Case Studies

Pests We Treat Case Studies: Carpenter Ants in Holmdel

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015 by Tom Witkowski

Challenge

FOLLOW THAT TRAIL!!!!!!!

How do ants manage to gather in the same spot so quickly? Ants lay down chemicals, known as pheromones, leaving an invisible scent trail for others to follow once they locate the food source. Ants are social insects that have a swarm or hive intelligence;  they work and cooperate among one another to function as a single super-organism. 

By understanding the biology and behavior of the nuisance pests like ants, a good pest control technician can use it to his advantage to and find and kill the colony. As an example, I was recently called to a residence in Holmdel to resolve a carpenter ant infestation. Carpenter ants are aggressive wood destroyers. While they don't eat wood for food like termites, they damage wood by boring holes to establish and enlarge their nests.

This Holmdel job showed how a proper inspection by understanding ant behavior can make a world of difference. While inspecting the residence for insect activity, I observed a lone carpenter ant walking on a paver patio installed around a in-ground swimming pool. And with ants, where there's one, there's many. Playing detective, I followed the ant as he walked from paver to paver, traveling on a well-used scent trail, unknowingly leading me to his evil lair. Finally, the ant made his way up a wooden support, which was staked into the ground to hold the power box for the pool filter, and into a small opening in the box.

I opened up the power box, and, as we say here in New Jersey, Badda Boom, Badda Bing!!!!!! Inside the power box was the ant nest in all its glory, eggs and all.

Solution

I will treat the nest, the pavers, and the perimeter of the home. This home will then be free of carpenter ants and their boring holes. I'll leave this job knowing that I helped this family enjoy their pool and backyard over the upcoming spring and summer without dealing with carpenter ants running roughshod over their property.