Carpenter ants are one of the most valuable insects on earth. They chew galleries in wood—this creates sawdust, which then rots and provides compost for new growth. However, when carpenter ants enter your home or building, they are a highly destructive pest. An infestation of carpenter ants often goes unnoticed until major damage is found. Here’s why it’s important to know the signs of carpenter ants and what you can do to prevent them.
Carpenter Ants or Termites?
Damage caused by carpenter ants is often confused with termites. Termites feed off the cellulose in the wood and carpenter ants feed off sources of protein and sugar. Carpenter ants excavate wood—they create galleries in the wood for passageways and movement to and from the nest. They prefer damp, moist wood that’s decaying. Most carpenter ant infestations within any home or building are found around windows, roof eaves, decks and porches—places that are vulnerable to moisture.
Both termites and carpenter ants reproduce by having the winged, reproducing members leave the colony, in order to find a mate and start a new colony. This is when they “swarm”—and when you’re most likely to notice these pests. In fact, if you see lots of discarded wings inside your home, that’s a sure sign of an infestation.
For more information on identifying carpenter ants, read this.
Setting Up Camp
Carpenter ants can damage the wood used in the construction of buildings and homes—and are common in Ohio. They leave behind sawdust, also known as frass, that can provide clues to the location of their nests. Decayed wood inside of buildings usually is the result of a plumbing leak, poor air circulation and condensation. Nests have been found behind bathroom tiles and under sinks, roofing and attic beams. Carpenter ants also nest in dry areas such as hollow doors, wall voids and foam insulation. Nests found in dry areas are called satellite nests because no eggs are laid. Satellite nests contain mature larvae (the workers) and are used for transport between the parent colony and the satellite colonies.
Control of carpenter ant infestations often involves the use of pesticides in the form of liquids or dust. Treatment dusts can be injected into the galleries and areas where the ants are living. Liquids are applied in places where foraging ants can pick up the poison and carry it back to the colonies. If you observe the common signs of carpenter ants, chances are you have a problem much larger than a few ants. Damage to wood structures varies. A professional pest control company should be consulted to determine the scope of the problem. Early identification is important to prevent damage from occurring in your home or building.
ScherZinger Pest Control, a trusted pest control company in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas, including Dayton and Columbus. We’ve been pioneers who have engineered new standards for ways of eliminating and controlling bugs and pests. Contact us by phone at 1-877-748-9888 or through our website, Facebook, or Twitter.