The carpenter ant was named for the way it chews through decaying or dry wood creating massive galleries for their nests. In their own way, they are beneficial by naturally recycling dead trees and fallen branches. However, they do pose a threat to homes and human structures. They will invade homes, chewing through the home’s wooden framing, and compromising your home’s structure. Unlike termites, carpenter ants don’t feed on the wood. They love sweets or salty meaty which is why they are drawn to homes. Stewart Termite & Pest Control will share how to identify carpenter ants and what steps you can take to help prevent them from invading your home.
Carpenter Ant Identification
The carpenter ant is one of the larger ant species known to North America. They can range from ¼ of an inch while the queens can reach up to ¾ of an inch in size. They are red, black, or the combination of red and black in color. Here in Pennsylvania they are mostly completely black. However it not uncommon to find them with their various coloring.
What Attracts Carpenter Ants to Your House?
Carpenter ants are also referred to as a sugar ant due to their love for sweets. They will first invade a home while they are foraging for food. They will also invade homes that have been exposed to water damage. Moist decaying woods will signal the carpenter ant for opportunities for foraging and potential nesting sites. Carpenter ants are creative on how they will invade a home. They will use branches from trees or shrubs to climb into a home. They will go under window seals, underneath doors, and even crawl from underneath the ground and up through crack in the foundation of a home. In many cases when carpenter ants do invade a home and begin chewing through the wood, it is to create tunnels to foraging sites while the main nest is located outside, usually in a dead tree, stump, or even in a firewood pile. However, sister colonies could also invade homes near their home hive and use the house as their new nesting site. The situation can vary. It’s bad news either way when carpenter ants invade homes.
Carpenter Ant Prevention
To help deter or prevent carpenter ants from invading your home, start with outside control. Remove any dead trees and stumps that carpenter ants may use for a nesting site. Firewood is another problem. Store firewood as far away from the home as possible and have the wood on a rack at least a foot off of the ground. Carpenter ants are determined and a firewood stack is an easy target regardless. However, by regularly cleaning the yard and around wooden structures or items, it helps deter most pests. Next prevent sprinklers or outdoor plumbing from leaking or pooling water for extended periods of time. Carpenter ants depend on water more than other species and will look for nesting sites near a reliable water source. Maintain your home’s interior plumbing as well. Carpenter ants love damp wood. By prevent leakage in your home; hopefully they won’t be too interested in invading your home. Also, keep you food stored in air tight containers and avoid leaving food out. This includes dirty dishes. By depriving ants of food, water, and soft wood, you will be more successful in preventing carpenter ants.
Carpenter Ant Control
If you have carpenter ants in or around your home, contact Stewart Termite & Pest Control right away. We will treat and protect your home before they cause major damage to your home’s structure. For all your pest control needs, contact Stewart Termite & Pest Control today!