All over Seattle the ants are taking wing.
Moisture ants are at home under the ground. The live in the base of trees, fence posts, and in any other type buried wood. They like buried wood because it is moist. They need a 25% or better moisture content to nest in wood.
Sometimes our homes will have moisture conditions above the ground: leaky flashing in a roof or cracks in a roof membrane, gutters or downspouts that leak back against your home, cracked tile, grout, or caulking in the bathroom, old aluminum windows that sweat, earth to wood contact where the siding of the home meets the exterior landscaping, or buried wood under a house – all these are common home conditions which invite moisture ant infestations.
Moisture ants damage wood but the moisture which attracts them also damages wood because it is the same moisture level which allow wood rot to flourish. Wood rot and moisture ants aren’t always present in the same home, but they are quite common.
Taking care of the moisture problem is really important, but so is eliminating the ants. If you plan to have home repairs done to take care of rot it is important for you or your contractor to understand how rot works.
Rot is a living organism. It’s tendrils extend deep into the wood, well beyond the areas that look soft or are discolored, think several feet. Repair work should extend well beyond what is soft or discolored as well.
All nearby wood should be treated while the reconstruction area is opened. Boric acid solutions, especially ones that contain ethylene glycol are especially effective – and low in toxicity, if pets are not in the area and the materials is applied properly.
Because reconstruction may take weeks, months or years before homeowners get to it, and because we can never be sure how much replacement will take place – we do recommend treatments for this pest.
We can treat with an insecticide for quick knockdown, or with a boric acid solution that helps kill rot as well.
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