Your home is likely your biggest investment. It might be part of your retirement plan, or you might want to pass it down to future generations. With today’s soaring property rates, people have become even more attentive to caring for their homes. Many things can wreak havoc in your house, and carpenter ants are near the top of the list. Modern’s Carpenter Ant Control Service can help protect your investment from these destructive pests.
Carpenter ants don’t just infest rotting wood. They can move from softwood to hardwood in a very short amount of time when they infest.
Not only do these destructive pests weaken wall supports, they can also cause expensive damage. Carpenter ants are hard to detect because they don’t chew the outer portion of your wood. Instead, you’ll find them deep inside your wood, barely coming to the surface. They can live there for years, and you wouldn’t know until it’s too late.
Homeowners should know what carpenter ants are so they can identify them quickly and prevent further property damage. This guide can help you recognize carpenter ants in your home.
Identifying Carpenter Ants
Recognizing carpenter ants and distinguishing them from other pests is very important.
The worker ants range in length from 1/8 – 1/2 inch, with the queens being slightly larger. They are most commonly black, although some species are red, red and black, or brown. They are big, so make sure not to confuse them with house ants. A distinguishing feature is that carpenter ants have two big antennas at the top of their heads.
When in need of food, these big black-red ants tend to send one or two worker ants outside their nests in search of food. Hence, if you notice them crawling close to your house or inside your house, don’t simply ignore them. Realize that you could have a big problem, and contact Modern to help guide you through the process of getting rid of them.
However, if you see carpenter ants in your garden or several feet away from your house, don’t worry. These ants feed on plant-damaging pests, so they can actually protect your plants and garden.
Wood Shavings or Sawdust
Carpenter ants do not actually feed on the wood. They feed actively from sunset until the early morning hours on most human foods, particularly sweets and other insects. Carpenter ants chew the inner portion of your wood. However, it is important not to confuse them with termites.
When carpenter ants start to make their nests, they push the sawdust out as they crawl deeper into the wood. You can find the sawdust, also known as frass, underneath wooden areas such as baseboards, door jambs, garage spaces, window sills, and other isolated spots.
It is easy to miss frass as it appears in areas that might already be prone to dust. However, the sooner you notice, the less damage to your house.
External Property Damage
It is important to note that termites are very different from carpenter ants. When termites build homes, the appearance of wood can seem somewhat gritty. However, the appearance of wood seems smooth when carpenter ants infest it.
Moreover, wood infested by carpenter ants may be uneven- you may notice dots or tiny dashes running through the wood irregularly, making it look splintered. Don’t confuse this for wood rot- carpenter ants cause structural damage, so this is them working their way into the intricacies of the wood.
Carpenter ants also normally feed in moist areas such as the base of doors close to the moist ground, railings in your garden that are exposed to water, wood decks that surround plant and flower beds, basement timbers, and other places that are sheltered, moist, and dark.
Appearance of Random Wings
Another sign of carpenter ants is the appearance of flying ants on your window panes- the inside or the outside. This means that there are carpenter ants somewhere on your property that you need to get rid of.
During the mating procedure, carpenter ants shed their wings. Homeowners might find a few shed wings on window sills, floors, or anywhere else on their property- this is alarming because mating equals more ants. Sometimes wings get stuck to spider webs so keep an eye out for those too.
If a few hundred carpenter ants are chewing out their home inside your wood, you’d be sure to hear them if you listen carefully.
When carpenter ants scrape out wood particles, there is a distinct rustling noise that can be heard if you shut off all the fans and air conditioners in the room.
Moreover, if you notice long trails of big black-red ants going to and from from your lawn, you have a problem. Please do not confuse these ants for termites; termites usually work in the dark as they cannot stand the light. In fact, they are very quickly dried out by the sun. Hence, pay close attention to ant trails. They make long trips to search for food and bring it back to their nests for their fellow workers.
The Modern Solution
If left untreated, these ants can weaken frames and structures within your home. Doors or windows that get stuck, floors that look uneven, ceilings that seem to be sinking, and walls that show signs of apparent bulging are all signs of a carpenter ant infestation.
To prevent further damage, get in touch with the pest control experts at Modern and sign up for our Carpenter Ant Control program as soon as possible. We understand the urgency of remediating a pest infestation and our 100% service satisfaction guarantee means we will keep coming back until the problem is solved!