Carpenter ants are one of the biggest nuisances in the pest world. They’re smart, resourceful, and can cause serious damage to the wood structure of your home. But they aren’t always the easiest to get rid of – especially if there’s more than a few ants that snuck into your home. It’s best to trust a professional pest management company with your ant removal needs, but consider these tips before you call in the specialists.
Look for Signs
Carpenter ants are often connected with termites because of their destruction of wood. But unlike the termites, carpenter ants don’t actually eat wood – instead, they just chew through it and hollow it out in order to create shelters and “galleries” where they mate and the queen lays her eggs.
If a full nest has been formed with a complete infestation of ants, there usually will be something called “frass” lying around. Frass is essentially a pile of sawdust – since the ants don’t actually eat the wood, it collects and piles near the nest.
Other signs include winged ants flying around. Carpenter ants have wings, and while most of them are workers – both male and female – queens have wings as well. Once a queen is ready to reproduce, she’ll look for a moist piece of wood, burrow into it and hollow out a gallery inside, and then rip her wings out before laying her eggs. Between what food she has stored in her body and the wings she’s removed, she’ll have enough food for both she and her children until they are old enough to leave the nest and find food for her. The queen will likely never leave the gallery again, instead continually laying eggs and eating in her lair for the rest of her life, which could last upwards of 20 years.
Because the ants search out moist wood for survival, it’s likely that they’ll build a nest before you ever notice their presence. Why? Because the most common places for the damp, wet wood carpenter ants look for is not somewhere out in the open, but rather in basements and cellars and inside walls where darkness fosters the moisture and the wood is often hidden out of site.
Therefore, it’s important to address leaks, spills, or broken water pipes and fixtures immediately so as not to become a breeding ground for carpenter ants or other pests.
We’ve chronicled different ways to eliminate your carpenter ant threats, including using different dusts, baits, and insecticides. For more on those tactics, click here.
However, eliminating these tricky pests isn’t always as simple as spraying an insecticide. It’s always best to call a professional pest management company like Bain Pest Control to both evaluate your situation and take the proper action you need to keep your home comfortable, livable, and free of damage.