June 21 marks the official arrival of summer and that happens to fall during Carpenter Ant Awareness Week. Carpenter ants are capable of damaging wood in homes and other structures and are among the largest ants – they range from ¼ to ½ inch in length.
Carpenter ants are found in both urban and rural areas of California and are often mistaken for another wood-destroying pest - termites. They are just as capable as termites of inflicting damage to your property. They like damp or decaying wood, removing small pieces to assemble their own nests. And although carpenter ants do not eat the wood like termites do, they can similarly infest your home and cause lasting damage.
Three Signs You Could Have Carpenter Ants
Early detection is the key to avoid structural damage to your home according to Clark, your neighborhood pest, termite, rodent control and grounds care expert. Here are three signs that your home may have carpenter ants.
- Have You See Them? If you see larger than average (approximately half an inch) black ants or winged ants, around your home, you know there are many more where they came from. If a colony of carpenter ants is present, there will be other signs as well. Seeing them is a big indicator there is a lurking problem. If you suspect that there is an infestation and want a professional home inspection, contact ABC. We offer carpenter ant, termite and many more comprehensive pest and rodent control services.
- Did Your Hear Them? Carpenter ants will make noise as they burrow into the wood of your home’s structure. You may be able to hear them working through the walls. Perhaps a crinkling or rustling describes the sound best. The sound would be more prominent at night when it’s quietest in your home. If you hear a noise through your wall that you suspect is a colony of carpenter ants, call for a quick identification from professional pest control.
- Is There Evidence of Wood Damage? Carpenter ants burrow into wood, creating holes in the piece they’re attacking. They don’t consume wood like termites but excavate it to make their nests, which in large colonies can consist of an extensive network of galleries and tunnels often beginning in an area where there is damage from water or wood decay. From here they can expand the nest into sound wood and compromise structural integrity. If you find holes next to piles of sawdust, these are tell-tale signs of the carpenter ant. They also commonly nest in wall voids, hollow doors, and insulation.
Tips to Prevent Carpenter Ants
Here are some tips to follow to reduce the chance carpenter ants will make your home their home.
- Trim tree branches and shrubs away from structures to prevent access.
- Seal off potential entry points such as where utility lines enter a structure.
- Reduce mulch around building perimeters to a depth of 2 to 3 inches to discourage nesting.
- Eliminate any earth-to-wood contact of structural elements that might promote wood decay.
- Replace decayed or damaged wood and correct problems that cause decay such as clogged rain gutters or leaky pipes.
- Increase ventilation to damp areas such as attic or subfloor spaces.
- Store firewood off the ground and several feet away from structures.
Have Questions About Carpenter Ants? Call Clark
If you think you have carpenter ants in your home, call 800/WE-NEED-YOU or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Until next time, the pest management professionals at Clark Pest Control thank you for help keeping unwanted pests out of your home and yard.