- Author: Karey Windbiel-Rojas
As written in my blog post from 2 days ago, I found carpenter ants in my house recently and decided to call a pest control company to help manage them.
Yesterday, the field representative from the pest control company (both of whom will remain unnamed) showed up as scheduled, the day after I submitted a service request. Prompt service, which I appreciated! I had collected some of the perpetrators for him, and had both dead and live specimens on hand for his expert ID and advice.
The job of the licensed structural field rep is to identify the pest. I already knew what I had, having some prior knowledge of ants and having used the UC IPM Key to Common Household Ants to identify the invaders. The field rep eyeballed the captive specimens without opening the plastic container or using a hand lens and declared them to be Argentine ants. I said "No, I'm pretty certain these are not Argentine ants." He assured me they were and Argentine ants can be large and they are commonly found in homes, etc.
So I fessed up: I work at UC IPM (which he had not surprisingly never heard of) and I know some stuff. I showed him where else I was seeing the ants and elaborated on the damage we are experiencing in our home. After describing more and showing him the other signs, he looked at the ants again (more closely) and agreed they were carpenter ants.
I was fairly dismayed at the super quick "identification" but glad that once I showed him more signs and gave more information he changed his diagnosis. Just like giving a doctor all the facts about bodily ailments and symptoms, it's also important to give a pest control professional all the signs, damage, and other info you've noticed when you think you have a pest issue.
Up next: the recommended treatment plan and what happened.