You worry about termites all year round, but did you know carpenter ants, too, can nibble away at your home?
Carpenter ants may not eat wood, but they do build their nests by burrowing into wood beams—a nasty habit that can damage the structure of your house and demand a visit from the pest-busting experts at MightyMite Termite Services.
Want to know how to remove these burrowing beasts? First, you have to learn to spot them.
Can You Spot a Carpenter Ant?
Measuring between ¼ to ½ inches long, carpenter ants are some of the biggest Ants in the United States. They come in a variety of colors—they can appear blackish, reddish-brown, or yellowish.
Spot a large blackish/brownish Ant with wings? It might be a swarmer, a type of carpenter ant that can fly away from the nest and relocate.
Beware: If you do see a swarmer in your home, you likely have an infestation. It’s time to call MightyMite Termite Services ASAP.
The Trouble with Carpenter Ants
Carpenter ants aren’t merely big; they’re also fruitful. A single queen can lay 15 to 20 eggs. Within 3 to 6 years, a colony can grow to 3,000 workers.
That means the ants you see (if you see them at all) often make up less than 5% of the entire colony.
That wouldn’t be so much of a problem if these burrowers stuck to the great outdoors. Unfortunately, carpenter ants build nests both inside and outside homes.
The Habits of Carpenter Ants
Carpenter ants leave scent trails that stretch for over 100 hundred feet. That allows them to create intricate networks of nests that span several yards.
The ability to leave trails also helps them move from your backyard to your living room without getting lost—good for them; not so good for you.
How do you know if they’ve invaded your home? If you see carpenter ants in early spring or late winter, chances are you have an indoor nest.
Where Do They Hide?
Carpenter ants don’t like sunshine. Instead, they spend most of their time working in the dark.
They also tend to build nests in firewood, tree stumps, or other landscape features. Since they prefer moist wood, you’re likely to find these giant ants around damp, hollow places like:
- Windows and door frames
- Leaky roofs
Now that you know how to spot a carpenter ant, it’s time to learn a few tips for preventing an infestation. For starters, you’ll want to:
- Fix all leaks immediately.
- Prevent moisture accumulation.
- Keep soil or mulch away from the wood siding of your home.
- Clip back foliage and vegetation so it doesn’t touch the home’s wood siding.
- Seal any and all cracks and gaps in the foundation of your home.
- Stack firewood away from the ground and away from the foundation.
- Never store firewood in the home, in the garage, or near the side of the building.
Preventing an infestation is one thing. Eliminating an existing colony is another thing entirely. You can do it the hard way or the easy way.
The Hard Way
- Cut off all access routes to the house.
- Locate all nesting areas (yes, all of them).
- Eliminate all nesting areas.
- Repair any wood damage.
Warning! Eliminating carpenter ant colonies can be a difficult DIY job—their nests are often hard to find, and getting rid of them sometimes requires working around electrical wires.
The Easy Way
Call or email MightyMite Termite Services.
Contact MightyMite Termite Services, and you won’t have to stay up nights wondering whether you spotted and removed every carpenter ant nest. Instead, you can let our seasoned professionals do the job for you. We’ll spot ‘em, remove ‘em, and keep ‘em gone. The choice is easy!