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Permaculture solutions for termites/carpenter ants/etc.

 
Savannah Thomerson
Posts: 78
Location: zone 6
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Hello

We live in a log cabin and have recently discovered a new colony of carpenter ants marching in and gnawing the walls in the wee hours of the morning.

Today as I was reading to "buy this dust or that gel" I caught myself thinking hypothetically (realistically if you ask me) "How in the world do I keep these little fellas away if I'm in a situation where I can't purchase the solution?!" (i.e. societal/system collapse, etc)

Will guinea fowl  take care of termites & ants, too? I am looking for solutions. Any advice would be much appreciated ) (we've also got a wood bee dilemma.....man, you'd think living way out in the forest, there'd be plenty of wood to go around and we could remain unbothered in our cozy little cabin...go figure)  :p

Many thanks!
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
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Posts: 8981
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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We seem to be able to keep down the population of critters around and under the house by letting chickens roam the yard.  So far no termites in the house though we do have one colony of carpenter ants I might need to do something about.  Mostly we have a "live and let live" policy - which might come to bite us in the backsides in the future. 

Guineas are supposed to be even better insect foragers than chickens, so I think that is definitely something to try.
 
Savannah Thomerson
Posts: 78
Location: zone 6
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Aye, as far as I understand, a colony of carpenter ants can do some severe damage to the integrity of a home over time.

The live & let live mantra is a good one, though. Maybe I can kindly ask the carpenter ants to go someplace else

(and get guinea)  :p
 
John Polk
master steward
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Tanacetum vulgare, (Tansy) planted around where ants enter will repel them.  I don't know if it works for all ants, but they certainly quit entering our house with a few plants around the doors.  They also repel some flies, gnats, and other thugs.  They are a  perrenial, quite hardy, and will give dense clusters of bright yellow flowers for much of the summer.  Keep a careful eye on them, as they can become invasive.
 
Savannah Thomerson
Posts: 78
Location: zone 6
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John Polk wrote:
Tanacetum vulgare, (Tansy) planted around where ants enter will repel them.  I don't know if it works for all ants, but they certainly quit entering our house with a few plants around the doors.  They also repel some flies, gnats, and other thugs.  They are a  perrenial, quite hardy, and will give dense clusters of bright yellow flowers for much of the summer.  Keep a careful eye on them, as they can become invasive.



THANK you!
 
tel jetson
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Location: woodland, washington
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be real careful with tansy if you've got livestock.  it can be handy stuff, though.  scattering the flowers around a kitchen or picnic area keeps most bugs away.  hadn't thought of it for carpenter ants, though.  I may try that.

depending on where you live, you may have trouble buying seed.  because it may be illegal to grow.
 
Tim Canton
Posts: 175
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I would be really cautious with letting carpenter ants live in your house.  They can cause thousands of dollars worth of structural damage in not all that long.  They don't eat the wood but they create long tunnels through the wood thus degrading the structural integrity.    the easiest solution for removal is to find the nest and destroy it.          I like to let live too but letting them live has the potential to alter your living with a hefty repair bill
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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