Magnet for bad luck

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-02-2003
Magnet for bad luck
Fri, 06-06-2003 - 11:14am
Well, last night I opened up new accounts at a different bank. We're going to hold off on a debit card with the checking account though. They have to look into your credit for that, and we don't want anything else to jeopardize refinancing the house in the next month. The bank we're currently with is just a small town bank with one other branch. The new bank has internet banking and more locations. I guess the reason I like the internet banking is that if I do make a mistake or get behind on balancing the checkbook, I can look on the internet and see everything right away, instead of getting yesterday's balance and not having transfers take effect until the next day like at our current bank. DH and I sat down and talked last night...we've decided that once we finally get my car fixed, we're going to keep it. I'll keep making 1 1/2 payments a month and in 7 months, the dang thing will be paid off. Then I can put that money that we would normally be spending on the payment into the bank, and we can take all of the money that we make from the sale and put it towards savings or another vehicle so that we are paying less.

We had planned on buying the parts we need to fix my car next week as well as pay his brother-in-law for the last part we replaced, as well as catch up on some bills out of DH's last overtime check next week. Low and behold, I knew it was too good to be true!

Wednesday night we heard mice in our attic and when DH went up to look for them last night and where they were getting in, he found a very large nest of carpenter ants on one of the trusses in the attic. So, now I've been on the phone with exterminators all morning getting quotes and trying to figure out how in the world we're going to pay for this! I have nowhere to pull money from to pay for the exterminator, but what else do we do??? Our roof needs to be replaced on the house soon...we were hoping to put it off another year, but every exterminator we've talked to says that we must have a leak in the roof becase carpenter ants feed off of wet wood. AAAAUUUUGGGGHHHH!!!!!!!! Can't we get past one crisis before another one hits us!? I am just sick to my stomach right now thinking about all of this!


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-19-2003
Sat, 06-07-2003 - 6:16pm
Leslie, I don't know what happen yesterday but I didn't see your post until today. You are having a string of bad luck. Ouch! Have you thought of all your options? What about selling your house? Not saying that is the answer just wondering if there are any other solutions. I wish I could offer words of wisdom (or at least ones that could tell you how to get the money lol). Hang in there. One day it will all turn around for you.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 06-07-2003 - 8:35pm
Hi Leslie, sorry to hear about your bad luck, why don't you try and get rid of them yourself first, also see if your hubby can find the leak in the roof and patch it if it is small?

Here is what I found for you, hope this helps:


The best way to control carpenter ants is to find and destroy the nests. This is often easier said than done. Recent studies have shown that carpenter ants follow distinct scent trails between the satellite colonies and the parent nest. Carpenter ants also rely on scent trails to recruit their nestmates to food. With patience and a little effort, homeowners can use this trailing behavior displayed by carpenter ants to locate and eliminate the nests.

When carpenter ants are observed, don't spray them; instead, feed the ants small dabs of diluted honey placed onto the back (nonsticky side) of pieces of masking tape. The best time to do this is late at night since this is when carpenter ants are most active. After the ants have fed on the honey, follow them on their journey back to their nest. Be patient-- eventually the ants will disappear behind a baseboard, cabinet, or into some other concealed location such as the hollow space (void) within a wall, door casing, or porch column.

Treat wall voids and other hidden spaces where ants are entering by carefully drilling a series of small (1/8 inch) holes and puffing boric acid (available at most hardware stores) into the suspected nest areas. The boric acid powder will disperse in the hidden void and contact and kill the ants. If you suspect the nest is in a wall, drill and treat at least 3-6 feet on either side of where ants are entering so as to maximize the chances of contacting the nest. Carpenter ants prefer to travel along wires, pipes and edges. If you suspect the nest location is in a wall, also treat behind pipe collars and behind --not in-- the junction box for electrical switch plates/receptacles. NEVER SPRAY LIQUIDS OR INSERT METAL-TIPPED DEVICES AROUND ELECTRICAL OUTLETS!).

As noted earlier, carpenter ants seen in the home may actually be nesting outdoors, foraging indoors for food and/or moisture. Consequently, the homeowner may end up following the ants they have baited with honey out of the house and into the yard, possibly to a nest located in a stump, or under a log or railroad tie. Once the outdoor nest is discovered, treatment can be performed by spraying or drenching the nest with an insecticide such as carbaryl (Sevin), diazinon, or chlorpyrifos (Dursban). If outdoor nests are suspected, the homeowner should also inspect around the foundation of the building at night with a flashlight, especially around doors, weep holes and openings such as where utility pipes and wires enter the structure. The baiting approach using honey can also be used to trace carpenter ants which are foraging outdoors back to their nest.

Tips When Calling a Professional

Oftentimes, it will be difficult or impossible to locate and destroy the carpenter ant nest(s). In this case, the homeowner may wish to call a professional pest control operator. Pest control companies approach carpenter ant problems differently. Some attempt to locate the nest and selectively treat only in specific areas. Other companies take more of a "shot-gun" approach, drilling and dusting as many potential wall voids and nesting sites as possible. Most companies also apply a perimeter spray treatment around the outside foundation of the home in an effort to temporarily prevent reinvasion. The approach which should not be used is simply to spray each month where carpenter ants are seen. If no effort is made to locate the nest(s) or probable nest areas, the problem will most likely continue.

Typically, there will be wide differences in price depending on the company and amount of effort expended. Since carpenter ant problems are not always solved on the first attempt, the type of guarantee and reputation of the company should be factored into the purchasing decision.

Carpenter Ant Prevention

A number of steps can be taken by homeowners to reduce the potential for future carpenter ant problems.

Correct roof leaks, plumbing leaks and other moisture problems which will attract carpenter ants.

Eliminate wood-to-ground contact such as where landscaping has moved soil or mulch up against the wood siding of a home.

Clip back tree limbs and vegetation touching the roof or siding of the house. Limbs and branches serve as "bridges" between carpenter ants nesting in a dead tree limb and the structure.

Seal cracks and openings in the foundation, especially where utility pipes and wires enter from the outside.

Stack firewood away from the foundation and elevate it off the ground. Never store firewood in the garage or other areas of the home, as firewood is a prime nesting area for carpenter ants.

CAUTION! Pesticide recommendations in this publication are registered for use in Kentucky, USA ONLY! The use of some products may not be legal in your state or country. Please check with your local county agent or regulatory official before using any pesticide mentioned in this publication.


Hang in there things will get better...~Petra~

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-14-2002
Sat, 06-07-2003 - 8:50pm
Your timing was perfect with the article about carpenter ants for me, too... As some of you are aware, we are deep into renovating a house. Today I discovered carpenter ants in two rooms, most likely disturbed and confused by the plumbing work and floor replacement in the bathroom and kitchen.

I got on the net tonight to search for information about these critters, but decided to check the boards first, and stumbled onto your post.

Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!!!!!