Author Topic: Ant problem found to be not resolved after closing  (Read 4485 times)

AlanStache

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Ant problem found to be not resolved after closing
« on: November 24, 2015, 09:32:50 AM »
I closed on a house in August this year and during the inspection there was found to be carpenter ants in one wall.  Terminators sprayed and the closing went through.  But it seems the bugs never really went away, we have recently seen both there deposited wood shavings and the bugs themselves along the same wall.  Do we have any recourse with the sellers for selling with a known problem or with the terminators who sprayed as part of the closing?  GF thinks I should be talking to a lawyer, I am not so sure anything could come of that other than me paying a few hundred dollars to be told "no".

As far as dealing with the bugs I was spraying outside along that wall until we started getting rain and we have put out bait traps where we have seen the ants inside.  I am not opposed to calling back a terminator but I dont think they are going to do anything I cant - ie spray chemicals but I GF thinks they will have better chemicals or they will be more effective because they cost money.

Any thoughts are welcome - thanks!

*exterminators - could not think of that word :-)
« Last Edit: November 24, 2015, 09:53:28 AM by AlanStache »

justajane

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Re: Ant problem found to be not resolved after closing
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2015, 09:44:52 AM »
I would start with the terminator company (I keep on seeing Schwartzenegger in my head - is that really what they are called?) Do you have the receipt? Explain that it didn't work and see if you can gain any traction.

I'm not sure where to go from there, since yes, you would likely have to go after the previous homeowners legally, and they paid for the terminators, right? If they did that in good faith, it seems like it's more the company's fault than the sellers.

I have been frustrated with pest control in the past. We paid $100 or so to get rid of fleas, and the exterminators said that it might not work and that we would have to pay again for them to come back. Apparently they don't guarantee their work.

katstache92

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Re: Ant problem found to be not resolved after closing
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2015, 09:51:16 AM »
I think some companies have a guarantee for things like termites.  I'm not sure if the same applies to carpenter ants or not.

You might want to reach out to your realtor to see if he/she has the documentation from the sale that says who completed the treatment and when it was done.  I would check that company out online and see if they say anything about a 6 month guarantee.  If so, give them a call.  If not - I would still give them a call, maybe they will still offer some kind of discount since you were not happy with their services.

AlanStache

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Re: Ant problem found to be not resolved after closing
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2015, 09:57:02 AM »
I have all the paper work and can find who did the work in Aug, calling them would not hurt.  They did offer some annual inspection contract after the closing, did not get that. 

Cpa Cat

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Re: Ant problem found to be not resolved after closing
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2015, 10:02:22 AM »
This is what happens when you hire assassin robots to do the job of exterminators.

AlanStache

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Re: Ant problem found to be not resolved after closing
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2015, 10:04:51 AM »
This is what happens when you hire assassin robots to do the job of exterminators.

Or I should have went with Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones...

GuitarStv

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Re: Ant problem found to be not resolved after closing
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2015, 10:11:57 AM »
Former pest control guy here (I was an Orkin man for several summers to pay for university).  No idea about the legal ramifications, but I have lots of info about ants.

Ideally you want to use bait with ants.  Just spraying something that kills them tends to be very ineffective because you usually don't get the queen, and colonies can rebound quickly.  It's also entirely possible that killing a large number of ants has caused the colony to split and relocate, so now you're going to want to do a very thorough search through your home.

Carpenter ants really like damp areas and decaying wood.  Make sure that you get rid of any leaks, leaky taps, leaky windows, wood that gets wet from leaks from the roof, etc.  If they're in one specific wall, you need to figure out why . . . and this may involve ripping up the wall.  Once you remove the habitat they like, they'll be much less likely to come back.  Spraying the perimeter of the house can help prevent immediate re-infestation, but if the underlying cause is still there they will eventually be back.

It's important that you clear the area near your house of things that could attract carpenter ants . . . any dead/rotting wood nearby should be removed.  Old stumps half buried in the ground, firewood, etc.  Carpenter ants will wander around a great distance, so if there's a colony near your house you'll probably find them in your house regularly.

A simple (and reasonably non-toxic) bait for carpenter ants is a tablespoon of borax (boric acid) mixed with a teaspoon of honey or peanut butter (put out both, depending on time of year ants will be attracted to different things).  You want to place this along their trails.  Don't overdo the borax part of this mix, you want them to take it back to the nest and kill off the queen.

A pest control guy will have access to better chemicals than you can buy (at least this is true in Ontario, not sure about Virginia).  They should also do much more than spray chemicals . . . they should assess why the infestation happened in the first place and take steps / give guidance on how to prevent recurrence.  A pest control guy should also have a better understanding of how to apply baits and mixing the perfect concentration.

AlanStache

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Re: Ant problem found to be not resolved after closing
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2015, 10:34:13 AM »
Former pest control guy here (I was an Orkin man for several summers to pay for university).  No idea about the legal ramifications, but I have lots of info about ants.

Ideally you want to use bait with ants.  Just spraying something that kills them tends to be very ineffective because you usually don't get the queen, and colonies can rebound quickly.  It's also entirely possible that killing a large number of ants has caused the colony to split and relocate, so now you're going to want to do a very thorough search through your home.

Carpenter ants really like damp areas and decaying wood.  Make sure that you get rid of any leaks, leaky taps, leaky windows, wood that gets wet from leaks from the roof, etc.  If they're in one specific wall, you need to figure out why . . . and this may involve ripping up the wall.  Once you remove the habitat they like, they'll be much less likely to come back.  Spraying the perimeter of the house can help prevent immediate re-infestation, but if the underlying cause is still there they will eventually be back.

It's important that you clear the area near your house of things that could attract carpenter ants . . . any dead/rotting wood nearby should be removed.  Old stumps half buried in the ground, firewood, etc.  Carpenter ants will wander around a great distance, so if there's a colony near your house you'll probably find them in your house regularly.

A simple (and reasonably non-toxic) bait for carpenter ants is a tablespoon of borax (boric acid) mixed with a teaspoon of honey or peanut butter (put out both, depending on time of year ants will be attracted to different things).  You want to place this along their trails.  Don't overdo the borax part of this mix, you want them to take it back to the nest and kill off the queen.

A pest control guy will have access to better chemicals than you can buy (at least this is true in Ontario, not sure about Virginia).  They should also do much more than spray chemicals . . . they should assess why the infestation happened in the first place and take steps / give guidance on how to prevent recurrence.  A pest control guy should also have a better understanding of how to apply baits and mixing the perfect concentration.

Thanks!

There was some overgrown bushes along that wall before I bought, they have been trimmed way back.  I need to double check but there might be some gaps around the windows in the caulk that water could be getting in to; have been working on that on other windows.  Had not put it together that these two things might be related.  Will also check the attic for leaks-think that area is 100% dry but is worth looking. 

I have really not wanted to look into the walls for fear of what will be found (I know stupid); will see how the gf feels about pulling some trim and drilling some holes for the inspection scope.

I know what I will be doing over this long weekend!  Fun times.

The_path_less_taken

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Re: Ant problem found to be not resolved after closing
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2015, 11:09:55 AM »
Haven't tried it with carpenter ants, but diatomaceous earth powder is a 'mechanical' insect killer: it's made of diatoms, those little one cell critters in water. The bug walks through the powder, and the sharp edges of diatoms puncture the carapace at the joints and the bug desiccates and dies.

Ideally, I'd buy it at  feed store to make sure it was 'food grade', which means it is literally edible.  I dip my live chickens in it, sprinkles it in their nests, have seen it in supplements at the health food store, etc. That means it's from fresh water diatoms.

Pool diatomaceous earth is from salt water: not good to have around as dangerous ingested or if you got some in your eye....very, very sharp microscopic particles.

Fairly cheap at feed stores to pick up the food grade kind and experiment. On the plus side, non-toxic to you and your pets.

Runrooster

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Re: Ant problem found to be not resolved after closing
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2015, 06:07:18 PM »
I bought a big bag of DE (food grade) at home depot.  I used about 2 liters and maybe 3/4 is left over.  $10 if I recall.

couponvan

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Re: Ant problem found to be not resolved after closing
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2015, 07:42:36 PM »
Advance 375A and Optiguard from DIY pest control. We had a huge any problem we had been paying for a service - 2 treatments of this and the ants were gone after years of ineffective service. I am embarrassed that we spent thousands when $85 of DIY was what it took to get the queen. I really think the pest control company just wanted our continued money so they did barriers instead of baiting. The amdro gel you first put out mint jelly on masking tape to locate major ant trails - then the next day you replaced it with the killer gel. A little strip goes a long way! I added more to tape strips they ate completely. Two weeks later I did it again. I used it in combo with the Advance pellets  in a band. First time in 4 years there are NO ANTS INSIDE OR OUT!!!

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Ant problem found to be not resolved after closing
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2015, 05:43:55 AM »
My carpenter ant problem went away when we replaced the rotted windowsill. You need to remove their home, not just kill the visible ones. They're a symptom of a larger problem.

Sibley

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Re: Ant problem found to be not resolved after closing
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2015, 10:38:27 AM »
Honestly, OP, it doesn't matter if your GF doesn't like the idea about drilling holes, etc. You need to figure out what's going on, so you do what's necessary and to hell with not liking it. If you have to open up the whole wall in the end, then you do it. It's all fixable after all.

AlanStache

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Re: Ant problem found to be not resolved after closing
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2015, 11:24:26 AM »
Honestly, OP, it doesn't matter if your GF doesn't like the idea about drilling holes, etc. You need to figure out what's going on, so you do what's necessary and to hell with not liking it. If you have to open up the whole wall in the end, then you do it. It's all fixable after all.

Was not articulated but delaying looking inside the wall as much about prioritization of projects as permission (wall is part of her office).  I have probably three or four other projects for this long weekend that are equally high priority as recaulking the windows on this wall.  Pulling trim and looking within the wall may need to be delayed a few weeks until wolves that are closer are fully dealt with.

There is no visible rot along the wall or window, but yes until I open it up and look I will always be a little uneasy about it and want to know what is within. 

edit: With the caulk removed I should be able to see if there is rot where water was getting in, not sure of the magnitude of water, is an over hang above there.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2015, 11:34:57 AM by AlanStache »

Sibley

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Re: Ant problem found to be not resolved after closing
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2015, 01:23:13 PM »
Honestly, OP, it doesn't matter if your GF doesn't like the idea about drilling holes, etc. You need to figure out what's going on, so you do what's necessary and to hell with not liking it. If you have to open up the whole wall in the end, then you do it. It's all fixable after all.

Was not articulated but delaying looking inside the wall as much about prioritization of projects as permission (wall is part of her office).  I have probably three or four other projects for this long weekend that are equally high priority as recaulking the windows on this wall.  Pulling trim and looking within the wall may need to be delayed a few weeks until wolves that are closer are fully dealt with.

There is no visible rot along the wall or window, but yes until I open it up and look I will always be a little uneasy about it and want to know what is within. 

edit: With the caulk removed I should be able to see if there is rot where water was getting in, not sure of the magnitude of water, is an over hang above there.

Makes sense. Good luck with all the projects. I hate caulking, so glad it's you and no me :)

RecoveringCarClown

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Re: Ant problem found to be not resolved after closing
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2015, 01:00:07 AM »
Advance 375A and Optiguard from DIY pest control. We had a huge any problem we had been paying for a service - 2 treatments of this and the ants were gone after years of ineffective service. I am embarrassed that we spent thousands when $85 of DIY was what it took to get the queen. I really think the pest control company just wanted our continued money so they did barriers instead of baiting. The amdro gel you first put out mint jelly on masking tape to locate major ant trails - then the next day you replaced it with the killer gel. A little strip goes a long way! I added more to tape strips they ate completely. Two weeks later I did it again. I used it in combo with the Advance pellets  in a band. First time in 4 years there are NO ANTS INSIDE OR OUT!!!

Thanks for this, I may look into this if we ever get ants in the new house.