix.   The guy came out and sprayed some kind of juice into every possible nook and cranny and crack.  Told us that carpenter ants(and ants in general) are cannibalistic in nature, and when we got up the next morning and find a lot of dead ants lying about, just leave them be.  the surviving ants will drag them back to their lairs and feed on them, ingesting the poison that killed the ants they're feeding on and then will kill THEM, and the whole pattern continues until they're fully eradicated.

Well, next morning, when I got up for work( at 4:30 am!)  there were what seemed like thousands of dead ants all over the kitchen floor and counter tops.  So I managed a cup of coffee and went to work.  Then I remembered to call my wife to tell her to leave the dead ants alone.  When I called and told her that, she asked, "What ants?"  She told me there wasn't a sign of ANY dead ants anywhere in the kitchen!  And that was just ONE HOUR after I got to work(at 6:00 am) 

Apparently, after I left for work and before I called an hour later all those ants were carried off by the surviving ants.  And from then until My ex died, not another carpenter ant was ever seen in that house again.  

Whitefang

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Whitefang,

You talked me into it, I'll call Terminex.  

They already did a number on the front of the house, who the hell knows how far along they are in the back.

Off to Home Depot to get some supplies to put the living room back in order.

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Got the front wall insulated and put up the sheet rock with the first coat of spackle.  I should have a real living room by Wednesday.

Terminex will be here Tuesday to work their magic.  I learned that there can be mutliple queens which can lay 800 eggs per day and when the colony gets too crowded one of the queens goes off to start another colony of the wretched things.

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11 hours ago, SteveFord said:

Truly a hoot.

Luckily, we don't have Fire Ants up here.  We lived in Georgia for a bit and one morning I woke up and their mounds were popping up all over the place.

This one fellow was right, the meek aren't going to inherit the Earth, it'll be ants.  They'll win.

Those things suck, we have 'em in SC. Mow of a hill and your fuked. 

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
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9 hours ago, SteveFord said:

Uh oh, a snake that can get beat up by a cicada, no wonder she ran away!

Have to take care of the chimney next and that will do it for this year.

I'll have to see how much longer I'll remain in the workforce but I need to get this house squared away.  It was built right after WWII so it's well constructed but old age creeps up, too.  I figure another 5-10 grand on the house as a lot of it I can't do myself.  

However, that Martin J-40 has been calling me for quite some time...

 

You deserver a J-40. You have been after one for a while. 

Is your wife in PA or in Wash. St.?

I was in Guitar Center over the weekend in N. Myrtle Beach. Not one Gibson in the acoustic room. One Mex. Martin and two 000-15M's. There were about five 2k Taylors locked up and I wasn't interested in getting the friendly associates to unlock them. I played an Epi SJ-200 12 string. I had to break the law and climb the ladder to get it myself. As a $550 guitar is worthy of hanging on the top row.

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I don't think GC can afford to keep anything in stock any more.  They relied so heavily on walk-in traffic and who was walking into a store during a pandemic?  

I think it's always best to have something just a little bit out of reach, it gives you something to work towards (like that J-40).  The only reason why I set my sights on that particular model is it sounded almost  identical to my HD-28V but it was just a bit smaller.  

Ever have a Fire Ant bite you on the balls?  There is a lesson to be learned here: never take a large branch, plug up their mound and stand there to see what their reaction will be.

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5 minutes ago, SteveFord said:

I don't think GC can afford to keep anything in stock any more.  They relied so heavily on walk-in traffic and who was walking into a store during a pandemic?  

I think it's always best to have something just a little bit out of reach, it gives you something to work towards (like that J-40).  The only reason why I set my sights on that particular model is it sounded almost  identical to my HD-28V but it was just a bit smaller.  

Ever have a Fire Ant bite you on the balls?  There is a lesson to be learned here: never take a large branch, plug up their mound and stand there to see what their reaction will be.

Not on my bolitas, but I ran over a mound when I was stationed in Puerto Rico. I felt my legs being bit  and burning and looked down and ran to hose to spray em off. They suk.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
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8 hours ago, SteveFord said:

Whitefang,

You talked me into it, I'll call Terminex.  

They already did a number on the front of the house, who the hell knows how far along they are in the back.

Off to Home Depot to get some supplies to put the living room back in order.

Terminex is good, we used them twice between the 2 houses we owned. We had termites when  we first moved into this place. That was 20 years ago. 

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If I even see one on my porch,,or in the house I go to hardware/big depot bx  store and get the carpenter ant powder you sprinikle around the foundation of house  or garage  and it works!   They ingest it,,take it back to the nest,,and its over from that point.    I did it a few years ago,,and havent seen one since.

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Terminex came out on Tuesday and sprayed around the house and it's amazing, not ONE ant in sight and there was an army of them pouring into the sun porch.

They're coming back in another month for a second blast.

I don't know what they're using  but I'm really impressed.

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