You may have never given much thought to carpenter ants until you are told you have a problem with them in your house. These destructive pests can cause major structural damage to your home or other buildings on your property. There are ways to identify carpenter ant infestation and signs of them in your home. Dave’s Pest Control is here to talk about how to identify carpenter ants and avoid them making their home in the walls of your house.
Carpenter Ant Identification
Carpenter ants are one of the largest ants in the United States. They range in color from dark brown and red, to black and are about ¼ to ½ inch long. These pests are often mistaken for termites, but there are some differences that can help you identify them. They have a pinched waist unlike the termite, who has a body the is the same size from top to bottom. Carpenter ants also have antennae that are bent where termites have straight antennae. One more difference lies in their wings. Ants have two sets of wings that are different in size, where termites also have two sets of wings, but they are the same size.
Signs of Carpenter Ants in House
There are several signs that you have a carpenter ant problem. Here are some of them:
1. Sawdust– Keep your eyes peeled for small amounts of sawdust or “frass” in and around your house. Check near corners or windowsills, these are common places you will find it.
2. Winged Swarmer Carpenter Ants– These winged ants are known as “swarmers,” and are a good sign that you have a problem. Usually they don’t go farther than 30 feet from their nest, so you know they are nearby.
3. Rustling Noises– You can often hear carpenter ants working to clear out wood and build their nest. This will sound like a rustling noise inside your walls.
4. Hollow Sounding Wood– As carpenter ants build their nests they hollow the wood out. When you tap on the wood, it will sound hollow and this is a sign that you have a problem.
How to Prevent Carpenter Ant Infestations
Luckily, there are many ways that you can prevent carpenter ants from choosing your home as a place to build their nests. Here are some preventative measures you can take:
1. Keep trees and shrubs trimmed and at least 15 inches away from your house. This is a great entry point for carpenter ants.
2. Properly store your firewood. Don’t store it near your home and try to store it up off the ground.
3. Eliminate any sources of moisture. They are drawn to moisture and wood that has been damaged by moisture since it is easier to build their nests in.
4. Keep the areas in your house where you eat, neat and tidy. Carpenter ants don’t eat wood, they are attracted to sugary, greasy foods that you and I eat. Avoid leaving spills and crumbs as this will attract carpenter ants.
Carpenter Ant Nests During Winter
Carpenter ants seen indoors during the winter season indicates there is an inside nest. Worker ants may become active during winter if the nest receives enough warmth from sunlight and mild outdoor temperatures, or from indoor heat. When carpenter ants are active during winter they will forage for moisture at night. If you enter a room early in the morning and turn on the lights only to see ants scurrying for cover, call a professional pest control company!
Carpenter Ant Control
If you fear you have a carpenter ant problem, don’t hesitate to call Dave’s Pest Control to eliminate the problem for you. We have the equipment and training to eradicate your carpenter ant problem before you face major structural damage.