carpenter ant up close

There are some things in life that are obvious. If your wallpaper is peeling off, it is obvious it needs replacing. If your toilet suddenly refuses to flush, it is obvious it needs to be repaired. And if you start hearing scampering, scratching noises inside your walls, it is obvious you have mice (and need to do something about them). But there are some things in life that are not so obvious. Carpenter ants silently eating away at the inside of your walls are one of those things.

Are You Aware Of Carpenter Ant Destruction?

Most homeowners are aware of the dangers of having termites. But fewer homeowners are aware that carpenter ants can cause similar destruction if given enough time to grow their populations. It is important to be able to recognize the signs of a carpenter ant infestation, so it can be stopped before too much damage has been done.

Warning signs Of Carpenter Ant Damage

If carpenter ants have invaded your structure, there are several clues that may be apparent. Some of these clues may be obvious, others may be hidden.

  • The appearance of large black ants inside your living spaces. While termite workers always remain hidden, carpenter ants will often send out a few scouts in search of food. Worker carpenter ants are around 13 mm long, are black to brownish in color and they have one node between their thorax and abdomen. If you see 1 or 2 of these large black ants inside your home, it is possible there are hundreds, or even thousands, just out of sight inside your walls.

  • The appearance of frass. Frass, often referred to as sawdust, may start accumulating in certain areas of your home, underneath where carpenter ants are digging through your walls. This may pile up on walls or on the floor. But this frass is often hidden in places where you will not see it, such as inside wall voids or in crawl spaces.

  • Large "flying ants." Carpenter ant winged reproductives, also called alates or "flying ants" may be seen for very brief periods of time, typically in spring or fall. These are ants sent out from a mature colony to begin new colonies when the original colony has matured. They will appear only for around half an hour before finding a mate and disappearing inside a new area of infestation. They may also be found under mulch or other wood products in a yard.

  • Shed wings. If you miss the actual flying ants, you may still see their wings, as they shed these wings before disappearing again. These wings may be seen in places such as on windowsills and basement walls.

What Homeowners Should Do About Carpenter Ants

  • Make sure gutters are working properly. To prevent carpenter ant damage, it is important to make sure you have no soft or rotting wood on your home. One way to do this is to reduce moisture on the outside of your home by directing all water away from your walls and foundation.

  • Seal up holes in your home. It doesn't take much of a hole for ants to squeeze through. Examine your foundation and walls and seal up any gaps, cracks or holes that you find.

  • Trim back vegetation from your home to allow the area directly surrounding your home to dry out after wet weather.

  • Eliminate food sources outside your home that may draw ants, and other pests, in close. Don't leave pet food outside, clean up after barbecues, and make sure all of your trash cans have tight-fitting lids.

What Homeowners Should Not Do About Carpenter Ants

If you see any signs that your home might have carpenter ants, the one thing you should never do is ignore the warning signs.

Don't wait for carpenter ants to do their damage. Adams Exterminating Company can help you determine the existence of carpenter ants (or any other household pest) inside your home, and eradicate them before they can do extensive damage. And if these silent destroyers have not yet invaded, Adams can make sure they never do. Reach out today to schedule a thorough inspection.

 

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