While sitting at the desk in my home office yesterday, I was started by a carpenter ant crawling up my arm. A number of readers of my last post about discovering the ants recommended that I call an exterminator, and that’s exactly what I did.
Fortunately the bug man was able to come out right away. Within a couple hours of calling, I was walking the perimeter of the house with the exterminator discussing the ways of the carpenter ant. The bug man asked me to think of any old stumps in the yard that could be a source for the main ant nest that is sending colonies to the house, but I just don’t know of any.
The exterminator then sprayed the perimeter of the house with liquid death and put me on schedule to get a follow-up treatment in the fall. He was confident that the treatment would knock out the ants in the house, but I am concerned that the main source of the ants may remain untreated in my yard or in my neighbor’s.
When the exterminator left, I felt a bit of a let-down. You mean I just paid all of that money for you to do a lap around the house with your little backpack sprayer and say, “See you in October?”
I know how to use a sprayer, and the bug man told me not to worry about the professionals-only pesticide because it wasn’t any more dangerous than 409 cleaner. So if the chemical isn’t that nasty, and the equipment is cheap and easy to use, why couldn’t I do this job myself? I feel reassured that this problem has been handled by a professional and that a more significant problem was not discovered, but I also feel a little bruised in my thrifty DIY pride.
So to restore my honor, I am planning a hunting expedition. Armed with a flashlight and a poker, I will try to track any remaining ants back to their source during their nightly migration. I’d like to deal with the source of the problem if I can, not just the symptoms.