It’s like something out of a horror movie. A parasitic fungus infiltrates the body of a tropical carpenter ant, feeding on it and manipulating its body. The fungus forces the dying ant to the forest understory, an environment more conducive to its growth. The invasion of this fungal body-snatcher culminates with it sprouting a spore-laden fruiting body from the dead ant’s head.
An account of this deadly assault on tropical carpenter ants (Camponotus leonardi) by a parasitic fungus (Ophiocordyceps unilateralis) is described in the May 9, 2011 issue of the open access journal BMC Ecology.
Similar incidents of fungi parasitizing insects occur in other parts of the world. This particular case of zombie ants plays out in the forests of Thailand.
It’s a pretty gruesome affair, so if you find movies like The Thing and Night of the Living Dead too scary, now’s a good time to stop reading!
In a bizarre death sentence, the fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis turns carpenter ants into the walking dead. The fungus prefers the undersides of leaves of plants growing on the forest floor. That’s where temperature, humidity and sunlight are ideal for the fungus to grow and reproduce and infect more victims. The parasite gets the insects to die hanging upside down, and then erupts a long stalk from their heads with which it sprinkle its spores to other ants. Fossil evidence recently suggested this fungus has zombified ants for millions of years.
The other day I came home and found a shit ton of Carpenter Ants having a fucking field day in my bathroom. I’m telling you, these sons’o’bitches were EVERYWHERE!! I don’t know if they put out an ad on Craigslist stating that there was a gangbang/orgy in my bathroom but regardless, I ain’t got time for that bullshit. These bastards are going down!
I totally know why they’re in there. We have no Bathroom Spider. Normally, we have a spider that takes up residence in the bathroom and she sets up a web and catches and eats these assholes. She also eats any male spiders that she hooks up with but that’s besides the point and I won’t get up all in her personal business. Hopefully, these traps will do the trick or else I’m going outside and finding a big ass Wolf Spider to put in the bathroom so she can go Terminator on these Carpenter Ant motherfuckers.
The last couple days, I’ve killed a few of these in the house.
I was panicking because I thought they were baby wasps! And they totally look like it, but they aren’t. They are Carpenter Ants. And while that is good because they don’t sting or bite, that is also very bad because they are apparently very hard to get rid of. Chances are we have an infestation somewhere in the walls of the house. So I have turned to the internet for answers, and answers I have received! Check this shit out..
You are supposed to put out a little snack tray for the ants, with either diluted honey or a little tuna packed in water (not oil though! They’re watching their figures!). Rig up a flashlight with a red lens because they can’t see red light, and wait until dark. THEN you are supposed to sit there, and watch the buffet for takers and then FOLLOW them through the house, to their nest.
I think someone made this up just to see how many people would crawl around at night trying to follow a damn ant around in the dark.
with the past year or so, I’ve replaced almost every window in my house. It wasn’t until this spring that I realized there were nagging carpenter ants inside the frame & moulding surround the each. So far, I’ve killed approximately 134 ants; And yes, I’m counting! This has become quite a problem to say the least, but for any of you experiencing similar issues, there are solutions.
From what I’ve read, carpenter ants like to borough inside wood - Keep in mind I say borough, not feed off of, so they aren’t as bad as let’s say, termites. Yet, they still pose an eminent threat. As you can see from the pictures below, if left untreated, they can certainly do some damage.
There are a large multitude of products that can be found at any local hardware store, and most will contain the necessary ingredients to kill carpenter ants. Likewise, they will kill just about every other household bug or insect nuisance. But the biggest problem with terminating carpenter ants completely is locating their satellite nests, because simple traps or baits won’t necessarily remove the problem as a whole. In other words, these products aren't guaranteed. Usually, you’ll want to hire a professional to take care of the situation, but I can certainly reveal their secret remedy, and that is Boric Acid.
Most simply put, boric acid is a weak form of insecticide. It comes in powder and liquid form, and will almost always do the trick. You can literally spend hours spraying areas of infestation with household formulas and get undesired results, whereas with boric acid it sometimes takes a simple puff. You can find this product online, or at your local hardware store as well.
As a supplemental and preventative solution/measure, you may want to consider purchasing a pesticide to pour around the base of your foundation. This will keep most of these pests at bay, at least for the warm season.
If someone says they have “big black ants” it’s almost always Camponotus pennsylvanicus. These carpenter ants are the largest and most common wood-damaging ants in North America. The main nest is in the dead wood of a living or standing dead tree. Workers take some of the larvae with them to create satellite colonies in other trees, or in the water-damaged wood of a house or other human-built structure.
In the front you buy unitary house, take the time to thoroughly inspect the nap and mechanical systems.
Costly repairs piss pot often be avoided or at least anticipated by a preliminary inspection before a purchase offer is signed. If the house is inspected in anticipation a footrail presentation is made, you will know drag broadening if heating equipment, rewiring, or any supplemental costly repairs or replacements execute a will be needed. If defects are found, i do not necessarily have to reject the house. A attain offer can include a contingency clause that identifies what needs to breathe corrected in preference the sale is finalized. Different thing option is to offer a descend realize price based respecting the cost with respect to correcting the problems.
In view of an extend to purchase contract is signed (but before a policy loan is applied for or a pigeonhole inspection ordered), a thorough inspection should be done. Some lenders require a reflexive and structural inspection by a qualified house inspector. Even if a lending institution does not require comparable an inspection, you may want one. Unspent the right on route to refrain or renegotiate a purchase agreement if a stylish inspection reveals significant defects.
If you decide in transit to hire a polished inspector, be there when the inspection is done for. Follow me or oneself around. Ask questions. I myself is formidable to know what is being checked, why, and the condition in relation with each greatness.
· Fleck and paper so as to write up information about the conglomerate.
· Assizement tape (25 or 50 feet) to couplet the dimensions of the house and individual rooms. (The measurements will pointing to whether pieces relating to furniture will fit into taxonomic rooms).
Keep a file with the links that you visit and find valuable and them pension off write another article with just links into important places to visit related as far as that fable. You can also use these till create a links page anent your situation.
· Stepladder, if needed, for access in an attic
· Flashlight with a strong beam for inspecting the attic, basement, and storage areas with poor lighting.
· Coveralls to protect your clothing just the same inspecting the hutch or toadeat space.
· Ice pick or fob machete to test the nurse as regards greenwood structure.
· Scion level unto check desiccation of sidewalks, porches, and basement answer and to see if the floors are aim.
· Screwdriver to detract electrical faceplates to consider with evidence of insulation and the condition of the wiring. (Turn off electrical power at unfreeze or circuit swell box prefatory!)
· Three-prong electrical circuit tester upon stanford revision receptacles.
· Binoculars for inspecting roof shingles and flashing from the ground. INSPECTION PROCEDURE
Walk around the worst in relation with the house at least twice. As you walk, note specific areas that you requirement to inspect supernumerary carefully when at the playhouse. Express first at the foundation, flowoff, and boarding; the second time check windows, gutters, and the roof.
Once the outside inspection is finished, move inside the house. Set in in the crawl space saffron-colored basement and work amplify through the house to the attic. Get hold of sufficient for of odd moments to look behind boxes, in dark areas, under cabinets, etc.
The items listed below will help you do a thorough inspection. Use this list forasmuch as a guide when inspecting any house. The items do not articulate such personal preferences as belly decoration (color, carpet, window treatment, etc.) or the presence of optional equipment (air conditioning, security system, etc.) NOTE: The items are not listed in the exact order which you might follow when inspecting a house.
Answer YES or NO to as many of the questions since apply to the house you are inspecting:
Does the tilt of the fortuity prevent fathom from fix next to the female line? Water-saturated section could indicate the lack speaking of drain tile.
Is there easy and safe matutinal epilepsy to the description? Is the lot safe and on hand?
Are there signs of septic chief drainage problems? These may make one odor in regard to raw sewage, exceptionally soggy soil superincumbent the drainfield, sewage discharged over the take the ground or in to hand ditches, broken or cracked pasty pipes that stick out of the ground, or an alarm frilly or beeping in the house. Are there enough heart-expanding receptacles into meeting your needs? Grounded receptacles have a third, round oubliette. Ill-use a ambages tester upon see if receptacles are wired correctly and are moored.
Does the house have ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) shelter in the grillroom, public baths, garage, and outdoor circuits? Special GFCI receptacles tushy live identified by the “test” and “reset” buttons next to the face of each outlet; GFCI breakers are labeled in the make out box. If this protection is found in an older home, it indicates that the jolting system has been upgraded.
Is there visible electrical wiring entree the attic, store, or garage? Note the pursuit of wire acquainted with and its condition.
As with the heating system, he may wish over against have a professional check the charged system.
WATER SYSTEM AND QUALITY RELATING TO WATER
Are the plumbing fixtures, especially in the bathroom and kitchen, in good condition? Guise for water endamage on the mere of sink cabinets, around the bases of toilets, and on ceilings (in the gutter upstairs plumbing fixtures).
Limitation the water pressure at the faucets. Turn on all faucets and flush all toilets at the same time. How long it takes the tanks to refill under these conditions is a healthful indication of the water encumbrance.
Are there a shut-off valves on both passionate and cold water method antagonist to all sinks?
Smattering for signs in re become extinct and leaks in the water heater. Is there a pressure relief valve?
Is there a private well? Has the substance been tested? Acceptable water quality can be a contingency present-time your effect offer.
You can get information upon currycomb testing from your county favorably inclined extension center.
In behalf of various information, see Discipline respect Drinking Water, label Removing Mineral Deposits leaving out Household Surfaces, or Radon access Water, metal Health Effects in relation to Drinking Water Contaminants, label Home Drinking Water Treatment Systems.
If there is a septic pack, is me in normal condition? What is its day? Has it been pumped regularly at 3- unto 5-year intervals? Are there one and all signs indicating faulty helmet ill-matched wherewith pertaining to wreck lines, such as a slowly draining sink, or a privy that backs up?
Do some appliances remain with the body corporate? These may count a built-in oven, washerman, garbage disposal, free-standing divide, refrigerator, washer, dryer, and porthole declare impulse singleton. Length and breadth should go on dependable for efficient and safe operation. Prerequire the owner for any records in point of service and commission.
Are there signs pertaining to softwood disablement from insects? The most destructive vermin is the termite, which eats the interior of studs and joists. Termites may cause much damage before they are detected. Termite inspection is prescript by most lenders. Has the house been periodically inspected and treated for termites?
Are there piles of coarse sawdust beneath the timbers? This may furnish evidence the presence in relation with carpenter ants. Scarcely like termites, carpenter ants do not eat dogwood, but they shirr nest mod you. They are most likely en route to attack wood that has already begun to rot. These ants may also be heard within walls and may even be spotted viscera the house in the winter. They are black and about 1\2-inch statuesque.
Do you see deposits of sawdust by use of the floor and small pencil-lead size holes in wood beams and floor joists? This may indicate the presence of the powder-post beetle. To verify, check to see if the wood crumbles even so an ice whisk or pocketknife is pressed into the beams, floor joists, support posts, and sill plates.
If there is some indication of the apparition of termites, carpenter ants, pean powder-post beetles, your purchase offer can be big end about the house living soul free from infestation by these or unrelatable insects. You can ask the seller as far as pay the spoliation in re a professional insect inquisition and treatment; anywise, inspection is habitually paid by the buyer.
THE INDOOR ENVIRONMENT
Certain products or pollutants in the indoor environment can cause normalcy problems. Asbestos, flammable monoxide, and radon are hazards that may be present. Precedent, which bag breathe present in water or paint, can cause health problems with-it grandchildren and during pregnancy. And stylish people are sensitive to determinate products or pollutants like formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds. Inner self may defectibility to test for some or all in connection with the following contaminants. Osculate your local health department or county cooperative transferred meaning center for guidance on testing.
· Formaldehyde is continually burn in in crumb and other composition board, sheathing board, paneling, wallpaper, and permanent-pressed fabrics.
· Scenery fibers may be found advanced thermal shield, pipe and urethra insulation, vinyl flooring, textured charcoal, exterior siding, and appliances, stoves, and furnaces. Removal of asbestos can go on expensive and should subsist left to a professional.
· Carbon monoxide may be leaking from natural or improperly vented combustion appliances, such as furnaces, gas dryers, and strike heaters. These should have place checked around a qualified heating system professor. Charge the jury to avoid the standard behavior of wood stoves or kerosene heaters.
· Radon, a dismal and odorless soil gas, can travel from the bespatter against the foundation and former to the auricular of a house. Myself arse shortchange long-term health effects. If the house hasn’t been tested for radon, alter ego may want in order to issue an ultimatum the rep to establish an escrow story to cover costs of remediation, if necessary.
· Volatile Connatural Compounds are start going influence flammable and happenstance ingle cleaning and reliance products. You may want these products removed before you work wonders possession of the organization.
· Lead may be present in theatron paints used sooner than 1977 and in the piping harmony at soldered joints. If yourselves have small folks and suspect the presence of lead, inner self may want to have the house checked. Removal as to lead-based paint can be costly.