Carpenter ants are an invasive species that infests wood, causing damage to houses, furniture, and any wooden structure they come across. They are the largest ant species in the United States, with a size ranging from one-quarter to one-half inch long. So one of the first signs that you have a carpenter ant infestation in your home is noticing black ants that are larger than usual. The carpenter ant has a wide head and thorax, with its abdomen being segmented into three parts which are connected by slender petioles. It also has large mandibles, which it uses to cut through wood.
Signs of a carpenter ant infestation
Besides seeing large ants in the home, there are a few other signs that will give away the presence of a carpenter ant infestation. To start, you may notice small openings on the surface of various wood structures in the home. These are called evacuation holes, and they are used to expel the debris that collects inside the colony. Below these holes, you may notice sawdust-like shavings, fragments of insulation, and insect body parts. This is an indicator of active infestations. The evacuation holes are not exclusive to carpenter ants – drywood and dampwood termites create them as well. Carpenter ants love to nest inside wood that has been softened by fungus, and they frequently indicate the presence of moisture problems.
Getting rid of carpenter ants
One of the best ways to protect your home against carpenter ant infestations is to ensure that there are no sources of excess moisture near your wooden structures. Leaks or standing water are the main cause of high humidity in the home. You can also take some measures to restrict access to food in the home. Make sure that you keep your food sealed, and that you quickly clean up any crumbs or spills. Finally, make sure that you keep any firewood or wooden building materials as far away from the home as possible, and above the ground. Carpenter ants often target wood stacks.
If an infestation is already up and running, the best course of action is to call over a pest control pro. A pro will perform an inspection in order to locate the nest and determine the extent of the infestation. This will be followed by the application of a treatment, usually baits, until the colony is completely eliminated. If you have a carpenter ant infestation, contact us today and we will remove it for you.