You are here:

Pest Control/Elephant graveyard for ants??


dead ants
dead ants  
My dad lives in Northeast Florida.  We have noticed that there are 10 or more are piles of 10 - 25+ dead ants in random places around his house and in the enclosed porch.  This occurred last spring as well.  We have seen very few live ants in the house. They are black and red and are on the larger size for ants.  We have had a few drop down from the ceiling.  There may be a small hole in the cathedral ceiling that they may be coming in from.  Although we've never seen them on the roof when we blow the leaves off.  I'd like some advice on how to get rid of them and I'm very curious to know why they are dead in little piles instead of randomly.  Thank you for your time!

Dear Traci,

These are Florida Carpenter Ants. They like to live in wood, excavating out galleries in which they nest. Most often they nest in trees - but they can nest in your home's wooden structure too.
They are most active at night - so if you want to see the true extent of the problem, take a small can of tuna fish and put a teaspoon or so of the tuna in a little pile, every 10 feet or so around the perimeter of your home, then use a flashlight and go outside about 15 minutes to a half hour after sunset and walk around the exterior of your home. When you find ants feeding on the fish, track the trail back to its origin point. Most often, this will be a nearby tree.

However, because you are seeing them in little piles, I'm a bit concerned that they may be nesting inside your home. The piles could be dead ones that the colony is pushing out of the gallery. Traci, if they ARE nesting inside your home, they can be quite destructive, so I recommend you have two or three pest control companies come out to inspect the problem and offer some solutions.

These critters used to be pretty tough to deal with, and to be most effective, what treatment was needed, it was done at night. Now days companies can use products like Termidor on them, which makes for a lot less pesticide and hassle.

I wish you the best of luck,


Pest Control

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


George E Serdes


My knowledge is in the areas of structural insect or rodent pest problems. I do not know enough about lawn and garden pests to be of any help there...


I've retired from the pest control industry in Central Florida. I spent 15 years in all areas of the industry (sales, night technician, integrated pest management specialist, service manager, and branch manager for both National and local companies.

Formerly sat on the Florida Pest Management Association's Board of Directors (Region IV)

Retired Florida State Certified Pest Control Operator -

©2016 All rights reserved.