We use moisture ant control products that are pet and people friendly - with no odors or fumes!
We have been providing Moisture Ant Control services in the Greater Seattle area for 20 years!
We are A+ rated, we get most of our work from repeat customers and referrals, and we have been awarded the Super Service Award from Angie's list - multiple times.!
Moisture Ant is the common term for two local ant species, the Cornfield Ant and the Large Yellow Ant. Both of these ants are known to mine wood - usually damp wood, or wood in moist areas, and are considered to be wood destroying organisms.
In nature they make their nests in stumps, fallen logs, and any type of dead, moist cellular matter - think dead root systems, dead corn stalks, leaf debris, etc.
They are adept at living and foraging below ground level. This can make it hard to know you have them - and hard to control them. Exterior ground level spray services may not control these ants - especially if the sprays are repellent - like those used to control carpenter ants and spiders.
They attack fence posts, wooden landscaping, telephone poles, and any structural wood that is moist. Moist wood is any wood which is at a 25% moisture level or above. The wood in the average home may be as high as 20% naturally.
Any where the siding of a home contacts the soil around the exterior - even when the siding is not made of wood; the joint where unflashed exterior decks meet the main structure; too many areas around gutters, eaves, roof areas too mention.
In bathrooms where moisture seals are not fully functional - where there are breaks or cracks in tile grout, or gaps or breaks in shower and tub caulking, and inadequately sealed flooring in bathrooms is another area of concern.
They will nest under slabs in old wooden or paper construction forms or scrap wood buried below slabs, and in dead or dying root systems. They will come up through cracks and crevices from these areas into your living area - usually in the late summer.
They will nest in sub areas under the home where there is earth to wood contact, insufficient ventilation, or form wood left behind from the building process.
In conclusion - they will show up anywhere there is wood and too much moisture.
These ants actually eat other insects and insect secretions. Aphids make a sticky 'sap' when they eat the leaves of bushes and trees. This 'sap' is an insect super food, highly valued by ants and wasps - it is almost pure sugar. These ants are especially adept at feeding off of aphid activity occurring under ground around the roots of trees and shrubs.
Left: Cornfield Ant workers.
Right: Winged male Moisture ant reproductives, AKA, swarmers.
Moisture ant workers are typically about 3/16 to 1/4 inch in length and are reddish to brownish (can be a dark dirty yellow) and sometimes both.
The winged reproductive females are a deep reddish brown and are large enough (1/2 inch+) to be mistaken for Carpenter ants. The winged reproductive males are very dark brown to black and are small enough to be mistaken for gnats.
Unless you open up a nest area while repairing a structure - you are most likely to see these ants when they swarm in late summer.
Swarming Male Moisture Ants in a Home in Late July.
Moisture ant control involves moisture and often rot control. Without addressing these two issues any control measures will be short term.
There are two main types of pesticide applications for these ants. One is the injection of Termidor or similar non-repellent ant control products that will kill all the ants without chasing them to other areas of the home.
The other main control material is a wood preservative that kills ants and wood rot - the all natural material known as Tim-bor, a type of boric acid.
Proper control of all ants, always includes a thorough spray of the exterior. The ants you see inside are a tiny fraction of the ants in your home, and an even small part of their much larger colony.
Home and garden center ant control products should not be used for this ant. Sprays from your local home and garden store are highly repellent - and will chase them away, but only for a little while. When they return to the middle of a wall, how will you know?
Most homes will only need one service. Some homes with heavy infestations, may need to consider a quarterly control service to keep them under control.
We have preparation sheets for inside ant treatments and for exterior perimeter sprays to help you get the most out of our services.
Some people, including some professionals, but especially contractors, will down play the importance of spraying to kill these ants.
However, experience has shown us that is really very difficult to resolve the moisture issues which bring these insects to a home, and it is very hard to dry the moist areas fast enough and completely enough - to keep the ants from returning.
An even bigger issue, is the rot control issue. Rot is a living organism. It extends into wood - well beyond the areas that look damaged, or discolored. Contractors rarely ever replace enough of the infected wood. Just like moisture ants, rot becomes a problem and starts infesting, or growing when the moisture reaches 25%. The spores left over in infected / unreplaced wood will grow again - and grow into any new wood.
It is important to use pressure treated rot resistant replacement materials AND have all adjoining wood treated with a wood preservative, such as Tim-bor.
There are actually a number of things that can be done to make a structure less attractive to ants, all ants. Most of these steps will also make any type of treatment program more successful with less use of pesticide.
Please visit our page: Carpenter Ant Prevention to learn how to make your treatment more effective and possibly less expensive.