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Everything You Need to Know About Carpenter Ants

What You Must Know

No one likes realizing that they may have a pest problem. And some pests can go about thriving right under your nose without causing much ruckus. Such is the motto of carpenter ants. While large, you may not even notice carpenter ants at first. These critters range in size from a third of an inch to an inch long and are common in many parts of the world with forests. Carpenter ants are beneficial in the wild as they help with forest decomposition. These ants don’t eat wood but do carve through it creating galleries that offer access to their nests. They prefer moist wood, so areas like windowsills, decks, and roof eaves are particularly at risk of an infestation. Carpenter ants feed on dead insects and sugary liquids and tend to build their tunnels and nests near sources of food.

Signs of Infestation

As noted, it may not be easy to spot an infestation of carpenter ants and they often go unnoticed until it’s a costly situation. However, these little pests can do a lot of damage to structures if left to their own devices. Because they create tunnels in wood, they compromise the integrity of the structures they inhabit. Carpenter ants build two types of nests – parent nests and satellite nests. The parent nests are typically found outdoors and contain more moisture and eggs. Satellite nests are mostly full of worker ants and tend to be a bit drier than the parent nests. These types of nests are often ones found inside the home.

Because satellite nests are smaller than parent nests, they’re even harder to detect. However, here are some sure-fire signs of an infestation:

  • Shavings – Carpenter ants produce a sawdust-like substance from their work. This “frass” as it’s called, can be seen below windowsills, doorframes, baseboards, and other places where you may have an active nest.
  • Wings – If you spot winged ants or discarded wings laying about, you may have an infestation. Swarmer carpenter ants shed their wings near the site of the nest before entering.
  • Trailing - Carpenter ants are strong trailers and if you see this in the interior or ever on the exterior of your home, you likely have an infestation.

If you find any of these signs of an infestation, you must take immediate action to remedy the situation before it gets worse. While you can try to eradicate these pests on your own, calling in the professionals is guaranteed to get your problem gone.

Tips for Control

In an ideal world, you’d be able to prevent a carpenter ant infestation. While that may not be entirely possible, there are some solid steps you can take in trying to control their impact on your property.

  • Since carpenter ants are in search of wet wood, you can do the same types of things you might do to prevent a termite infestation like keeping firewood away from your home and trimming back bushes and trees from the edge of your home.
  • Address any water leaks around your house and make sure that you have grading around to pull water away from your foundation. Standing water can attract carpenter ants to your structure.
  • Make sure your windows and doors are properly screened and cracks are sealed with caulk.
  • Wipe down counters and vacuum frequently so there are no food particles that may attract ants. Also, use airtight containers in your pantry!

While this might sound like simple advice, it really can go along way in preventing a carpenter ant infestation in your home.

Danger of Carpenter Ants

While carpenter ants don’t spread disease like some other pests, they can cause serious damage in your home. Many people are worried about bites from carpenter ants, and while they do have the capability to bite through the skin, they are mostly interested in wood. Just like termites, these pests can cause dangerous structural damage if left alone.

They are most active during the spring season and can keep returning to the same spot in your home year after year which makes getting them under control on your own very challenging. Calling in the professionals at Impact Pest Elimination the moment you see signs of carpenter ant activity is crucial. Our experts can address the situation and map out an attack plan that will leave your home carpenter ant free. Don’t let these wood lovers wreak havoc on your property.

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