Carpenter ants are especially tenacious insects that can be extremely difficult to eradicate. Colonies can contain tens of thousands of members and carpenter ant nests grow quickly. Carpenter ants don’t eat wood, but tunnel into to it. They can do extensive damage to homes and businesses once they’ve gained entry.
How do you know if you have carpenter ants? And how do you get rid of them? We’ll make this quick so you can take fast decisive action to prevent a small problem from becoming a massive challenge.
Signs You Have Carpenter Ants in Your House or Business
Nests are usually found in moist areas that are prone to decay. Carpenter ants will seek wood that has been softened by the dampness or by other insects. Look for these signs in crawlspaces, basements, attic vents, foundations and any areas where humidity is higher:
- Winged carpenter ants emerging from vents, window casings or baseboards. They may vary in color but flying carpenter ants are typically black or dark bodied. They range in size from about ¼” to ¾” in length and will come out in the spring or summer months to establish new colonies.
- Piles of wood shavings or a trail of sawdust. As nests are established, they spit out trails of shavings from devoured wood.
- Damaged wood. Carpenter ants tunnel through the wood to make their nests. As the colony grows, tunnels can become extensive.
- Rustling noises in the wood. If you hear crunching sounds or something that sounds like rustling in the wood near your home, this could be the ants moving within. They are most active at night when they forage for food.
Do Carpenter Ants Bite?
Like many types of ants, carpenter ants will bite if they feel threatened. Their strong, wood-chomping mandibles are capable can inflicting noticeable pain. A bite may feel like a strong pinch and be accompanied by a burning sensation.
Carpenter ant bites aren’t dangerous. An ant may break the skin, but any symptoms will disappear quickly. Keep the bite clean.
How to Prevent Carpenter Ants
The primary way to keep carpenter ants away is to keep your home or business clean and dry. Also keep the sweet and protein rich foods they love away from them.
- Replace any rotting or water-damaged wood.
- Repair plumbing leaks and drippy faucets.
- Store firewood or lumber off the ground away from your home or building.
- Keep kitchens clean.
- Store food in insect-proof containers.
- Empty garbage cans frequently.
How to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants
Contact Assured Environments at the first sign of a carpenter ant infestation to minimize the damage to your home or business. Walls, wood and insulation can all be casualties when carpenter ants move in. If you see one or two, more are certainly on their way.
Commercial baits and traps may work but there’s no guarantee you address the bigger problem. Carpenter ants can be difficult to fully eradicate.
A pest control professional can track ants back to their nests and administer treatment. They will also follow up to make sure all ants have been eliminated and that any damage is repaired.