How To Prevent Ants

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Carpenter ant damage

Carpenter ants are not like termites because they do not eat wood. In fact, one of the telltale signs of a carpenter ant infestation is occurring is the sawdust they leave behind from excavating the holes. Carpenter ants are a little more similar to carpenter bees in that they use soft wood to create nests to lay eggs, store food, and raise their young.

Left to their own devices in wooden structures, carpenter ants can weaken wooden structures. If you think you have carpenter ants, mitigate the damage by contacting your local Western Exterminator office today.

Why do carpenter ants damage wood?

Carpenter ants are one of a group of wood-boring insects which use wood and wooden structures to create nests and homes. What carpenter ants do is use their mandibles to bore into wood and create channels and tunnels within they eventually use to lay eggs and store food.

Carpenter ants push the wood they have dug out of the main entrance holes they create when they start to bore into the wood. Homeowners can often hear the chewing sounds of carpenter ants as they burrow into the wood and create channels for their nests. Sawdust and waste material known as frass beneath the holes the ants have left in the wood are also a good sign. Finally, the ants themselves tend to be rather large, black and easily seen around areas where they are building their nests.

What is the cost of carpenter ant damage?

Carpenter ants prefer to build their nests in old tree trunks, but the wood used by home builders suits them just fine. If enough carpenter ants are left to build nests around wooden structures, the damage they inflict  can cost property owners hundreds, perhaps thousands, of dollars in damage. Carpenter ant-infested wood needs to be removed and replaced. Infestations can occur in joists, joints and support beams which are crucial to a home or building's structural integrity.

The fortunate news for homeowners is that carpenter ants do not tend to create nearly as much damage as termites. However, carpenter ants will often have nests built right near other nests. Although, compared to other ant infestations, the carpenter ant nest is not nearly as large as some other species, numerous nests in close proximity can expand the potential damage and may cause multiple areas of infestation.

Carpenter ants can chew their way through a lot of wood. Looking at tree trunks which have been damaged by carpenter ants shows elaborate, circular, corridors and chambers which turns the inside of the tree trunk into something resembling corrugated cardboard. This can weaken structures and all of the damage wood will need to be replaced.

Do carpenter ants bite?

Carpenter ants are not known to be dangerous to people and they are not known to bite. However, like most ants, they will defend their nests. Carpenter ants have very powerful mandibles and a bite from one can be quite painful. However, it takes quite a bit of effort to get carpenter ants to attack and swarm.

How to get rid of carpenter ants

Getting rid of carpenter ants usually requires the treatment of each nest and there can be multiple nests within close proximity or within the same general area. This is why a thorough property inspection by a licensed specialist is so important. You can help prevent carpenter ants by doing the following:

  • Keep your floors clean and make sure areas where leaky faucets have dampened wood are repaired. Repair or replace the wood and ensure the faucets are fixed. This will create an unfavorable environment for the ants.
  • Seal up windows and other areas. Using caulk around windows and finding ways to seal up areas of the foundation which can provide the ants access to softer interior wood is key. Make sure your screens are free of damage and holes.
  • Get rid of debris. This includes making sure wood piles are moved away from the house. Make sure debris from gardens like old leaves and vegetation is also away from the home as this can cause carpenter ants seeking new nesting areas to find your home.

Contact Western Exterminator for carpenter ant treatments

The best bet for getting rid of carpenter ants and limiting the damage they do is to contact the experts at Western Exterminator. Our highly trained specialists can tell if the wood-damaging pests you are dealing with are termites, carpenter ants or carpenter bees. We then do a thorough property inspection to make sure we find all of the holes and nests before offering a treatment to get rid of nests, eggs and larvae.

Do not risk increased carpenter ant  damage around your home or building. Contact your local Western Exterminator office today.


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