The carpenter ant is a very nature friendly insect. They break down rotting and decaying wood and leave behind nutrient rich soil. They are not however, great house guests. They can cause damage unbeknownst to homeowners and end up costing them a good amount of money in structural damage. Dave’s Pest Control is here to help you identify and prevent carpenter ants in your home.
Carpenter Ant Identification
Carpenter ants are a rather large ant. They can at times, be as big as ¾ inch long! They range in color from black to brown to red. There are three distinct parts to an ant’s body; the head, thorax and abdomen. The thorax and abdomen are divided by a pinched waist which sets them apart from termites. They also have jointed antennas where termites have straight antennas. Some carpenter ants have wings. They are known as swarmers, and if you have spotted them coming from the ceilings or other cracks and crevices in your home, you most likely have an carpenter ant infestation.
Carpenter Ant Infestations
Contrary to popular belief, carpenter ants don’t actually consume wood. They are attracted to wood that has been subject to water damage and decay, because they build their nests there; not because they eat it. Unlike termites, the damage caused by carpenter ants happens over a longer period of time. They are attracted to the damaged wood, because it is easier for them to hollow it out to build their nest. At times, you can hear the rustling of the ants working within the wood. They congregate around leaky faucets, leaky windows and window sills, in bathrooms, and other places that have a healthy source of water. They also can establish satellite colonies which are away from the main nest, and only consist of workers. Once they are in your home, they are attracted to the food you eat. Especially foods that are high in sugar.
Prevention of Carpenter Ants
There are many ways to make your home less appealing to carpenter ants.
• Keep trees and branches trimmed and clear of your home. Branches touching your home are a great access point for carpenter ants as well as other pests.
• Store any firewood away from your home. This could also include removing any logs or tree stumps that may be near you home as well. Check any firewood for ants before bringing it into your home.
• If you have any leaks in your roof or pipes, these should be repaired as soon as possible.
• Keep the interior of your home, especially your kitchen, neat and tidy. Store your food properly and clean up any spills or crumbs to avoid attracting ants.
• Rather than using mulch in landscaping that touches the home, use stone or gravel.
• Clean gutters and take other preventative measures to reduce the risk of water damage to your home.
Removing carpenter ants once they have established themselves in your home or on your property can be tricky. Especially if they have several satellite nests. Dave’s Pest Control has the knowledge and resources to eliminate carpenter ants successfully. Call us today with any of your pest control needs.