The Signs of a Carpenter Ant Infestation (and What to Do About It!)
There are over 20 quadrillion ants in the world, so it’s no wonder we often find them in our homes and other buildings.
When carpenter ants make their way into your home, they pose a significant risk to not only you but your family and possessions as well. Here’s what you should know about carpenter ant infestation and what to do if you find an ant nest inside.
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Signs of a Carpenter Ant
Carpenter ants are a destructive species of ant that can cause serious structural damage to buildings if left unchecked. They are identified by their larger size and black or brown coloring. If you are concerned if you have them around, here are signs:
The Simple Presence of Ants
If you see a few ants here and there in your home, there’s no need to panic. The presence of a few ants usually indicates that the environment is attractive to the species, which means that the food, water, and shelter needs are met.
If, however, you notice that the number of ants is increasing, and you begin to see signs of carpenter ants, you might likely be dealing with carpenter ants. To address a carpenter ant infestation, the first step is to locate and seal off the entry points.
Then, you can use baits and insecticides to eliminate and control any remaining ants. It’s essential to repair areas affected by the ants by replacing water-soaked wood and sealing any cracks or crevices.
Wood Shavings and Frass
Signs of a carpenter ant infestation can include small mounds of wood shavings and frass around the exterior of your home. These shavings indicate that the ants are actively chewing and boring into wood. You may also notice trails of sawdust near window and door frames, and terrestrial piles of sawdust that look like coarse grains of black pepper.
When carpenter ants are present in a home, they are usually busy excavating wood. The signs of a carpenter ant infestation are often wood damage and evidence of ant activity.
Wood damage is one of the most common signs of an infestation as the ants create tunnels through the wood to create galleries for nesting. The ants prefer wood that is already rotted or softened by moisture, making exterior and decking wood an ideal target for them.
Carpenter ants create a variety of noises when they infest buildings, the most obvious of which is rustling noises. The rustling noises are a sure sign of a carpenter ant infestation because these ants quickly and quietly move around.
Often the rustling noise is heard when the colony is foraging for food in the middle of the night. The noise is caused by the ants rubbing against walls or other surfaces as they go in and out of holes in the wall in search of food.
In some cases, the ants may create a distinctive tapping sound when they move through tube-like structures. If you notice any of these sounds, it is likely that you are dealing with an infestation and should take action immediately.
Presence of Swarmers
Swarmers, otherwise known as flying carpenter ants, are a sign of an infestation. These pests are distinct due to their large size which can measure half an inch in length. They have reddish or black bodies with wings, a pinched waist, and antennae.
Many swarmers are found in homes around springtime and congregate near windows or near lights. Their presence should be taken seriously as it is an indication of an infestation – carpenter ants create galleries and tunnels as they feed on wood.
If signs of swarmers are found, it is crucial to take action quickly as the infestation can spread and further damage to property structures can occur.
These ants will often form large, distinct trails, often on the perimeter of the structure. These trails will often be observed around windows in houses, or around the exterior in commercial settings. Raised trails may indicate nests located inside walls, and signs of wood shavings on the trails may be a further indication of a carpenter ant infestation.
Carpenter ants require high moisture levels to thrive, and infestations often indicate that there is a problem with excess moisture in the home. The most common areas for carpenter ants to be found are in wood that has been wet from flooding or leaky plumbing, and around windows and doors that are not properly sealed and allowing moisture to penetrate through.
These winged carpenter ants (or alates) are seen during peak activity periods in the spring and summer. The alates, along with discarded wings, are an unmistakable sign of an infestation. Discarded wings are usually found near windows or other points of entry such as vents, cracks, or crevices.
What to Do About Carpenter Ant Infestation
If you have noticed an infestation of carpenter ants in your home, it’s important to take action right away. The first step is to identify the source of the infestation. Look for signs of an ant nest, such as sawdust or wood damage near windows or doors.
Inspect your home for entry points and seal them. This includes doorway and window frames, as well as other potential openings. Once contact points have been sealed, use an insecticide spray to treat the affected area, paying special attention to cracks and crevices where the ants may be hiding.
If you have tried all of these steps and are still having issues with carpenter ants, you may want to consider hiring this pest control company located here. With their specialized experience, they can identify the source of the infestation and take action more quickly and thoroughly than would be possible on their own.
Learn How to Deal With Carpenter Ant Infestation
A carpenter ant infestation can cause serious damage to your home or business. Identifying signs of a carpenter ant infestation early can help you minimize the damage, and prevent costly repairs.
If you suspect you may have an ant infestation, contact a pest control professional as soon as possible to address it. Don’t wait and see – intervene now and protect your home or business!
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