It’s almost Carpenter Ant Awareness Week (every third week of June) and we’re here to share carpenter ant signs and prevention tips. Know what to look for and what you can do to deter carpenter ants from your home in the first place. If you’ve dealt with carpenter ants, you don’t want to again, and if you haven’t, you never want to. And you won’t — not if we can help it!
Anyone who has experienced a carpenter ant infestation is well aware of the havoc they can cause.
Carpenter ants are just as capable as termites of inflicting damage to your property. They like damp or decaying wood, removing small pieces to assemble their own nests. Although carpenter ants do not eat the wood like termites do, they can similarly infest your home and cause lasting damage.
To avoid structural damage to your home, early detection is key. Check out these 3 signs of carpenter ants and learn how to rid yourself of a carpenter ant problem.
3 Signs You Have Carpenter Ants
1. Have you already seen them around?
If you see larger than average (approximately half an inch) black ants or winged ants, around your home, you know there are many more where they came from. If a colony of carpenter ants is present, there will be other signs as well. Seeing them is a big indicator there is a lurking problem. If you suspect that there is an infestation and want a professional home inspection, contact ABC. We offer carpenter ant, termite and many more comprehensive pest and rodent control services.
2. Do you hear them in the walls?
Carpenter ants will make noise as they burrow into the wood of your home’s structure. You may be able to hear them working through the walls. Perhaps a crinkling or rustling describes the sound best. The sound would be more prominent at night when it’s quietest in your home. If you hear a noise through your wall that you suspect is a colony of carpenter ants, call for a quick identification from professional pest control.
3. Is there evidence of wood damage?
You might be noticing a few things that are unexplainable, such as small piles of sawdust or holes in the surface of wood. Carpenter ants burrow into wood, creating holes in the piece they’re attacking. If you find holes next to piles of sawdust, these are tell-tale signs of the carpenter ant. As already stated, carpenter ants do not eat the wood, but instead you’ll find the wood they removed in the form of sawdust piles near where the colony is working. At worst, you will see significant damage to the wood of your home. Interior or exterior wood could collapse, become soft. This is why early detection is so important in any type of home pest infestation.
4 Ways to Prevent Carpenter Ants
We also offer lawn care services and know how pests and landscaping are connected. Here are some things to consider that will reduce the chance of carpenter ants making their home in the walls of yours.
1. Put down mulch
Do you have wood around the perimeter of your home instead of stone? Add a shallow bed of mulch, only a couple inches deep. Mulch around the perimeter of your home will deflect the attention of carpenter ants.
2. Be mindful of shade from trees
If certain parts of your home receive too much shade from trees, water from the rain will become trapped there, not evaporating and drying properly. Over time this can lead to wood decay. Carpenter ants will never pass up a chance to attack that good decaying wood.
3. Keep bushes trimmed
Carpenter ants will use shrubs and bushes as ladders to get inside desirable crevices of your home. Bushes and shrubbery should be planted at least two feet from the walls of your home to keep pests at bay.
4. Don’t tempt them with firewood
Put your pile of firewood away from your home, at least 20 feet. Also be sure that no wood is ever directly on the ground. The firewood pile should be on a raised surface as a barrier to the ground. If you ever build a garden structure or flower bed out of wood, use this same advice. Do not put untreated wood directly into the ground as this promotes rot and rot tempts carpenter ants to come a-calling.
Fire Ants vs Carpenter Ants
There are many different kinds of ants. To tell the difference you look at their color, where they nest and characteristic behaviors. Fire ants get their name due to their color which is red to red-brown.
A carpenter ant is black and about half an inch in size. They are not as aggressive as fire ants. They will only bite if threatened. Unlike fire ants who live in mounds, carpenter ants live and nest in hollowed out areas of, for example, a tree, door or any wood structure.
If you need help identifying the ants in or around your home, do not hesitate to contact us.
For more information on professional pest control during Carpenter Ant Awareness Week or any other week, contact ABC Home & Commercial Services. We offer home and commercial pest and rodent control services, as well as lawn and fertilization services. It’s all connected! Get comprehensive pest care with ABC.