Effective Prevention Keeps Ants and Pests Outdoors
They’re out there, and they always will be. That’s just fine… as long as ‘out’ is where the pests stay.
“Carpenter ants are a natural part of the ecosystem,” says Mark Sampson, owner of Muskoka Pest Control. “The problem occurs when they come into the cottage.” See our Carpenter Ant Videos here
Mark, his son Mike Sampson, and their team have years of experience preventing and ending infestations of carpenter ants, as well as spiders, wasps, mice, squirrels, and a whole range of other creatures that call Muskoka home.
“The goal isn’t to kill everything out there,” says Mark. “Our goal is to ensure they don’t come inside, where they can cause problems.”
The best way to deal with any pest, he explains, is to prevent a problem from occurring in the first place.
In the case of carpenter ants, that prevention can begin right at the construction phase. “A pre-treatment service is enormously effective, if you’re building something new,” Mark says. “We come in before the drywall is installed, and treat all the wood – all the places that humans will never see again, but where ants might otherwise be tempted to take up residence.”
For homes that are already completed, regular prevention is the best way to deal with pests. “If you’re in the woods in Muskoka, it isn’t a question of whether you’ll get insects, but when you’ll get insects,” Mark says. Carpenter ants don’t eat wood – they tunnel into it for homes and in search of insects to eat. And they see no difference between a dead tree and a piece of lumber inside a cottage wall, if conditions permit.
The most effective control is a cumulation of multiple small steps. “Chemical and biological controls are part of it,” Mark explains – adding that many chemicals cannot be applied by a do-it-yourselfer – “but it’s also a matter of understanding what ants are looking for, and then ensuring they don’t have it.”
That means stacking firewood away from the house, and eliminating branches that can provide a bridge from one colony to another. It means sealing openings where pipes enter the cottage, and inspecting indoors to ensure there are no plumbing leaks or moist areas. And yes, it means avoiding leaving crumbs or sweet spills where ants can find them.
“Effective pest control is a partnership between us and the homeowner. By working together, we can keep ants and other creatures outdoors, where they belong.”