All pests are troublesome, but the ones that can be the most dangerous to your home are the ones that actively destroy the building materials and foundations that keep houses standing. Most people know about termites and the damage they cause, but a lesser-known pest problem is the one posed by carpenter ants. Despite their small size, the damage they can cause is enormous.
What Are Carpenter Ants?
Carpenter ants are often mistaken for termites — and vice versa. While there are similarities in their appearance and their behavior, there are some key identifying factors to be aware of:
Shape and size: Carpenter ants have three-tiered bodies with pinched waists, unlike termites, which have two body segments and are much straighter in the abdomen. These ants typically only grow to a few millimeters in length.
- Antennae: Ants of all shapes and sizes have bent antennae, unlike many other insects with straight ones.
- Color: Carpenter ants can vary in color, but are typically brown or black, with six brown legs.
- Wings: Alates or reproductive termites, as well as some carpenter ants both, have two sets wings. Termites have wings that are equal in length whereas the front set of carpenter ants’ wings are noticeably larger.
Signs Of Ants In The Home
Winged ants: Like many insects that rely on a colony structure to survive, ant colonies are built around queens that breed in the thousands. As such, they will scout out areas that might make good homes for a new colony. If you see these winged scouts around your home, take immediate steps to remedy the problem before new colonies are formed.
- Frass: These piles of wood shavings are evidence that carpenter ants have moved in and are already chewing through wooden materials around the home. The frass resembles fine sawdust and is found piled near wooden items.
- Warped wood: When ants chew away at wood, the surface warps and buckles accordingly. You may notice that doors don’t close right or windows are stuck in their frames.
Problems Carpenter Ants Cause
Obviously, pests that eat away at the foundation of your home can lead to some serious problems. If left untreated, carpenter ant colonies can cause collapses of the roof or walls, plus they can cause irreparable harm to heirloom furniture and wooden or wicker antiques.
Household Prevention Tips
There are some things you can do to prevent the likelihood of an ant colony in your home. Follow these simple methods to stay one step ahead of an ant infestation:
- Deep cleaning: Unlike other pests that chew through wood, carpenter ants don’t actually eat the fibers. Instead, they are making highways and nesting areas in wood for safety. They will forage around the home for crumbs and other food items, so reducing the presence of available food is a must.
- Seal off entry points: Ants typically get in from outdoors via open vents, loose roof shingles and other areas of the exterior that may be improperly maintained. Seal up cracks and make sure that ventilation shafts and electrical openings have proper screens and covers.
- Moisture control: Carpenter ants almost exclusively nest in damp woods, and waterlogged material is easier to chew through than hardwood. Make sure plumbing leaks are taken care of quickly and that no moisture is seeping in from outside.
Professional Solutions Are Superior
Because the damage from carpenter ants can be so severe, it’s best to turn to professional resources at the first signs of an infestation. Our experts know how to locate possible entry points and can root out hard-to-find colonies surviving deep inside of wood. Our solutions are budget-friendly, effective, and safe for your household.
Don’t take a chance with household methods or store-bought products that may not work, call Romney Pest Control for peace of mind in pest prevention and elimination.