Carpenter ants are necessary in nature since they enhance the decay of dead trees by burrowing and nesting from them. However, they become a pest when they invade and damage the integrity of the wood that is within a house. There are two types of carpenter ants, which are the black carpenter ants and the red carpenter ants. Both of them can and will establish a nest inside and outside a structure, if they are given a chance. But how do you know if your house is also being infested by these ants?
Just because you see the queen ant swarming around and a few foragers outside your backyard, does not mean that you have an infestation. It may probably be seeking for one and the foragers are probably scouting for food or nesting sites. However, if you find foraging ants entering the home, along telephone wires or along branches that are touching the roof, or even through the ground trails that comes under a door it is more likely that your house is a nesting area. If ants are coming in, the ants may have a nesting place outside the house and may have established colonies in some part of the structure.
Types of Structure that is Likely to be Attacked
- House that is 5 to 25 years of age
- Trees and shrubs surrounding the house
- Structures that are located near the edge of a forest
- Moderately to gently sloping roof
Areas in the Home Where They May Be Nesting
- Around sink, dishwasher, or showers
- Air vents
- Attics and crawl spaces
- Fireplace or furnace chimneys
- Porch pillars
- Behind books
- Hollow doors
- Under floors
- Window framing and sills
- Casings of houses and garages
How They Damage a Home
Carpenter ants are not the same as termites. However, these ants will excavate on their nesting site. Large colonies can create large network of tunnels or galleries that begins in a place where wood decay is present, then expand their nest into sound wood that will undermine the integrity of the structure. Such damages can also be found in wall voids, hollow doors, around and under windows, roof eaves, decks, porches and insulation.
Ways to Control Carpenter Ants
Eliminating high moisture conditions can help in eliminating ants. Replace any moisture-damaged wood and make certain that wood or lumber that is stored near the house is kept dry. Also, make certain that all water leaks are inspected and fixed since not only the ants are attracted to such places, but termites as well.
Know Where They Are Hiding
Locate their trails in the early morning or early evening when the carpenter ants are mostly foraging. Typically, you can find these ants in places where moisture is commonly seen such as the kitchen or bath areas.
- They will mostly enter a structure when they find opening or cracks while searching for food
- The appearance of large numbers of winged adults inside a home can be an indication that they are nesting indoors
- Find clues of their nesting location by searching for their debris.
- Search for them in carpets, around doors and fireplace, foundations, vegetation, ground, mulch or leaf litter
The use of baits can be tricky since carpenter ants have a diverse diet. You may be able to bait some ant species, but may find it difficult to bait carpenter ants. However, baits can also be successful as long as you can carefully monitor if the ants keep coming back for them. Baits usually work by combining an attractive food source with a slow-acting intoxicant where they will be able to share the food to the rest of the colony.
Colonies that are found within a structure can be eliminated by applying pesticide directly. There are different pesticides that you can use such as boric acid dust, cypermethrin and propoxur.
Get the Services of a Professional Pest Control
In the event that the carpenter ants is too much handle especially when they are now in wall voids where you may not be able to easily reach them, call Horizon Pest Control. We will treat inaccessible areas by doing different methods to find and search for the colony and eliminate them. To learn more about our services, go to NJ Residential Pest Control.