Yesterday, I noticed a long trail of ants (thousands) moving into my porch. They were carrying pupae and many different sizes were there. I baited along the trail with Sweet Gel and a Protein gel. I also dusted the trail with a mixture of boric acid and sugar. This morning there was no sign, however I know they are there. What should be my next step?
At this point you should monitor the situation and see if there are ants out and about foraging around the porch or other areas of the home. As our CARPENTER ANT CONTROL article explains, these guys will generally create satellite nests which will be located around one main nest. It sounds like you encountered a local colony trying to set up a satellite nest. It’s also normal for most species of ants to “up and move” when their nest is in danger. This could result from a disturbed nest site; a foraging animal could have torn into an old log or space where this colony was living. Afterwards, the survivors decided to move the nest. But nests will relocate when faced with too much water. Heavy rainfall can cause them to relocate an established nest. In fact, if their nest is too hot for the eggs or pupae they’ll get up and relocate too so the list is long as to why this could happen. The bottom line is when they do so and end up inside or on a structure, it will usually result in more ants and ultimately damage of some kind.
Now is it possible they accepted your bait offering and are all dead? Yes. But it’s not likely. In most cases the members of the mobile nest will be reluctant to feed much when on the move. Only when they’ve set up their new nest and have depleted any food they brought with them will be on the prowl again and ready to risk accepting something new to eat. So you’re probably right; they might be out of sight but there is a good chance they have set up a new nest somewhere in or around the porch and it’s just that you haven’t seen them just yet.
So what should you do? Take a pro active approach and get rid of them once and for all. Since getting these ants to eat a bait can be tough when they’re either moving or recently made a move, spraying a slow acting product will prove much more effective. Inside the home apply some PHANTOM AEROSOL. This odorless spray goes on dry and won’t leave any visible residue when used properly. Use it throughout the porch and living area where you see activity or suspect they may be hiding.
Outside the home spray the foundation with some PHANTOM or TERMIDOR. Be thorough with your treatment to insure you get any place they may be active and remember to inspect the local turf, trees, mulch, etc. attempting to locate nests that may be on your property. Any suspect area should be treated as well. Since carpenter ants are likely to have 2-4 nests all linked, there is a good chance another nest is located somewhere close to your home and in the end, getting all of them is the only way you can insure the problem is resolved.
Here are direct links to the information and products listed above:
Carpenter Ant Control: http://www.carpenterants.com/carpenter-ant-control
Phantom Aerosol: http://www.bugspraycart.com/insecticide/aerosol/pt-phantom-17-5oz
Phantom Concentrate: http://www.bugspraycart.com/insecticide/liquid/phantom-21-oz