If you notice any kind of bug crawling around your home, it’s best to pay attention. You may not think there’s an issue if you spot two or three in the bathtub or wandering across the floor, but scouts and foragers in colonies represent small portions of the real population hiding in your walls, floors, ceilings and doorframes. Given enough time, an infestation from a species like carpenter ants can utterly ruin a home, leading to costly and time-consuming repairs and renovations. If you find any of them inside during the winter, it’s a good sign that you’ve got a colony. Outdoor nests go underground into hibernation in the winter, so those two or three intruders aren’t stragglers who wandered in. Central heating can keep them up and active indoors and lead to some major problems.
One of the more common wintertime infestations is caused by pharaoh ants, and they are often found in schools, apartments, and nursing homes. They are one of the most persistent problems due to the way they reproduce. Colonies have low worker to queen ratios and many queens. They propagate by “budding” satelliteswhen their original residence is at capacity or under threat.
Using insecticide sprays can cause them to rapidly bud new colonies and replace workers at a faster rate. According to the University of Minnesota, publicly available baits are ineffective, too, and only cause new satellites to form.
Act Quickly and Eradicate Thoroughly
A CBC news report on the insect’s booming population in Southern Ontario in 2014 recounts how a Windsor woman’s bathroom window fell out after an infestationdestroyed the frame. Carpenter ants don’t cause damage as quickly as termites that actually ingest wood, but in high enough numbers and over enough time, they can cause serious structural damage.
Property owners have reported having to rebuild supporting beams and even whole walls after leaving insect problems unchecked for too long. Renovation contractors also recommend completely eradicating infestations before doing any repairs, as problems will only persist in new construction.
Contractors tell horror stories of pulling apart frames and panels to reveal huge nests that go into battle formation. While soldiers rear-up into defensive positions, even advancing on human intruders, workers scramble to move caches of eggs and larvae to new nests.
Over-the-Counter Products Aren’t Enough
Locating nests can be difficult, especially when they are hidden in walls. While you may be able to track them into support beams or ceilings when they leave debris such as wood shavings in their wake, only a complete eradication will prevent them from spreading again. Since many species set up buds or satellites, this can be almost impossible to do. Pest experts like Toronto Pest Exterminators in the GTA will track down trails that lead to the nests. Unless homeowners are certain they’ve found all hiding places, the first visit from an exterminator should be to locate and the second to eliminate.
The other issue DIY-exterminators will face is the limited power of over-the-counter products. Certified professionals at Toronto Pest Exterminators have access to potent baits and sprays unavailable to ordinary consumers. They also have the knowledge and patience to bait and flush out every nest.
Don’t mistake a few bugs in the cabinet for a fluke; they may very well be evidence of an infestation that can cause thousands of dollars of damage to your home. Consult with the best ant exterminator in Toronto as soon as you see carpenter, pharaoh or pavement ants in your home. Trust the professionals to eradicate every intruder.