When the ants go marching in... Do you feel like you are sitting in the world’s largest picnic? Ants can invade the space around you quickly before you even know they are there.
There are several different types of ants, with carpenter ants being one of the largest species. Ants feed off of anything they can get their feelers on and in turn, can find their way into your kitchen through any open gateway.
Get to know what a carpenter ant is, the signs of a carpenter ant, and just how much damage these tiny little insects can do.
Carpenter Ants are one of the largest species in the world. They can range from 3.4 mm to 13 mm long. They are usually easy to spot due to their black color. A carpenter ant is an insect that lives outside yet also enjoys the inside as long as it is damp and moist.
Their favorite homes are in wood, hence the nickname carpenter ant. They create burrows inside of the wood and build nests to use for their homes. They build highways through burrowing and use these passageways to move back and forth from one home to another.
They are very agile creatures that can get around anywhere. Even though they create a mess with the wood, they do not eat it which is a common misconception. Instead, they eat crumbs and food that we humans leave behind.
They often take food back to their homes for the rest of the ants to feast on. Ants reproduce often, up to 25 years if they are queen ants with up to 16 eggs per year.
The eggs can hatch within 6 to 12 weeks causing a complete mess of new ants that can continue to reproduce.
As a warning, it is important to understand how to treat your ant problem at the source before they begin to spread into something you cannot control.
The signs of a carpenter ant are easy to spot anywhere outside of your home or inside if an infestation occurs.
Perhaps the most common sign of a carpenter ant is what they leave behind. These ants burrow as stated in wood to form homes and tunnels. Unfortunately, they leave behind wood shavings or mounds of tiny wood pieces as they dig.
Inspect your home and property, especially in dark corners. Look around baseboards for piles of wood shavings. You may even be able to see the entrance holes in the wood itself.
Signs of carpenter ants outside can also be seen in wood, such as patios and decks where moist wood is present. These ants can also burrow into trees and can found swarming them if there is an infestation.
These trees include downed limbs or mossy old tree stumps in dark wooded areas. They can also burrow into rotting wood in your backyard.
Another sign of ants is seeing them for yourself (obviously).
Some of these ants have wings and can fly around the burrowing site or where they are eating. Where there are winged ants, you can bet you have a full on infestation due to this type of ant flying around.
At night, when everything is quiet, listen to see if you can hear a rustling sound in your walls or around your wood flooring.
If you do, you may be hearing the sound of ants moving about in your home.
Ants make this sound as they burrow and transport food throughout their tunnels. If you are able to see these types of signs, chances are you have an ant infestation.
It is important to get your home or outdoor space inspected if you seem to think the issue is getting worse.
Carpenter ants do most of their damage to wood found inside and under your home.
They create their tunnels and home called galleries by burrowing deep underground. They leave behind the wood shavings and their digested food particles as well.
After years of an untreated ant infestation, you can face serious damage to your home, patio, deck or any other wood structure. An ant colony can spread throughout the wood, using every tiny bit of space available.
Ants can damage wood by digging through it causing it to become weak and soiled with ant feces and urine. They can also infest your hardwood flooring or attic. If left untreated it can cause your floor to become weakened if the infestation is severe enough.
Carpenter ants will also chew on outdoor trees causing them to become weakened. This may result in killing the tree or high wind knocking the tree to the ground or even in your home.
These are all severe examples of damage. However, the damage is done regardless of the type of infestation.
Carpenter ants cannot do as much damage as a termite and there are ways to tell them apart (color mainly).
As the colony grows, the ants reproduce more creating more holes elsewhere. In a serious infestation, the ants may not have anywhere else to go but directly into your home.
If you are able to see signs of infestation in or around your home, it may be time to call in a pro. Carpenter ants can cause damage that will take a lot of money and time to repair.
This can be prevented through the hiring of a professional to inspect your home and also exterminate where needed.
Carpenter ants are large ants that travel back and forth through your wood floor, walls, patio, outbuilding or other wood surfaces.
Be smart and understand how these ants travel, eat, and store food to fully prepare your home for an ant infestation.
Don’t allow your home to become a picnic. Instead, take care of the situation at the source.
What do we do?
We will come over and inspect your home or property. We check all areas of your home for possible infestations or areas that may be at risk. We then discuss with you, the homeowner, what the process moving forward should be. Together we will develop a treatment plan.
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Carpenter ants treating your home like a buffet? Get in touch with one of our professionals now! We offer a FREE home inspection.
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