Ants are obnoxious insects that seem to be relentless in their home invasions. Everyone will usually get the displeasure of experiencing this infestation at least once in their lives. They have thousands of members in a colony and continue to be a problem, usually until you hire a professional armed with effective products and know how on eliminating them. Though most ants are typically just a nuisance, carpenter ants are a costly problem as they destroy wood throughout homes and businesses. We at Stewart Termite & Pest Control would like to share some basic information concerning the carpenter ant.
Carpenter Ant Identification
Carpenter ants typically range from jet black to dark brown, however, they are also found in colors of yellowish tan or light brown, as well as red and orange. Being one of the largest ants in the United States, carpenter ant’s average length is from about ¼ to 3/8-inches. Worker ants will have larger mandibles.
What Attracts Carpenter Ants to Your House?
Carpenter ants are attracted to wood, both inside and outside structures that is hollow, decaying, and moist. Making it their preferred venue to establish their nest and colonies, carpenter ants will excavate damp or damaged wood easily. They cut galleries (or tunnels), into the grain of wood in order to construct their nests and allow for passageways to freely move from section to section of the nest.
Carpenter Ants VS Termites
Carpenter ants are often mistaken for termites, and vice versa. A distinction in their excavating habits is that carpenter ants will keep their nesting site clean and the tunnels are smooth, much like as if it were sanded down, whereas subterranean termites pack the tunnels with soil. Rotting logs and stumps, as well as dead and living trees are a natural environment for carpenter ant infestations. However, they will inevitably infest nearby structures and the wood within, especially if it were exposed to moisture. Another fact that separates termites and carpenter ants is that carpenter ants do not eat the wood as they excavate like termites due, but simply remove it, leaving piles of wood pellets where they been working. Their diet is preferred for human scarps, particularly meats and sweets, but they do also eat insects.
Signs of Carpenter Ants
Carpenter ant infestation signs include the following:
1) Hearing rustling sounds in the wood from their activities.
2) Discovering small piles of debris near the tunnels that may include parts of dead ants, discarded wings, and wood shavings that looks almost like sawdust.
3) Seeing the workers excavating or foraging for food as well as the flying swarmers that will eventually discard their wings. Swarmers are future reproducers that develop when colonies are established, so if you see them, you have a thriving colony close by.
The sooner the carpenter ants are eliminated the better as they only continue to destroy the wood they infest, leaving you with damaged and weakened structures, furnishings, and other possessions that can lead to more damage. If you think or know you have carpenter ants, call Stewart Termite & Pest Control for effective removal.