Carpenter ants appear as predominately large, sturdy black ants, some with a dark tan or mahogany colorations ranging in size from ¼” to ½”. Carpenter ants play an important ecological role by helping to decompose dead and fallen trees. They become an important economic pest when these ants invade wooden members of manmade structures. Carpenter ants are responsible for millions of dollars of damage every year in the United States.
What Do Carpenter Ants Use To Build Nests?
Carpenter ants prefer to attack damp wood which has been weakened by decay. Dry, sound wood is vulnerable but is less likely to be attacked. Wood is not a food source for ants; in fact, after chewing wood to make tunnels in which to live, the carpenter ant regurgitates it as soft fluffy sawdust. This sawdust combined with bits and pieces of insects on which they have fed is known as frass. Frass is carried from the nest and deposited outside. Frass is one sign of carpenter ant damage, however, it is often never found as ants may dispose of frass within a wall void or other inaccessible location. As a colony expands in size, so does the size of its nest. Workers are constantly engaged in cutting galleries in the wood to accommodate the enlarging colony.
How To Prevent Carpenter Ants
- Trim tree branches & shrubbery away from the house
- Clean up leaf litter and remove high weeds near the house
- Remove rotted wood around your property, fence posts, tree stumps, etc.
- Clear gutters & downspouts of debris
- Vent attics properly to prevent moisture buildup
- Drain water away from the foundation
- Inspect roof for leaks especially around chimneys and skylights
- Inspect plumbing in kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms for leaks
- Seal cracks around doors, windows, along foundations and roof lines
- Caulk around utility lines entering the structure
- Store garbage in tightly sealed containers
Locating and treating nests in and around a structure is the key to carpenter ant control. Specialized equipment allows for injection of products deep into excavated wood galleries. Great improvements have been made with bait technologies in carpenter ant control. Proper placement of bait products aids greatly in overall control, however, considerable expertise is usually necessary for effective results. Once satellite colonies are eliminated within a structure outside preventative treatments are usually necessary to help deter ants attempting to re-enter from their natural exterior environment.
Contact Us Today
Carpenter ants can cause severe damage to your home, often hidden out of sight. To keep your home protected around the year, you can find a flexible plan from Eco Serve that is designed for residential and commercial properties. Find out more information by contacting our team today!