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Carpenter ant facts

A trusty hammer comes in handy when it's needed to do some fixing up around the house. It and a little duct tape are the solution for just about anything! 

There is one household problem, however, that can’t be solved with a swing of the hammer and a strip of duct tape – carpenter ants. 

Carpenter ants are often confused with termites because both have a fondness for wood – usually the wood in your house! However, there is a big difference between the two insects; termites will actually eat the wood in your house while carpenter ants won’t feed on your home’s wood they will move in and live there. 

There are two different kinds of carpenter ants. One has a reddish-brown head but features a black midsection. The other species is known as the black carpenter ant and they have a relatively uniform dark brown and black body. 

If you believe that your home has a problem with carpenter ants, contact the experts at Western Exterminator and get a resolution fast.

When do carpenter ants come out?

When spring arrives in the West, it is time to keep an eye out for swarming carpenter ants. It is possible to see them both inside and outside your home, as they forage for food including sweets, grease, meat and eggs.

Carpenter ants select wood that has been damaged by fungus or rot, wall voids, hollow-core doors or insulation in attics, basements and crawl spaces. Outside in your yard, they like old tree stumps and rotting firewood piles, fence posts, and landscape timbers.

How do carpenter ants get into the home?

Carpenter ants can access your home through doors, windows, pipes, utility wires and by overgrown tree or shrub branches that provide an easy pathway to your house. Keep in mind that in many instances an interior nest is just a satellite of the main colony that is located outside.

And with mature colonies having upwards of 100,000 members, carpenter ants can pose a real threat to the structural integrity of your home as they hollow out their nests.

Why be concerned about carpenter ants?

Carpenter ants are more than a nuisance, - they can be destructive. Wood-boring insects can weaken wooden structures and compromise the safety of your property. They also bite, so hard that it can break your skin.

How do you know if your have carpenter ants?

There are several signs to watch for:

  • If you see small piles of wood shavings mixed with insect parts or insulation it can be a sign of carpenter ant nesting locations.
  • Watch for foraging trails outside, which are most active at night, as carpenter ants like to use the same trail over and over again.
  • Check high moisture areas of your house (basements or crawl spaces) using a moisture meter as these are prime nesting areas.

What can you do about carpenter ants?

What you can do, though, is take measure to help prevent a carpenter ant infestation from occurring. This starts with trying to eliminate or reduce their favorite food: plant pests. Aphids, scale, mealybugs and other insects that produce a honey dew. So first things first, check your plants. This includes shrubs and trees. Trim any of the plants back from your structure. Some other things you can to help include: 

  • Inspect and correct any moisture issues, including leaks in your roof or plumbing. 
  • Ensure any cracks you find in your structure are sealed. 
  • Keep firewood far away from your building. 
  • Keep soil to a minimum near the structure. 
  • Check that your downspouts and gutters are truly diverting water away from you building to prevent moisture build-up.

Western Exterminator carpenter ant specialists

Don't let carpenter ants do costly damage to your home or property. If you think that you have seen signs of carpenter ants, or seen ants themselves, then contact your local Western Exterminator ant specialist today.

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