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Big Black (Carpenter) ants in December? In the hundreds??

Today we had a customer call in complaining he was seeing a lot of carpenter ants in his 40 year old Whistler home. Over 500 in one week to be exact.

In Whistler this is not uncommon since we have so many houses designed around our wonderful forests and ecosystem where carpenter ants have roamed for thousands of years. Activity inside the home in December however is not that common and usually means that someone, somewhere nearby has effected one of the colonies main or satellite nests.

Upon further inspection and pest identification we determined this species of carpenter ant was one of the most destructive and common in Whistler: The camponotus modoc.

We also determined the neighbors had just renovated their home and the modoc’s probably sent out the signal they were under attack.

Carpenter Ants are very unique creatures that require verified local knowledge and expertise and are most often considered  a big nuisance.  Later this week and over Christmas holidays it was surprising to see the number of calls we received for carpenter ants, especially with the camponotus modoc where colony sizes can easily be around 50,000!!!

Once spring comes it will be easier to inspect these homes and find out the real problems (nest locations, neighbours houses, wood piles, trees, etc.).  In the evenings around 7-8pm when the temperature cools down, it starts to become dark and when predators such as birds are not around it is easiest to find nest locations provided you can find which ones have the food and are bringing back to nest…

Much more on carpenter ants to come!!  It will be interesting to see how May-June 201, and the rest of the summer is.  The last cold winter we had like this a number of years ago was HORRIBLE for ants and if the past few weeks was any indication it will be another busy year.

 

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