The carpenter ant is a particularly troublesome ant species found in Columbia. These ants burrow into wood and can damage your home’s structural integrity. When you find carpenter ants, it’s essential to take care of them right away, as the damage will only get worse with time. Read on for our five best tips for controlling carpenter ants.
Identifying Carpenter Ants
All ants have six legs and two antennae, with three sections to their bodies: head, thorax, and abdomen. When considering if your home has carpenter ants, look for these identifying features:
- Carpenter ants are a larger ant species, usually ⅜-⅝ inches long. The queens may be as large as an inch.
- Carpenter ants are usually black but may also be red and black.
- They are segmented, with a narrow waist and a rounded thorax behind the head.
- Antennae are an “elbow” shape.
- For ants with wings, the back wings are shorter than the front.
Because carpenter ants live in wood, they are sometimes mistaken for termites. However, termites have a broader waist and their antennae are straight. If termites have wings, the back and front wings are of equal length.
The Carpenter Ant Problem
Carpenter ants don’t eat wood. Instead, they burrow into it to create their nests. They prefer wet wood that is already damaged by mold or fungus.
Inside your home, you’ll often find carpenter ants in areas already harmed by water damage or rot, like bathroom walls, roofs, attics, and subfloors. If they start tunneling through dry wood, they can destroy the integrity of your home’s structure.
Signs That You Have Carpenter Ants
Unsure if carpenter ants have set up shop in your home? Here are a few signs:
- Carpenter ants are present outside your home.
- Faint rustling can be heard in the walls.
- Presence of swarmer ants, which are winged male ants that have emerged from the nest to find a mate.
- If there is sawdust-like debris present around small cracks on the surface of wood.
- Other debris is present in the sawdust, such as insect parts or bits of insulation.
Once ants have infested your walls, your best chance of getting rid of them is through a professional pest control service. Carpenter ants can cause severe structural damage, so call us right away!
5 Tips for Controlling Carpenter Ants
The best way to control carpenter ants is to ensure that they aren’t getting into your home. To do that, make sure to always do the following:
Address Any Moisture Issues
Carpenter ants prefer wet wood, so you need to keep things dry. Set up dehumidifiers in humid areas like basements. Repair any plumbing leaks. Keep an eye out for anywhere moisture may accumulate, like bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms.
Eliminate Possible Entry Points
Silicone-based caulk is the best option for sealing up holes that carpenter ants may use to access your home. Check around windows and doors, and seal up any gaps.
Store Firewood Properly
Store your firewood off the ground, preferably somewhere dry. If you bring firewood into your home, use it immediately.
Maintain Your Yard
Carpenter ants like to live in damaged trees, so remove stumps and logs.
Hire Local Pest Experts
Pest experts are an excellent option for ridding your home of carpenter ants, but they’re also great for prevention. When you set recurring services with them, they can help spot potential problems right away. Licensed pest control experts are also the best option if you find that carpenter ants have already infested your home.