Carpenter ants pose a real threat to the structure of your home, and they may also make your house a less-healthy place in which to live. However, you can get rid of them with careful and timely remediation techniques. To protect your home from carpenter ants, you need to learn about the behavior of this pest, take steps for prevention, and find effective treatment options should an infestation occur.
What Are Carpenter Ants?
Carpenter ants are black or dark brown insects about ¼” to ½” in length. Carpenter ants make nests by excavating wood. Carpenter ants bore these holes in wood and leave what looks like wood shavings or sawdust behind. Exterminators explain queen carpenter ants have wings and may look similar to termites; however, they are significantly larger and have different-shaped wings and antennae.
Carpenter ants can cause you frustration and serious damage to homes. Exterminators advise if carpenter ants are left untreated, these boring ants will expand their colonies and cause structural damage to your home.
How Do I Identify Carpenter Ants?
Exterminator professionals explain carpenter ants are distinguishable by their size, color, behavior, and the type of wood bits carpenter ants leave behind. Carpenter ants are larger than many other varieties of ants and are always either black or darker brown. While they follow pathways, they may not form wide, continuous moving masses of thousands of bodies like army ants do. They also do not form straight, single-file lines like leaf cutter ants. Rather, their grouping behavior tends to happen around sources of food or water.
When carpenter ants bore their nests, they must remove the wood. The discarded wood is different than that produced by termites. It looks more like shredded sawdust than a mud-like material. Other than their appearance, this is the best way to distinguish carpenter ants from termites in and around your home.
The damage carpenter ants leave behind is also different than that of termites. Termites leave lots of residue inside their nesting areas, such as mud, insect parts, and remains. Carpenter ants damage is much cleaner hollow, empty tubes simply because they take all debris out of the nesting area and deposit it outside.
How Do I Prevent Carpenter Ants Within My Home?
Pest control professionals believe there are several straightforward ways of preventing carpenter ants. To make sure your home is resistant to them, you can start by getting a free inspection from a pest control professional like Tapout Pest. We can evaluate your home’s current level of risk, as well as look for previous damage and signs of the ants. We can then use our expertise to take preventative measures to either keep carpenter ants from coming back or getting inside your home.
Removing tree branches that hang over your home is one step we advise homeowners. Carpenter ants like to travel from one nesting area to another, and a dangling tree branch can serve as a bridge to your house. The same goes for landscaping elements on the ground level.
Trim bushes and your grass so they do not touch your New Jersey. If your home or business is directly adjacent to a carpenter ant colony, there is a much higher likelihood of them making their way inside.
How Did I Get Carpenter Ants in My Home?
Expects at Tapout Pest Control explain carpenter ants like trees and shrubs, but they will gladly enter your New Jersey, home, and set up a nest. If you have carpenter ants, it is likely they discovered your place as they branched out from a nest in a nearby shrub or tree. Also, if you burn wood, carpenter ants can make their way into your home through a piece of wood in the pile when it is brought inside.
Carpenter ants can also bore nests within stored wood and then migrate throughout other areas of your home. Alternatively, carpenter ants are known to use utility lines to get behind the walls and set up a colony.
What Are the Effects of Carpenter Ants in and Around My Home?
The greater danger lies in the effect carpenter ants can have on homes throughout New Jersey. To build their nest, carpenter ants need to burrow away at the wood in your walls, floors, roof, cabinets, or other structures. Like all living creatures, they need water to survive. Therefore, they often prefer moist wood. Pest control professionals explain if you have or have ever had water damage, you have a higher chance of getting a carpenter ant infestation.
The larger the colony, the more wood these big black ants will need to eat to accommodate their numbers. Because carpenter ants spread from one place to another as they expand their colony, once they are in an area, they may bore away until it is no longer capable of supporting weight or connecting other critical elements of your home.
How Long Do Carpenter Ants Live?
Long Life is one of the carpenter ant’s strengths. Queens can live up to 10 years and workers can live up to seven years. Carpenter ants live so long, waiting for a colony to die out is not a feasible solution. It is important to act right away and contact a pest control professional to solve your carpenter ant concerns.
If you are trying to figure out how to get rid of carpenter ants, the pest control professionals at Tapout Pest Control are ready to help.