Florida Pest Prevention

Carpenter ants are one pest you'll want to take on.

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Homeowners Donna and Monroe Bonds live in a 1979 Contemporary located on a beautiful spot along the banks of a winding river in Florida. It’s a great natural setting, but the homeowners say the house has offered up a steady stream of trouble. And they wonder if it can all be traced back to one source. So they’ve called in home inspector Wally Conway, who has more than 5,000 home inspections under his belt.

Inspector's Notebook
The homeowners in Orange Park, Fla., had some unwanted visitors: Carpenter ants. Like many insects, once they’ve made your home their home, it can be very difficult to get them to leave. First you have to find out where they are nesting. And here’s a little trick to do just that.

If you see carpenter ants, don't spray them. Instead, at night when they are most active, feed them small amounts of honey. Place a few drops on a piece of cardboard or the non-sticky side of a piece of tape. Then patiently watch them head back to their nest. They will likely disappear behind a baseboard, cabinet, or into some other concealed location. Once you’ve discovered the nest it's time to take action.

For walls, carefully drill a series of 1/8th inch holes and puff boric acid into the holes. The powder, which is available at most hardware stores, will stop the ants in their tracks. Also treat behind pipe collars and behind, not inside of, junction boxes. These are two favorite haunts for carpenter ants.

If untreated, carpenter ants can cause significant damage over time. That’s why it’s important to eliminate the nest. And if you need some help, call in a pest control expert.

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