Your house is your greatest asset. It is important that you protect it from invaders. Having a carpenter ant problem can be devastating to your home, and you must learn how to deal with this pest before a small problem turns into a full-blown catastrophe.
Damage Caused By Carpenter Ants
They’re not called carpenter ants because they construct buildings. Rather, their name is derived from the fact that they can, and will, damage your home’s wood if given the opportunity. If not handled quickly, considerable damage can occur.
Unlike other wood-devouring pests, such as termites, carpenter ants don’t actually ingest the wood. Their goal is not sustenance, but to create a recess in which to lay their eggs. Dry wood is typically not a concern.
What you really want to watch out for are areas with moistened or decayed wood. Creating a nest inside this type of wood is much easier.
Signs of Infestation
Carpenter ants can travel long distances, so seeing one is not always an indication that you have a problem. Instead, look for other signs. This will include wood that has been made smooth, without the inclusion of mud or dirt (as you’ll find with termites). Also pay attention to any wood shavings, which are typically not too far from the nest. If you find what you believe to be a nest, a typically useful trick is to take a screwdriver, or something similar, and knock against it. Often, you will be able to hear the ants scurrying around inside the nest.
Carpenter Ant Control
In order to avoid excessive damage to your home caused by a carpenter ant problem, it is important that you act quickly. The most important step in making sure that your carpenter ant problem is under control is to locate and destroy the primary nest, often called the parent nest. Once this has been found, you can utilize liquid pesticides to rid yourself of their presence.
There are also a number of steps you can take to prevent a carpenter ant infestation in the first place. Here are a few quick suggestions:
- Replace any moist or decayed wood. — If wood has been damaged by water or decay, carpenter ants are more likely to use it for its eggs.
- Seal any gaps or cracks. — Carpenter ants often enter the house through cracks or gaps that they find in your house’s foundation, doors, windows, etc. It’s also a good idea to use a fine mesh screen over attic vents.
- Eliminate moisture. — Since these critters love using moist wood, if you can remove any moisture from a leaky pipe or other source, you’ll be going a long way to keeping them out of your home.