Carpenter Ant Damage in Wood

Case Study: Carpenter Ants Build Nest in Wychwood Attic

This case will look at a carpenter ant extermination in Toronto. An older home in the Wychwood neighbourhood was infested with carpenter ants and suffered damage. A visit from a technician from The Exterminators team removed the pests entirely and helped prevent another infestation from occurring.

Wychwood Park, Toronto

The Wychwood Park neighbourhood is located in the area of St. Clair Avenue and Bathurst, in the City of Toronto. Founded as an artists’ colony, this neighbourhood was once a gated community. In 1985, it became the first residential area in all of Ontario to be designated as a heritage community.

wychwood park Toronto
The historic Wychwood Barns in the Wychwood Park neighbourhood was built in 1913.

Wychwood Park is also home to the historic Wychwood Barns, which were once a Toronto Transit Commission streetcar maintenance facility built in 1913. Today, it is comprised of a community centre, artist studios, and a large public green space.

Inspection

Our customer contacted us after noticing a lot of ant activity inside the house. They suspected the ants were coming into the house from the attic area.

We sent one of our licensed exterminators to the house to investigate the extent of the ant problem. We first noted that the house is quite old, possibly dating back to the early 1900’s. Located in a very mature lot, the house was covered by vines and was surrounded by tall trees. This kind of environment can be very inviting to various pests, especially insects.

Vegetation Attracts Ants and Insects
Large areas of vegetation around a home can potentially attract may insects including carpenter ants.

Our technician continued to inspect the inside of the home and found the attic to be a potential nesting site after following the carpenter ants into the space. The attic’s polyurethane foam insulation showed various nesting sites and wood debris was also found. This indicates that the carpenter ants had penetrated through the insulation and gnawed through the roof’s wooden structure to create their nesting space.

This was an important discovery because a carpenter ants’ colony nest is not always easy to find, especially if they are concealed behind walls or in ceilings and floors. These ants will sometimes nest in the insulation foam, which makes their homes more visible.

Carpenter Ant Nest in Insulation
Nesting site located in the attic space. Carpenter ants can chew through foam insulation to gain access to the wooden structure of the roof.
Carpenter Ant Damage in Wood
Sawdust is often a sign of carpenter ants gnawing through wood to make nesting cavities.

Treatment

The first treatment implemented by our technician was the placement of bait stations. These stations are made specifically for insects and are filled with an effective and attractive bait gel. Once the carpenter ants come into contact with the gel, they will carry it and spread it to other ants in the colony. Over time, the ants will perish.

We also sprayed a residual insecticide that works similar to the bait gel. The difference is that the micro beads in this insecticide will adhere to surfaces for up to 90 days. When a carpenter ant walks over these poisonous beads, the insecticide will create lesions through which the poison will penetrate them. This insecticide is exceptionally low in mammalian toxicity and can be used around children and pets.

Conclusion

Carpenter ants can be extremely bothersome and, in some cases, cause structural damage. It will often get worse before it gets any better. That is why it is imperative that a professional pest control company be contacted as soon as evidence of carpenter ants is visible.

In this case, the homeowner contacted us as soon as ants were seen throughout the house, but the problem appeared to be ongoing and prolonged. Worker ants were numerous and had been foraging for resources for quite some time.

Our licensed technician was able to quickly identify the nest site in the attic space and implemented our two-step treatment- spray and bait. This technique has proven to be efficient in exterminating carpenter ants in infested homes.

All our work is back with a 6-month warranty, and if the carpenter ants re-appear during that time, we will return and preform another treatment free of charge.

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