A carpenter ant infestation is common. In fact. dealing with carpenter ants is what our technicians spend most of their day providing service for. Know the following facts will help you assess whether you have a carpenter ant infestation or just a minor issue.
Carpenter Ants: ID, Control & Appearance
Carpenter ants are among the most common request that we field at Envirocare Pest Control. In fact, carpenter ant control makes up more than fifty percent of our business. When you spend that much time controlling one particular pest you tend to get good at it. Here are some things that homeowners need to know about them.
Carpenter Ant Appearance
Carpenter ants are just like people, they come in different sizes ranging from 1/4″-5/8″. They also come in different colors. Some carpenter ants are all black while others are black and red.
There are also different species of carpenter ants. In order to find exactly what species a qualified entomologist would need to be called for identification. In most all cases when dealing with carpenter ants in Connecticut this isn’t necessary.
Carpenter Ant Diet
Many people are under the mistaken impression that carpenter ants eat wood, but they don’t. Their diet consists of all of the same things that you and I will eat and a few things we wouldn’t. Included in this list are other ants and insects.
However, carpenter ants due have a favorite food. They love the honeydew excreted by aphids when the summer is in full bloom.
Carpenter Ants Damage
The natural setting for carpenter ants is the woods. Here nesting behavior takes place in dead and dying trees. This is a good thing as mother natural has provided checks and balances. However, the reason why carpenter ants are so feared by homeowners is that they have the nasty tendency to excavate smooth galleries in moist or water damaged wood. Unfortunately, our homes are made of wood and sometimes that wood gets wet. That makes our home a perfect place for carpenter ants to set up a colony.
Carpenter ants excavate smooth galleries in wood. Along with these galleries you’ll also find frass. Frass is the technical name of the sawdust that is kicked out of the excavated galleries. Within a pile of frass you’ll find insect parts, pieces of insulation or anything else that isn’t needed within a colony.
Identification of male and female carpenter ants
Like all ants the colony is dominated by females. The males in a carpenter ant colony are around mainly for reproduction. After the males mate they die very shortly thereafter. The difference in size between males and females is noticeable. The males are likely to be less than 1/4″in size, while females are considerably larger.
Winged carpenter ants
Carpenter ant reproductive’s have 4 wings, of the four wings two are long and two are short. It’s easily noticeable if you know what to look for.
You should also know some people mistake carpenter ant swarmmers and termite swarmmers. The two are different in size, wing structure and color.
Carpenter Ant Treatments
First, hereare some of the likely areas to find carpenter ant nests:
- Window frames
- Door frames
- Area leaky pipes
- Log and rail ties
- Chimney frames
- Under roof shingles
As I’ve said before to all new technicians the problem with carpenter ants isn’t treating them, it’s, finding them. This can only be done after a thorough inspection of both the interior and the exterior of your home or business.
Once a carpenter ant colony is found the correct approach is to drill into the area where the colony is located and apply a material like boric acid or a pesticide such as Drione dust. Once injected into a colony these dust materials have the tendency to carry inside the galleries and eliminate carpenter ants quite effectively.
If a colony is not able to be found and treated directly there are many baits that exterminators like Envirocare Pest Control use that are formulated specifically for carpenter ants.
There’re also many liquid based professional use only products that are safe to be used in homes. Typically these products are odorless and non-staining.
When dealing with a home that has a carpenter ant issue it is best dealt with by a professional. In some cases homeowners mistakenly make the problem worse and harder to control when a professional is finally brought in.
There’s more that can be learned about carpenter ants throughout our website and blog. Initially the links below can help you locate these articles.
As always if you have a carpenter ant problem, call Envirocare Pest Control at 1-888-879-6481. We can help