Some pests can go about thriving right under your nose without causing much ruckus. Such is the motto of carpenter ants. While large, you may not even notice carpenter ants at first. These critters range in size from a third of an inch to an inch long and are common in many parts of the world with forests.
Carpenter ants are beneficial in the wild as they help with forest decomposition. These ants don’t eat wood but do carve through it creating galleries that offer access to their nests. They prefer moist wood, so areas like window sills, decks, and roof eaves are particularly at risk of an infestation. Carpenter ants feed on dead insects and sugary liquids and tend to build their tunnels and nests near sources of food. To prevent structural damage, you may need to call on an organic ant exterminator to tackle a carpenter ant problem.
Signs of Carpenter Ant Infestation
As noted, it may not be easy to spot an infestation of carpenter ants and they often go unnoticed until it’s a costly situation. However, these little pests can do a lot of damage to structures if not dealt with. Because they create tunnels in wood, they compromise the integrity of the structures they inhabit.
Carpenter ants build two kinds of nests – parent nests and satellite nests. The parent nests are typically found outdoors and contain more moisture and eggs. Satellite nests are mostly full of worker ants and tend to be a bit drier than the parent nests. These types of nests are often found inside the home.
Because satellite nests are smaller than parent nests, they’re even harder to detect. However, here are some sure-fire signs of a carpenter ant infestation:
- Shavings – This is the sawdust-like substance product by carpenter ants as they work. This “frass” as it’s called, can be seen below window sills, door frames, baseboards, and other places where you may have an active nest.
- Wings – If you spot winged ants or discarded wings lying about, you may have an infestation. Swarmer carpenter ants shed their wings near the site of the nest before entering.
- Trailing – Carpenter ants are strong trailers and if you see this in the interior or even on the exterior of your home, you likely have an infestation.
If you find any of these signs of a carpenter ant infestation, you must take immediate action to remedy the situation before it gets worse. While you can try to eradicate these pests on your own, calling in an organic pest control specialist is guaranteed to get your problem solved.
Tips for Control
In an ideal world, you’d be able to prevent a carpenter ant infestation. While that may not be entirely possible, there are some solid steps you can take in trying to control their impact on your property.
- Since carpenter ants are in search of wet wood, you can do the same things you might do to prevent a termite infestation like keeping firewood away from your home and trimming back bushes and trees from the edge of your home.
- Address any water leaks around your house and make sure that you have grading around to pull water away from your foundation. Standing water can attract carpenter ants to your structure.
- Make sure your windows and doors are properly screened and cracks are sealed with caulk.
- Wipe down counters and vacuum frequently so there are no food particles that may attract ants. Also, use airtight containers in your pantry!
While all these might sound like simple advice, they really go a long way in preventing a carpenter ant infestation in your home.
Danger of Carpenter Ants
While carpenter ants don’t spread disease like some other pests, they can cause serious damage to your home. Many people are worried about bites from carpenter ants and while they do have the capability to bite through the skin, they are more interested in wood. Just like termites, these pests can cause dangerous structural damage if left alone.
Carpenter ants are most active during the spring season and can keep returning to the same spot in your home year after year. This alone makes it very challenging to get them under control. No need to worry though – Ant & Garden Organic Pest Control in Beaverton is ready to assist you the moment you see signs of carpenter ant activity in your Oregon home. With our proven track record and expertise in organic pest control, we can address the situation and map out an attack plan that will leave your home carpenter ant-free.