Case Studies

Pests We Treat Case Studies: Ant Infestation in Wickatunk, NJ

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017 by Bill Cowley

Challenge

Recently, I was sent to a home in Wickatunk, NJ that was dealing with a bad infestation of odorous house ants. From my experience, odorous house ants and carpenter ants are the two most common types of ant infestations faced by homeowners. These ants, commonly called stink ants, are aptly named. When crushed, they emit a foul odor, often described as a rotten coconut odor.

These tiny ants are fast. They often enter homes after heavy rains when attempting to escape their shallow nest. These ants don’t bite, but they are a nuisance, especially because of their sheer numbers. Odorous ants can have very large colonies. Also, like any type of ant, they’ll eventually make their way to your kitchen where they can contaminate food. While these ants feed on many different items found in and outside homes, they have a sweet-tooth and LOVE sugars! You’ll often find odorous ant nests indoors near sources of moisture and also in warm cavities.

This home had fairly widespread odorous ant activity throughout three different rooms. When I first, I walked around the home’s exterior for a perimeter inspection. I observed many harborage areas for these ants, including a retaining wall that had firewood stacked on top of it, many plant beds with mulch around them, rock beds, and concrete pavers. The ants were actively foraging into gaps under the siding and rock siding on the front of the house.

Solution

I began the service to treat this infestation on the inside where there was active ant activity in the master bedroom, in the kitchen, and in the porch sun-room. For this particular type of ant, it is crucial to get the treatment into the wall voids where the ants are hiding and using the cavity to move from room to room. In the kitchen, I removed the switch plate covers and treated inside the wall. (See photo of treatment into wall via removing switch plate covers.) I also treated under the sink via the plumbing pipe thru the wall. (See photo of treatment into wall under kitchen sink.) The sun-room porch abutted the kitchen. I drilled some small holes thru the floor moldings in order to get product into the wall void. I also treated the window frame in the kitchen and master bed room. (See photo of treatment in kitchen around window frames.)

Moving to the home’s exterior, I applied treatment on all sides of the house. I used a combination of liquids,dusts, and granular baits to treat under the siding and under the rock siding in the front of the house. (See photo of rock siding in front of house treated with an application). I treated all of the surrounding areas of the home that were likely harboring ant colonies. (See photos of liquid application under deck by sun-room porch and around the foundation as well as the photos showing conditions and landscaping conducive for harboring ants.) When landscaping, it is important to minimize those conditions that may promote ant and other insect infestations such as keeping mulch away from the home’s foundation.