This case will look at the extermination of carpenter ants in a commercial unit in Etobicoke.
Etobicoke encompasses the western area of the City of Toronto. Settled in the 1790’s by Europeans, the borough of Etobicoke became its own municipality in 1984. In 1998 it was amalgamated into what is now the City of Toronto.
Etobicoke is bordered by two main waterways- the Etobicoke Creek to the west and the Humber River to the east. It is home to some of the GTA’s largest parks including Humber Bay Park and Centennial Park.
Humber Bay in Etobicoke, Toronto.
Most of the residential areas are of single-family homes. Quiet streets and cul-de-sacs line these quiet neighbourhoods.
Table of Contents
Carpenter ant inspection
Our customer contacted us concerned about the presence of large ants inside a low-rise commercial unit. There appeared to be a high level of activity outside the building and they had somehow managed to get inside.
We sent one of our licensed exterminators to the scene to assess the situation and find a solution for the customer. Upon arrival, our technician identified the ants as carpenter ants.
Carpenter ants can be quite destructive once they enter a building structure. They have a strong ability to destroy wood as they make their nests. The wood is not eaten but is instead turned into sawdust as they burrow into it.
A thorough inspection of the property revealed several activity areas- around the perimeter of the foundation, near doors and windows, inside a front office, and ceiling. We also noticed there was some water damage in the ceiling of an office. This is important because carpenter ants are attracted to moist wood because of its ease of penetration.
Treatment for carpenter ants
We began the treatment by spraying a commercial grade insecticide along the outside foundation perimeter, around all window and door frames, and along the roof perimeter. This step ensures that any carpenter ants on the exterior of the property come in contact with the insecticide as they attempt to penetrate the building.
Our special insecticide is remarkably effective in exterminating carpenter ants. When sprayed, thousands of micro particles bind to the surfaces and offer long term protection. It will kill ants as fast as five minutes and, due to its residual capacities, will last for up to 90 days.
Inside, we preformed an ultra-low volume treatment with insecticide on the drop ceiling of the front office. An ultra-low volume treatment, or ULV, is a light fumigation done with a fogger that disperses a smaller amount of insecticide in the area.
Insecticide was also sprayed along baseboards on both levels of the unit.
We finished by placing bait stations in the problem office. These bait stations are filled with a special gel that is highly attractive to carpenter ants. Once the scattered worker ants feed on it, some will die and others will return to the nest and pass the insecticide on to other ants, including the queen, therefore destroying the colony.
Finally, we instructed our customer not to remove the bait stations and not to clean any of the areas that we treated. It is also important not to clear out any dead carpenter ants as they may be picked up by other ants and taken to the colony to be fed to the queen or young. This will help in spreading the insecticide and expedite the extermination.
We returned a few weeks after the initial treatment after the customer noticed an increase of carpenter ant activity. This time, in the rear of the building.
Our technician inspected the exterior of the unit and discovered a small hole on the wall behind a light junction which was being used by the ants to enter the structure. We immediately proceeded to treat the area as well as the inside of the wall and back office. All window frames and baseboards in the rear of the building were also treated with insecticide.
Although our treatments were effective in eliminating the carpenter ants, this customer was faced with the same issue the following year. It is not uncommon for insects to target the same structures multiple times.
When people are asked what insects they believe to be the most destructive in a building structure, they will almost certainly respond with termites. Termites are indeed quite destructive as they feed on wood. But carpenter ants are just as destructive as termites.
Carpenter ants are destructive insects that burrow through wood to create nests.
Once these insects make their way into walls, roofs, subfloors, or any other wooden structure, they will begin to chew through the wood in an attempt to create nesting spaces. If a colony is large enough, they will cause severe damage to the property.
That is why it is important to act swiftly when ants are first discovered inside or near a structure.
In this case, our team was called in and acted promptly in identifying all problem areas and applying the necessary insecticides and bait stations that would resolve the problem.