One of our commercial customers, a restaurant in Tinton Falls, after installing a new water heater in its kitchen, soon started noticing something else that was new — large black carpenter ants. This was no coincidence. As it turned out, the wood-destroying carpenter ants were coming out of a nest that they built inside the water heater's cozy layer of insulation. While insect or rodent infestations are a problem for any business, for restaurants, these infestations are potentially devastating. There are few things worse than restaurant patrons spotting an insect or two roaming around the table. Since we were called in immediately, the infestation was localized to the kitchen area. When I arrived at our long-time Cowleys customer, I saw that their kitchen, as always, was clean as a whistle. This was not the case of an insect infestation resulting from some cleanliness issue. Rather, as sometimes happen, they had inadvertently brought in an appliance that contained a hidden infestation. With restaurants, the problem of transporting insects though the delivery door is all too common, and often arises with pest-contaminated food deliveries.
Carpenter ants are destructive pests that can bore through wood. Like all ants, they are social insects that live in colonies. For long-term results, the colony must be eliminated. Killing isolated foraging ants with a over-the-counter spray is not only an exercise in futility, but the fumes are also potentially harmful. The noxious smell of chemical sprays are the last thing you want hovering around food in a commercial kitchen. A pest control technician has the chemical applications to resolve the problem quickly. Also, with food establishments the proper applications are critical because it is unsafe to use certain chemicals in food preparation areas.
To treat the carpenter ant problem, I applied a borate formula granular bait around the water heater's bottom ring. This bait, which is odorless and has no harsh chemicals, is harmless to animals and plants, but deadly to insects. It takes advantage of the biological reaction that boric acid has on ants and other insects. By blocking the conversion of sugar to energy, it literally starves the colony to death. For us pest control technicians, that’s cool stuff! The result: a boatload of dead ants and a happy restaurant owner who was instantly relieved of a potentially troublesome ant infestation.