By Acme Homes 6-20-2023
You love your home. It provides you safety and comfort. Unfortunately, there are pests who might like your home for those same reasons. One pest in particular you need to be on the lookout for is carpenter ants. Carpenter ants are destructive pests that can cause damage to wooden structures in your home. Here are some signs that your home may have carpenter ants and what you can do about them.
Presence of Ants
Carpenter ants are usually larger than other ant species, measuring around ¼ to ½ inch (6-13 mm) in length. If you notice large black or reddish-brown ants in your home, particularly near wooden structures or along ant trails, it may indicate a carpenter ant infestation.
Sawdust or Frass
Carpenter ants excavate tunnels and galleries in wood to build their nests. As they do so, they push out wood debris called "frass" or sawdust. If you find piles of sawdust-like material near wooden structures, such as windowsills, baseboards, or in your attic, it could be a sign of carpenter ants.
If you listen carefully near infested wood, you may hear faint rustling or munching sounds as carpenter ants tunnel through the wood.
Hollow or Damaged Wood
Carpenter ants hollow out galleries within wood, weakening its structure. Tap on wooden surfaces to check for hollow sounds or inspect the damaged wood for smooth tunnels, galleries, or windows that carpenter ants create.
In spring or summer, carpenter ant colonies produce winged reproductive ants, known as swarmers, that leave the nest to mate and establish new colonies. If you notice winged ants indoors or find discarded wings near windows, it could indicate a nearby carpenter ant nest.
Carpenter ants prefer damp and decaying wood but can also infest dry wood. Common areas where you may find their nests include attics, crawl spaces, wall voids, wooden porches, decks, or structures in contact with soil.
If you suspect a carpenter ant infestation in your home, it's essential to take prompt action to minimize the damage. Here's what you can do.
Identify and Eliminate the Nest
Locate the carpenter ant nest(s) by following ant trails and signs of activity. Once located, you can treat the nest directly using appropriate ant control products, such as baits, dusts, or liquid insecticides. If the infestation is extensive or inaccessible, consider contacting a professional pest control service.
Remove Food and Water Sources
Carpenter ants are attracted to food and water. Keep your home clean, store food in sealed containers, and fix any plumbing leaks or sources of moisture to deter ant activity.
Trim trees, shrubs, or any vegetation that comes into contact with your home. This helps eliminate bridges for ants to access your house.
Seal Entry Points
Seal cracks, gaps, and other entry points around your home, including windows, doors, and foundation, to prevent ants from entering.
Remove Attractive Wood Sources
Remove or replace any damaged or decaying wood in and around your home, as it is attractive to carpenter ants. Ensure that firewood and other woodpiles are stored away from your house.
It's important to note that severe or persistent carpenter ant infestations may require professional assistance. Pest control experts have the knowledge and tools to effectively identify and treat carpenter ant colonies, ensuring thorough eradication and preventing future infestations.
We want you to be well equipped to protect your home and keep it in good condition. Hopefully, this article has given you some valuable insights as to what to do if you notice carpenter ants around your home. And as always, if you are in the market for a new home, look no further than Acme Homes. Our homes are designed to fit beautifully into the nature that surrounds them, and they are built to last.