Originally Posted by Farflung
in Town Tavern. Good infor on using boric acid/borax. If they are not Carpenter Ants, just bait and kill. If they are carpenter ants, look for wet wood/decomposed wood that needs to be replaced or at least the source of the leak sealed
If you have ants (any ants...those don't sound like carpenter ants, carpenter ants are big) you have moisture present (they can't/won't be too far from moisture). That was the first thing I thought when you mentioned the chimney...you have moisture getting in around your chimney, possibly around the sides but more likely at the roof (or through a broken cap...or even the flue). Start at the bottom and work your way up...fixing all the water intrusion issues (positive drainage at the ground level, caulk at the sides (check to see if the FP is settling and/or the chimney is pulling away from the house), go up to the eaves, go on the roof and check the shingles and flashing This is quite often the problem...sometimes there's stuff on the roof (leaves, pine needles, dirt) holding moisture there which then wicks around the flashing and into the attic and down the chimney...often there's no "cricket" at the chimney (look that up) Sometimes the step flashing has pulled away or the sealant into the masonry joints has failed. Check the chimney cap and install a flue cap. You may have to seal the masonry of the chimney above and /or below the roof.
This assumes it's a masonry FP...a sided FP can have the same issues, but can be harder to figure out.
This might be a cheap lesson (early warning) If you have ants and moisture and wood that's the same environment that termites look for...