If you’re a typical homeowner, you might be tempted to think that termites are a worse problem to have than carpenter ants. This is far from the truth! Carpenter ants might not eat wood, but they still nest inside it, wreaking just as much havoc as termites by building tunnels, chambers, and rooms within wooden materials in your home. This can wind up weakening wood’s structural integrity and ultimately threatening its soundness. Lets discuss ways to spot carpenter ants, how to prevent them, and what to do about them if you get them.
How To Identify Carpenter Ants?
The carpenter ant is larger than your average termite – they can be almost an inch long. They’re usually red or shiny black, though they can be a combination of both. Swarmers will have long brownish or white wings and look similar to small wasps (don’t worry; they don’t sting).
Signs of carpenter ants in your Raleigh home usually aren’t super obvious, especially if you’re not looking out for them. Aside from nesting inside your walls, these ants behave similarly to other, less harmful ants, meaning it’s easy to see them roaming around and think they’re just another garden variety ant wandered in from outside.
Since carpenter ants can’t eat wood, they have to forage for food. So if you see carpenter ant workers nosing around your pantry or picking at the crumbs on your kitchen counter, you should start looking for other suspicious activity. However, since workers can travel great distances away from the nest to seek food, finding them isn’t a dead-sure indication that you’ve got a problem.
A bigger concern is the swarmers. The swarmers are the wasp-like flying ants. These are reproductive males and females that leave the nest to mate and build their own colonies. Since these guys don’t fly too far from the colony before mating, seeing a swarm of flying carpenter ants is a surefire sign you probably have an infestation. Other signs of infestation you may see include:
Wood Shavings: Since carpenter ants tunnel through wood, they’ll leave sawdust behind.
Small Openings Inside Wood Surfaces: These are called kick out holes, and ants use them to expel unwanted material from the nest.
Wood Damage: This includes buckled walls and floors, sagging ceilings, and warped door and window frames.
Noise In The Walls: Because carpenter ants actively tunnel, you might hear soft scratching or rustling sounds coming from your walls.
Fortunately, a lot of the prevention methods you might already be employing to keep away termites and other kinds of ants will work for carpenter ants too. These include:
Eliminating moisture issues that could attract ants, such as leaking pipes, clogged drains or gutters, and any other source of standing water on the floor or the ground.
Storing food off the floor and in airtight containers to prevent the smells from attracting ants.
Removing decaying or weakened wood from your property. Carpenter ants like wood that’s already softened by moisture damage or age, so getting rid of this will get rid of potential homes for them.
Sealing any cracks or holes in your home’s foundation or siding.
Eliminating Existing Problems
The bad news is carpenter ants can often get around prevention measures – no matter how stringent they are. The good news is there’s something you can do about it if your attempts at prevention fail: call the experts at Pest & Termite Consultants!
Here at Pest & Termite Consultants, our expertise with wood-boring bugs is built right into our name! We’ve got all the latest, state-of-the-art equipment and techniques to eliminate carpenter ants and keep these pesky pests gone for good. So give us a call at (919) 870-8003 or visit our contact page to schedule your service today!