Do you own your own home? Have you ever done a renovation? If you have, then you know that it can sometimes cost thousands to make a repair that seems fairly simple. And, hopefully, you've never been in the unfortunate position where you've had to completely replace a part of your home. According to one internet home construction authority, it can cost upwards of $7,000 to replace a 200 to 500 square foot deck. That is why it is so important to catch carpenter ant infestations early and eliminate them. Here are a few reasons why you should get a professional to guard your home from carpenter ants.
Pitfalls of DIY Carpenter Ant Detection
- Nests: When carpenter ants get into a home, they're sneaky. These insects tunnel out galleries inside wood to establish their nests and protect their offspring. They have little interest in chewing on wood where you can see them. You're not going to see carpenter ant damage on the outside of your living room wall. The damage will be inside the wall studs.
- Moisture: These are moisture pests. You're going to find them in damp locations around your home where there is a high probability of wood decay. But these damp locations are often under structures such as decks, patios, porches, and stairwells.
- Crawlspaces: Homeowners who have a crawl space should check this space routinely for signs of carpenter ant activity. Sadly, we can get busy and this doesn't happen as often as it should.
- Frass: Carpenter ants don't eat wood; they chew tunnels and open spaces in it. That means they generate sawdust. Some homeowners think that they will see sawdust if they have a carpenter ant infestation, but often the frass generated by carpenter ants falls inside wall voids and other places that a homeowner can't see into. And frass can also be pushed out into dark, secluded locations of a home where it goes unnoticed.
- Scouts: When carpenter ants get into a home, scouts will sometimes be seen in the common locations of a home. This might be a bathroom, a kitchen, a living room, and even a bedroom. When these individual ants are seen, they are often dispatched quickly with little or no thought as to what they represent. Carpenter ants are not going to come out in force and crawl around inside a home they are infesting. And, if they come out at all, they will usually do it at night. So, the sighting of an individual ant in the middle of the day is an indication of a large infestation.
- Flying ants: When flying ants appear on an inside window, homeowners often suck them up with a vacuum and call it a day. Their assumption is that those flying ants found a way inside the house. But, when flying ants appear on an interior window pane, they didn't come in from the outside. They were born inside the house and they are trying to get outside to the light. The appearance of flying ants on interior windows is a warning sign of a mature interior nest. It can take several years for a carpenter ant nest to mature. That means those ants have had years to damage the home. It also means that the nest inside the home is replicating itself. All of those flying ants are female and male reproductives that will never return to the nest they came from. Their job is to make new nests.
DIY carpenter ant detection often falls short. Even if a homeowner knows that flying ants are a sign of a mature infestation, those flying ants could be released outside of the home and never make an appearance inside. Even if a homeowner knows that an individual worker ant is a sign of an interior nest with an overpopulation problem, scouts may never come inside. Carpenter ants can live on a wide range of food sources found outside. Even if a homeowner knows what to look for and where to look, carpenter ants can still elude detection. An experienced and trained pest control professional uses well-established protocols developed by industry experts to inspect for, monitor for, and treat for carpenter ants.
For effective control of carpenter ants in North Texas, reach out to Adams Exterminating Company. We take the guesswork out of pest control.
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