Finding a few ants crawling around your home can be concerning, especially when you’re not sure whether they’re harmless summer pests or carpenter ants that could cause serious problems. Wood-boring insects cause thousands of dollars in damages to a home before the owner even suspects their presence. Knowing how to identify carpenter ants can help you determine whether your Lawrence, MA home is safe from damage, or you need to call an exterminator for professional carpenter ant control.
Identifying Carpenter Ants
Carpenter ants are among the largest types of ants living in America, and over 1000 species exist. They range in length from 3.4 to 13mm and are usually black, but a few species are reddish-brown or yellow. Their body shape is similar to that of common ants with large mandibles, elbowed antennae and wings. You’ll find carpenter ants both indoors and outdoors. They prefer living in moist, decaying conditions like hollow, rotted wood. Unlike termites, carpenter ants don’t eat wood; they cause damage by tunneling through it. The ants are known to eat a variety of human foods, and they may also feed on other insects.
Recognizing Carpenter Ant Damage
Damage caused by carpenter ants is most likely to occur in areas where wood has already suffered moisture infiltration. It’s rare for the ants to attack dry wood. They chew and tunnel to create extensive galleries in the wood, which then serve as their homes. Carpenter ant galleries have a smooth interior that may seem as if it’s been sanded; this, along with the absence of mud and soil, helps to distinguish them from termites. The galleries may also have windows through which the ants enter and exit. Wood dust and debris is often found in piles outside the nest. In some cases, the wood on the exterior of the nest appears unharmed even when there is extensive damage beneath the surface.
Is It Time for Carpenter Ant Control?
As soon as you suspect the presence of carpenter ants in your home or yard, it’s time to call your local exterminator for effective, affordable carpenter ant control. Waiting could result in costly repairs and damage to personal items you can’t replace. Call the exterminator that Lawrence, MA homeowners and the surrounding suburbs trust to get rid of carpenter ants and other warm weather pests before they ruin your summer.