Facts About Carpenter Ants
Carpenter ants are one of the largest ants in the United States, particularly in Texas. Compared to other species, Carpenter ants can grow up to 1/4 inch in length. You would be surprised how queen ants can grow. Queen carpenter ants can grow more than 9/16 inch long.
The common species of carpenter ants are dull in colour, usually black or brown, with reddish legs and a lining of golden hair covering their abdomens. Some species, on the other hand, are black with a combination of red or a combination of brown.
About Carpenter Ants
Some of us do not know enough about Carpenter Ants, except that they can be damaging to homes and properties. To get to know this species better, here are some of the most important facts you need to know about Carpenter Ants.
- Carpenter Ants are hard-working ants can carry more than seven times their own weight. The crazy part is, they can do this with their teeth!
- If we think about pests, we often think of them as dirty, and messy insects. However, Carpenter Ants are very different than the rest. These creatures are very tidy. They have the instinct to dispose of old food and dead ants from their surroundings.
- Did you know that carpenter ants have the ability to disinfect their food? You got that right! The resins they collect from their travels are used to disinfect their nests along with their potential food. Now we know that Carpenter Ants can be as sanitary as humans and are less likely to transmit bacteria.
- Just like other ant species, Carpenter Ants do not need to see to travel or forage food. They secrete different types of pheromones to signal one another where to go and what to do. There is a specific pheromone for each event such as danger, food, potential shelter, and mating.
- Carpenter ants can be quite dangerous to human beings when the bite. Did you know they can inject some form of acid to your skin which could trigger an irritation? This is one of the reasons to avoid carpenter ant infestation.
- Carpenter ants live in colonies. They are also divided into castes that define their responsibilities. Each colony can reach a population from 2000 to 3000 ants.
- When a colony reaches this many ants, they start to produce winged male and female swarmers for mating. These winged ants are sexually mature ants that will soon start their own colonies. Mating for Carpenter Ants is the same as the others. They swarm in a specific time of the year, usually summer or spring or to mate.
- If you see large, black ants in your home, this is one of the preliminary signs o a carpenter ant infestation. It means that capable ants have created an entrance somewhere around you and it has given way to more ants to infest.
- Another common signal of a pest infestation is the observation of numerous winged ants in your environment. If you ever see signs of infestation, it is best to call for a local exterminator in Denver to help you solve your problems.
- Some people think that Carpenter Ants eat wood. Actually, they only create a tunnel through it. So, if you observe sawdust all over your porch or windows, keep a good watch for other signs. Better yet, do the necessary measures for prevention.
- Carpenter ants produce frass – a term to define the sawdust they leave as a trail during an infestation. You can find frass around areas where carpenter ants are infesting and doing damage.
- Carpenter ants are often likened to Subterranean Termites which damage wooden homes and furniture too. However, there is something that makes these species unique from each other. Did you know that Subterranean termites die when they are exposed to air for a long period of time? This is the reason why they need to dig holes immediately to save themselves from the damage that air causes to their body. In contrast, Carpenter ants do not have that kind of limitation. They can come out and enjoy the wind and sun whenever they want to. They can crawl outdoors whenever they want.
- When carpenter ants crawl, they can cause serious damage to their surroundings. It usually looks like knife carvings on wood.
- Carpenter ant is attracted to damaged wood. They love to start infesting wooden areas recently damaged by water. This helps people track down carpenter ants faster than termites.
- Unlike termites, the symptoms of ant infestation can be very obvious. For termites, the infestation could get so much worse and the homeowner still cannot notice it. This makes the structures irreparable.
- Carpenter ants usually start on exterior structures and they work their way inside. If you see damages on your fence posts, deck, patio, or borders, better watch out for more signs before you take the necessary precaution to prevent infestation.
- If carpenter ants infest your home, you will often hear “rustling” or “crackling” sounds coming from your walls, doors, or other wooden structure or furniture.
- You can also find carpenter ants outside your house, especially around areas of full of moisture such as stored trash, water fixtures, and moist landscaping.
- Outdoors, carpenter ants can be found on rotting fence posts, stumps, fallen logs, dead trees, and old firewood. They can also be found under stones and logs.
- Carpenter ants create smooth and clean tunnels on wood. These tunnels allow these ants to move safely from one place to another.
- Carpenter ants are very destructive, especially in Texas. They hollow out wood, damaging it completely, and making it useless.
How to Eliminate Carpenter Ants
Despite the positive facts about the species, you do not want these ants on your property. Our homes are our best investment and we must do everything we can to protect it and maintain its strength and stability. Here are some of the most common ways to get rid of carpenter ants:
- Find The Nest. This is the most important way to remove carpenter ants. If you find their nest, you will know which areas to target with several exterminating activities. Finding the nest requires keen observation. It is not just about glancing or seeing a place. It means turning every rock to find their nest. If you do not find it, it could lead to a very serious situation. They can be as damaging as termites. Who knows how fast they can work on your wooden structures?
- As we have discussed, carpenter ants love moisture very much. So, to eliminate these species, maintain a correct moisture condition that will not make your environment conducive to Carpenter Ants.
- Treat Carpenter Ants with a bait. This is one of the greatest and cheapest ways to get rid of carpenter ants. Since they love moist, you can set traps using wet cardboard and leave it around areas where carpenter ants are common. Leave it there before sleeping and dispose of in the morning. This might not eliminate Carpenter Ants for good but it will help lessen their population.
- You need to remember to monitor the use of pesticides as a DIY treatment. This could do more harm than good to your environment. Pesticides consist of harmful substances that can cause illnesses to humans and animals especially when administered properly. If you plan to use chemicals for pest control, make sure to follow the directions by the manufacturer.
- To be sure, you can always call for Lake Norman Pest Control – the best pest control service in North Carolina. This company has been proving top-quality service for more than 50 years. If you want safe and competent extermination and prevention, this is the best company to call.
How To Prevent The Infestation Of Carpenter Ants
Why exterminate if you can prevent? Here are some ways to prevent the infestation of ants inside and outside your home.
- Conduct a weekly or monthly inspection of your home. Inspect the whole perimeter and look for possible entryways of insects. Inspect the gutters for any damage. Plus, you can also observe the walls for any cracks, crevices, or fissures. These are the main entryways of carpenter ants.
- As we have discussed, carpenter ants are attracted to moist. To prevent any infestation, fix spigots and leaky hoses or pipes.
- Trim the trees and bushes around you to allow sunlight to reach your home. This is a natural way to fix wet wood.
- Also, remember to remove food sources in your garden or lawn.
- Another way to prevent a Carpenter Ant infestation, move firewood and wooden construction materials at least 20 feet away from your home properly.
- Store your trash as far away from your home as possible. The crumbs and leftovers could attract ants and other insects.
- Lastly, you can maintain a border of 2 feet between your mulches and your home foundation. You can also consider replacing the mulches with crushed stone.