You've noticed some destruction to the wood exterior of your home and some wooded areas around your home and assume that termites are the culprit. However, the real cause of the damage could be carpenter ants. Just like termites, carpenter ants will eat away at any sources of wood both inside and outside your home. However, unlike termites, carpenter ants do not use the wood as a primary source of food.
Here are some answers to frequently asked questions you might have about carpenter ants.
How Can You Identify Carpenter Ants?
No matter what time of year, you might notice larger ants with or without wings that are colonized inside a fallen tree or another type of wood on your property. Chances are these are carpenter ants and knowing how to identify carpenter ants will ensure the right exclusion and extermination plan can be created.
Carpenter ants are larger than other species of ants and can reach lengths of half an inch. The workers do not have wings and are either black or a combination of red and black. Larger males and queens have wings, and it is not uncommon for the queen to reach a length of one inch.
Distinguishing between carpenter ants and termites is also important. The easier way to determine if any insects on your property are termites is to look at the wings. Both carpenter ants and termites have a set of double wings. However, in carpenter ants, the front wing is much larger than the back wing.
What Do Carpenter Ants Prefer to Eat?
Unlike termites, which actually consume the wood products they destroy, carpenter ants only burrow through wood to create a nest. Carpenter ants like to eat sweet, sugary substances, such as honeydew. If you enjoy a sweet drink outdoors, you might notice carpenter ants trying to access the glass. If the carpenter ants invade your home, they will prefer any sweet, sugary foods, such as candy, syrups, and jelly or jams.
What Are the Signs of a Carpenter Ant Infestation?
Carpenter ants typically remain inside their colony and will only come out to forage for food. However, if you notice some winged carpenter ants or a line of carpenter ants emerging from a fallen tree or even inside your home, the ants could be searching for a new place to colonize. According to Ohio State University, carpenter ants are more active at night.
Other signs of carpenter ants are the burrow holes inside of any wood or wood structures inside or outside of your home.
How Can You Prevent a Carpenter Ant Infestation?
In addition to sugary foods and beverages, carpenter ants are attracted to decaying, damaged, and damp wood. Remove any stumps, fallen logs, or other decaying wood structures from your property. Inside your home, remove and replace any decaying or damp wood, such as wood beams or damaged wood flooring.
Get rid of sources of easily accessible food inside and around your home. For example, pick up any fruit that has fallen off the fruit trees outside your home and keep any sweets or sugary foods inside your home in storage containers with tight-fitting lids.
What Should You Do If You Suspect Carpenter Ants?
Finally, if you suspect there is a carpenter ant infestation inside or outside of your home, contact a professional right away. A pest control agent will help you identify where the carpenter ants are nesting, provide you with some advice on your to keep carpenter ants out of your home, and create a pest management plan to eliminate the carpenter ants from inside your house and control the infestation on your property.
Carpenter ants are a common pest that can enter your home and cause damage to wood and wood products on your property. Contact a pest control agent with any other questions you might have about carpenter ants.
To learn more about ant pest control, contact a company like Good News Pest Solutions