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Ants in Your House From Firewood

By Chris Williams on January 5, 2011.

Q. Its wintertime, so why am I seeing big black ants in my house!  Where are they coming from?  Outside?

A. Every year we get calls like this about carpenter ants roaming around homes during the winter season.  There are two possible explanations for this occurrence.   If you heat your home with wood, ants could inadvertently be carried in on firewood.  Since ants (and all insects) are cold-blooded, once they ‘thaw’ out a bit they’ll start moving around.  This situation is no real cause for concern other than the nuisance factor, but if firewood is not the source or you do not use firewood, it means that the ants are nesting in your home somewhere.

Q.  Okay, so I may have a nest of ants in my house, but its January! I didn’t see any in my home last spring!  Why are they coming out now?

black-antA. Great question!  They may not have been there last spring. They may be part of a small satellite nest, that for whatever reason at some point found a favorable area (high humidity) to exploit within your home.  After the winter solstice, day length once again starts getting longer. As such, the angle of the sun warming the earth gets higher and stronger heading toward spring. Combine a mild winter’s day with stronger sunlight, and the exterior walls of a home will warm up quite nicely causing the ants to ‘wake up.’

Q.  I want to get rid of these things now.  How do you guys know how to find them? Is it guaranteed?

A.  Our technicians are Carpenter Ant Control experts.  Many have decades of experience working in the pest control industry.  They’ll ask you some questions first like where, when, and how long have you been seeing them?  Then, they’ll perform a thorough inspection to determine the location of the colony, and use appropriate methods to eliminate the colony. They may also inform you on what they feel are areas that need attention such as structural repairs, or landscape modifications to further help manage or eliminate ant populations around the home. Carpenter ant work performed during the winter season will automatically have a follow-up appointment scheduled during early spring for an exterior treatment to complete the service, and carry a warranty for the balance of the calendar year

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