If you’re worried that you have a carpenter ant infestation, you might be wondering: can carpenter ants damage your home? The answer is a definite “yes.” Left untreated, carpenter ants can cause serious and expensive harm.
How Carpenter Ants Get In
Carpenter ants get into homes through entry points such as attic vents, foundation cracks, electric wires, and pipes. They like to nest in soft wood that is moist or already decaying. And once one colony is established, satellite colonies often form. If you see piles of sawdust-like material under wood, hear rustling or crackling sounds in your walls, or see winged ants inside (the members of a colony that reproduce), chances are your home is infested.
How Carpenter Ants Damage Your Home
Carpenter ants don’t eat wood like termites; instead, they burrow it out to make their nests. This burrowing is why carpenter ants are cause for serious concern—they can hollow out and weaken the wood in your home to the point that its structural integrity is compromised.
What to Do About Them
If caught early and treated by pest-control experts, carpenter ants can usually be removed before significant damage is done. And even if damage has already occurred, prompt attention to the problem will minimize the problem. They won’t just go away!
You can try to get rid of carpenter ants with store-bought pesticides, but the success rate for do-it-yourselfers is low. That’s because the public doesn’t have access to the same chemicals as licensed pest-control professionals, and because learning how to locate and sufficiently treat all infested areas requires specialized training and experience.
“Can ants damage your home?” is a question to ask yourself before you ever think you have a problem. Realizing that they absolutely can cause significant harm should be all the motivation you need to stay alert for their presence, to take preventative measures, and to immediately act to remove them if they have nested.