Carpenter ants are a species of very destructive insects that have the power to compromise the structural integrity of an entire house and as such have become a problem that many homeowners have had to deal with more often than not. They are very good at making nests in deadwood that has some moisture. They create tunnels throughout the wood for easy navigation.
Unlike termites, they don’t actually eat wood, but they do hollow it out to make their tunnels, which amounts to the same thing, as far as structural damage is concerned. They always leave behind a fine sawdust residue (frass) when they are making their nests.
Carpenter ants might not be as damaging to property as termites, but they do their own fair share. It is important to quickly identify an infestation of these ants and get rid of them as soon as possible. The following will give you a few pointers that you can watch out for to help you discover a carpenter ant infestation in or around your house.
HOW TO IDENTIFY A CARPENTER ANT INFESTATION
Appearance- Carpenter ants are usually large and black colored (they are the largest household ants) with bent antennae, a narrow waist (a distinctive feature), and longer yellowish front wings. They don’t typically fly, but you might sometimes catch one taking to wing. Carpenter ants are often confused for termites, which have straight antennae, a thick waist, and four whitish wings all the same size.
Behavior – Swarmer carpenter ants can fly, and often are sent out from their current parent nest to try and create a new satellite colony. When they find a location to nest, you may start to see holes in the wood of your home, such as in the walls or on your porch. Termites will leave mud in the excavated areas, so it does not look smooth. Unlike termites, carpenter ants are not fond of eating wood, which is why they leave wood bits and dust behind as a sign that they are living in your walls. The presence of this residue is an indication of a carpenter ant infestation.
Ant activity- Placing your ears to your wooden walls, you would be able to hear carpenter ants scurrying about in there if they have infested your house. This happens especially at night. You may also, see several carpenter ants out in the open moving around your home over a period of time. Getting rid of those single ants will do nothing to fix the problem though, you need to find their nest and eliminate it.
WHY YOU MIGHT HAVE CARPENTER ANTS
Carpenter ants actively search for damp and rotting wood to live within. They like to live in fallen, rotten logs and tree stumps where moisture is present. Areas of your home that are usually exposed to the elements are most susceptible to the damage that carpenter ants can do.
Carpenter ants also feed on proteins and sugars that are not properly put away in your house. Items like meat, syrup, honey, pet food, jelly, and granulated seeds, leaving these items out can attract them.
REASONS TO TREAT YOUR CARPENTER ANT PROBLEM IMMEDIATELY
You should take decisive steps to eliminate any carpenter ant infestation as soon as you discover it, here is why:
– Carpenter ants tend to be a nuisance, and an untreated colony can pose a threat to the stability of your residence. Lots of burrowing into the wood could reduce the integrity of some housing structures. Satellite colonies are likely to pop up if a nest is left untreated for a long time. This is why it is imperative for you to employ the services of a licensed professional immediately an infestation is discovered.
– Carpenter ants have been known to bite when their nests are threatened. They are quite fast and if you try to attack a carpenter ant nest, you might very well get bitten several times. They are not known to transmit diseases but their bites do hurt and some people have allergic reactions to the formic acid residue that is left behind after their bites.
HOW TO HANDLE CARPENTER ANTS INFESTATION
Removing carpenter ants will ensure that your home will stay safe from their burrows. Professional carpenter ant control is the best way to kill carpenter ants and halt their colonization in its tracks.
Call us today to treat or prevent your carpenter ant problem so you and your family can rest assured the foundation of your home will be safe. We are the #1 carpenter ant control company.
TIPS TO PREVENT FURTHER CARPENTER ANTS INFESTATION
There are some other simple things that you can do to make sure that you stay carpenter ant free after you have removed a carpenter ant infestation, here they are:
– A method that has proven effective in keeping colonies of carpenter ants from entering into homes is the baiting method. Carpenter ants eat proteins and sweet food during some periods of their life cycle. So, what you do is place food bait of these same types (produced specifically for this purpose) outside your house, so when the foraging ants come around, they pick the food and take it to their queen instead of coming into your house. The food then eliminates the colonies after a few days.
– Carpenter ants are always looking for damp and decaying wood in your house to make their nests in. Fixing and removing any damp or decaying wood in your house will give them fewer nesting options inside your house.
– Try and seal up any entry point that the ants could use to enter your house including windows sills, the foundation of your building, and cracks in your doors.
– Keep your sweet-smelling food and proteins tightly sealed in airtight containers.
– Try as much as possible to clean up food and drink spills immediately they happen
– Also, trim trees and bushes around your house and also make sure that you do not have pieces of wood or logs lying around your house. Eliminate any potential carpenter ant nesting site.