Appreciate any advice – I'll try to be long winded with details.
I live in rural western WA and there are lot of trees, rotten wood etc around. Starting about a week ago, I've been seeing carpenter ants in the house. They are black and between 1/2 to 3/4th inches long.
This is a recipe for carpenter ants; my house is wood siding. I had a problem with the gutters and recently had them replaced with covered. There may be water damage somewhere but I can't see it. Also there are some outbuildings nearby that are not well maintained and likely host several invasive species.
My first instinct when seeing them indoors was to do a perimeter spray, which was dumb, especially after the fact. Just the typical ortho home defense max. Needless to say that didn't do much good. I also sprayed heavily where I saw them outdoors; they were crawling up my water spouts, which touch the ground. Also a corner of front porch near wood siding, there were a chunk, 30-40 or so.
I then switched to baiting, maxforce gel and advance. I've seen 5 locations outside with ants. One they were coming down the cable tv line; they ate a bunch of maxforce gel on 5/26 and haven't seen any coming back that way. I also baited an area in garden with Advance 5/28, which they then swarmed. Going to check on it again tonight. I also had some success with maxforce on a drain pipe I had seen them on. I still see a few picking at it 3 days later; there were quite a few feeding. The other two locations, they don't seem much interested in any bait for now.
I also cleared some brush away from house, sprinkled Advance in perimeter around house, replaced the frayed door insulation and door sweeps (today).
What I'm really struggling with;
How to track down the main nest? I poked around a lot of dead wood areas, stumps etc but it's been hard to actually follow them.
I haven't seen a single one enter the house, no idea what their entrance point is (or multiple) and struggling to find any info
My house is 2 stories, they are mostly downstairs but I've seen probably 10 over 7 days upstairs. I get about 6-10 a day lately; after baiting waterspout with maxforce I had about 24h of no activity indoors and thought I had it licked.
At this point I'm thinking that I should;
call someone to inspect the roof and soffits for damage or issues. Can pest control companies handle that, or do I call a roofing company?
Contact a pest control and maybe bomb the house, do some wall void spray etc. It just isn't great timing with the current world circumstances, trying to find a temporary place to live (with pets). Which is why I've been on this DYI. I'm out of maxforce, low on advance, ordered some more but it's hard to keep up hope that it'll work.
The other thing I've done is when I see one upstairs I put it in a jar (weird I know) and see if it dies within 12h or so, to know if it's been poisoned by ortho or bait. So far they all seem to have died within 12h.
Anyway I really appreciate any advice or tips, they don't bug me so much (aside from potential damage) but my gf is losing her shit lol.. one was on her today, woulda thought there was a serial killer loose in the house..
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