Most people consider ants to be just a nuisance, but did you know there’s a type of ant that could cause serious damage to your home? Yes, you guessed it! We’re talking about carpenter ants. These pests are more than just common backyard insects. Once they invade your home, they can wreck the structural integrity of your property. It’s important to know how to identify and prevent them from infesting your home. We’ll discuss everything you need to know about carpenter ants, including their identification, life cycle, prevention, signs of infestations, and tips to eradicate them from your home.

What are Carpenter Ants and Where do They Come From?

Group of carpenter ants close up on tree barkCarpenter ants are large black, or dark brown ants that measure between 6 and 25 millimeters in length. They are found across North America, and their habitats include forests, woodpiles, decaying trees, and stumps. They have massive mandibles that they use to dig through wood. Despite popular belief, they do not consume wood as they feed on sweet liquids, honeydew, and insect exudates found in a garden. Therefore the observed damage in wood usually comes from digging tunnels and creating nesting sites, not foraging for food.

Identifying the Type of Ants in Your Home

Carpenter ants are mostly active at night, making it difficult to spot them initially. However, there are other notable characteristics that can help you identify them during the day. These ants usually have a single, large nest known as the mother colony where the queen, eggs, and young ants reside. You may spot small, satellite nests close to the mother colony as the colony grows to accommodate the increasing number of ants. You might see a pile of what seems like sawdust falling near or out of a hole on exterior wood parts, and this is due to the tunnels dug by carpenter ants through wood in place of termites, which they are often mistaken for.

The Life Cycle of the Carpenter Ant

Carpenter ants have a life cycle similar to other ants, which involves the egg, larvae, pupa, and adult stages. The queen-carried out egg-laying, and the worker carpenter ants take care of the eggs, larvae, and pupae while digging and building tunnels. The larvae are fed by adult ants and eventually mature into pupae before emerging as winged adult ants that will spawn new colonies.

How to Prevent Carpenter Ant Infestations

Carpenter ants are fond of nesting within moist or decaying wood. So, it’s important to eliminate all possible sources of wet, rotting wood in both indoor and outdoor areas. Pruning the tree limbs closely to your home is also necessary to avoid carpenter ant nests. Seal all small openings around doors, windows, electrical outlets, pipes, and utility access sites to prevent ants from entering your residence. Keeping your lawn free of debris and cutting shrubbery will also prevent these ants from finding nesting sites.

Signs of a Carpenter Ant Infestation

Close up of one carpenter ant on woodThe first sign of carpenter ant infestation is usually their irregular sounds and the debris visible in wood tunnels. Once you spot sawdust around wood, this is a sign of digging, and you should begin to suspect an infestation. Additionally, spotting an actual ant inside the house gives the indication of a colony in the vicinity. If you observe a winged carpenter ant around your home, that could indicate a nest, which is most likely mature. Also, ants trail leading into the house, and discarded wings are an indication of a mature nest’s satellite.

Tips for Getting Rid of Carpenter Ants

The bottom line is, structural damage is their best indicator of an ant problem. Therefore early detection and proper treatment are crucial in preventing further deterioration of wood. If you suspect or identify early signs of carpenter ant infestation, it’s best to call a pest control professional for eradication. Termination of nests is usually a series of steps involving fumigation, liquid treatment, or bait application.A Carpenter ant may look harmless, but they can cause significant damage to your home’s structure. They’re only one type of pest that you don’t want to mess with within your home or garden. Unlike most ants that leave no damage, a carpenter ant can cause severe damage to things you have invested in, sometimes beyond repair. Therefore, it’s essential to take precautionary measures to avoid these pests in the first place and, if necessary, take appropriate measures to rid them from your home. Regular inspections of your property, combined with proactive measures, can help prevent an infestation and protect your property from damage.

The Best Pest Control Company in Ohio

When it comes to protecting your home and property from carpenter ants, Prevent Pest Control has your back. Contact us today and set your home free. With our ultimate goal in mind being to exterminate all pests invading your space!

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