If fresh flowers and clear skies represent the best that spring has to offer, a carpenter ant problem might just represent the worst. For New York City residents, and other areas across the country, these critters can sometimes cause a near-catastrophe, especially if a few of them turn into a full-blown infestation. But what do you really know about carpenter ants? Let’s find out.
Did you know that carpenter ants don’t eat wood?
The idea that these ants eat wood is a common misconception. They are actually more inclined to feed off of plants and nectar. The problem is that they will chew through wood in order to create tunnels for their colony. So although they don’t ingest the wood, they can still cause a huge problem for your home.
Do you know how to identify a carpenter ant problem?
With most ants, you’ll realize you have a problem when you see the tiny creatures making their way across your kitchen floor or some other location. With carpenter ants, though, there is something else to look out for. As these ants burrow through the wood in your home, they leave shavings behind since they don’t have ingest the wood. This is presented by sawdust piles located at the entrance to one of the tunnels they’ve built.
Did you know that carpenter ants work the late shift?
Many types of ants are mostly active during the day, or at least split their activity between the day and night. But with carpenter ants, you’ll find that most of the workers’ activity occurs late at night, usually after midnight. They’re not typically referred to as nocturnal, but they do seem to lean that way.
Did you know that their colony would be far away?
If you see carpenter ants in your home, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the colony is nearby. These ants will often travel up to 1000 feet away from the colony. This is an important fact to remember in case you’re wanting to track down the rest of their brethren by following them home.
Do you know how to protect yourself from a carpenter ant problem?
Now we get to the good stuff — how to get protect your home from these ants. Luckily, the treatment for a carpenter ant problem doesn’t really differ from the way you would deal with any ant species. Start by keeping your house clean by clearing away dirty dishes and leftovers, and taking trash outside as soon as it’s ready. If ants do get inside your house, the best defense is to set up a series of bait traps, in which the critters will carry poison into their colony and kill as many as possible.
Photo Credit: withremote via Flickr