Carpenter ants are becoming a problem throughout the eastern part of the US. These large ants are among the top five pest ant groups. They can cause serious damage to structures through their nesting behavior.
Carpenter ant damage to structural wood often resembles that of termite damage. They tunnel through wood and make galleries in wooden areas for shelter.
Although carpenter ants don’t eat wood, the structural damage can be severe when nest remain active for years. As time goes on, a carpenter ant colony can expand into satellite colonies surrounding the initial parent colony.
Carpenter ants nest in wood and prefer moist wood or structures that are already damaged. However, they can move onto sound wood. The damage they cause resembles that of termite damage. Carpenter ants can bite and because they spray a defensive chemical of formic acid, the bite can be quite painful.
Are These Carpenter Ants or Termite Swarms
Carpenter ants are often mistaken for termite swarmers. Both insects have winged male and female swarms that fly out of their colony to mate. Swarmers are produced the previous year and held over the winter in the nest for release the following year.
The easiest way to tell the difference between a winged carpenter ant and termite is to look for certain characteristics.
For example, carpenter ant swarmers have a pinched waist. They also have elbow shaped antennae. Their front wings are longer than their back wings. Termites swarmers have broad waists, straight antennae with the same length pair of front and back wings.
Carpenter ant swarms usually appear between May and August in the eastern part of the US. In the west, the swarms are typically between February and June.
7 Signs of a Carpenter Ant Infestation
- Most obvious sign of a carpenter ant infestations is the their presence. Large black worker ants active inside a building during winter months is concerning. That is because carpenter ants are typically dormant during the winter. Sightings of them means they are most likely nesting inside.
- Carpenter ants will send out a few scouts in search of food sources. Pantry items such as pet food and meats. As well as anything sweet such as syrup, honey, sugar and jelly.
- Carpenter ants often build their nests in moist and damp areas. Locations such as a basement, bathroom, or under the kitchen sink or dishwasher.
- Be forewarned that satellite colonies will also nest in drier areas. They will tunnel into siding, spaces in walls and insulation. Also into window sills or door frames, attic or hollow wooden doors.
- Piles of wood shavings that looks like sawdust found beneath wooden items.
- Infestation can also be detected by faint rustling noises inside woodwork or walls.
- Large winged ants emerging from ceilings, walls and other hidden crevices is an obvious sign of a carpenter ant infestation.
How to Prevent Carpenter Ant Infestation
To prevent carpenter ants from becoming an indoor problem, eliminate moisture problems. Replace moisture damaged wood and don’t store wood or lumber near the building. Carpenter ants travel great distances when foraging for food.
Locate and destroy carpenter ant nests. This can be tricky and it best to contact a professional pest control agency. They have the experience and tools needed to mitigate a carpenter ant infestation.
Although carpenter ant damage is often not as severe as termite damage, it can still be severe over time. As the colony grows and they expand into their satellite colonies, carpenter ants will cause further damage.
These ants can and will do harm to your home if left untreated and can cost thousands of dollars in damage. Some boric acid products known to be effective for carpenter ant control are available at your local hardware store.
However, boric acid bait solutions should be carefully formulated. It is highly unlikely that over-the-counter solutions will effectively kill a colony. If the property damage is already severe, it is advisable consult a pest control professional before treatment.
We invite you to call The Bug Stops Here exterminator team. Our pest control experience can help you get rid of carpenter ants from your living space. Contact The Bug Stops Here, Inc. today to get a free estimate.
If you think you see any of these signs call us immediately
The Bug Stops Here is a full service pest control and exterminator company serving Bohemia and Nassau County, New York and businesses located in Long Island, New York serving all of New York City; Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and surrounding area. For twenty years, our team at Pest Control team has been comprised of professional exterminators who provide high quality pest control services for both commercial and residential properties throughout New York. Our team of extermination professionals can get rid of a variety of pests, ranging from cockroaches, termites, ticks & fleas, bees, wasps,hornets, rodents, ants to bed bugs. Our goal is to provide you with the best pest control services that exceed both your standards and those of the industry as a whole.