Signs of Carpenter Ants

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carpenter ant on leaf

Carpenter ants are small insects that are considered pests because they can cause structural damage to homes, decks, and other structures. These ants need food sources for their colonies, which is why they scavenge around your house looking for any sugars or starches you have left out on counters or dishes. In this blog, we’ll discuss where you may find carpenter ants, what they are attracted to, and how to prevent them from taking over your home. 

Where to Find Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are a very common pest in the Western New York Region. With a dense population of many different kinds of trees, root systems, and woodpiles outside to keep our fireplaces running through the winter, it would only be natural for carpenter ants to find their way into our homes. 

In the early spring, this is when carpenter ants are just beginning to wake up from their dormancy over the winter and forage for food and water, which is why we will start to see a large amount of them. However, seeing them repeatedly inside your home year after year could be an indication of nesting inside your walls and potentially damage to the wood you cannot see.

What are Carpenter Ants Attracted to? 

Carpenter ants initially begin outside of the home in an old tree, a tree stump, or an underground root system. When this nest (we call this the colony nest) gets too big, workers will be sent out to find secondary nests, called satellite nests, inside the home. 

Carpenter ants are often drawn to: 

  • Bathrooms
  • Kitchens
  • Windows
  • Door frames 

Moisture issues are most present in these areas, and carpenter ants are attracted to damp, soft wood. Carpenter ants do not actually ingest the wood, either—they will chew it up and spit it back out. 

When Are Carpenter Ants Most Active?

A mature carpenter ant colony can have thousands of ants per nest, and if this is in close proximity to your home, you could be at risk of having an infestation. It is vital to know when these ants are most active so you can prepare your home accordingly. 

Carpenter ants typically live outdoors in moist wooded areas, but you will also find them nesting indoors when the weather turns cooler. It is completely normal to see several walking around, especially during the early spring as they wake up foraging for food and water, however more than that may indicate a nest in your walls. 

3 Signs of a Carpenter Ant Infestation

Carpenter ants are notorious for causing property damage, so it is important to know whether you have an infestation or not. Below are some common signs that you may be sharing your home with these pests.

Frass

One indication of a carpenter ant infestation is a sawdust material called frass, which can sometimes be seen in the basements along the sill plate or even around windows and door frames. With the ants not ingesting the wood, you should be able to see shavings around your home which could lead to you having an infestation.

Noise in your Walls 

Another common way to know if you have carpenter ants is hearing unsuspected noises from inside your walls. Once these pests find themselves in your walls, they can chew up the internal structure of your house and can be mistaken as having a termite issue! 

Wings

If you see shedded wings around your home, this could be another indication of carpenter ants. Once the queen sheds their wings, the next step for them is to find a place to begin her colony. It is essential that you attempt to find the nest if you are seeing discarded wings as this can be a common sign that you have more than a few carpenter ants at your home. 

How to Prevent Carpenter Ants 

Once you have a clear indication your home has carpenter ants, you will need to find solutions to get rid of them. These can include: 

Seal Entry Points 

Compared to other ant species, carpenter ants are primarily larger. This does not mean they can’t get into any small crevices and openings in your home, however. Make sure to clear any access points in your house, and this can be done by adding caulk to any cracks or holes. Another thing that you can do is replace the window screens and door seals to cut off easy entrances. 

Properly Store Food and Keep in Containers 

Keeping your home clean of crumbs and spills will make it harder for ants to find food sources inside your property. Store food in airtight containers and implement good cleaning practices to leave no trail of perishables. It is also important to take out the trash regularly as ants can raid your trash can looking for food. 

Store Wood Properly

After all, carpenter ants love to feed on wood as we’ve learned. Make sure to discard any rotten or infected wood around your home and keep the leftover firewood on elevated surfaces as it is not easy for these pests to access. 

Seek Professional Help

Sometimes you can follow all the precautionary measurements and still lose to carpenter ants. We know this is stressful for you and your family, so Eco Serve is here to help. Our technician's service Williamsville, Clarence, and the surrounding Buffalo NY area. If you or someone you know has these occurrences, give us a call at 716-536-5806. We want to make sure your home is free of any pests, including carpenter ants!

 

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