Silent Chewers – Carpenter Ants
July 10, 2019
The warm weather sure can bring a lot of great things. Beach days, baseball, and fun with the family are just a few. But warm weather can also bring out pests that we would all rather forget about than deal with – carpenter ants. Carpenter ants may seem benign enough, but their chomp can pack a wallop. Carpenter ants are what some call “silent chewers.” While you are enjoying your warm summer, these pests can be quietly doing damage to your wood structures.
Identifying Carpenter Ants
Carpenter ants vary in size and can be anywhere from ½” to ⅝” long. The majority of carpenter ants are black but they can be brown, red or a combination of all three colors. A colony of carpenter ants can contain 10-20,000 workers, with large colonies of more than 50,000 individuals. That is a lot of damage that could be done in a fairly short amount of time.
Behavior of Carpenter Ants
Carpenter ants, unlike termites, do not actually eat the wood they are chomping on, but rather excavate the wood to create tunnels and nesting places for the rest of their colony. Most homeowners will notice ants in their kitchen or bathroom rather than the damage that is hidden by furnishings, siding or walls. These pests particularly like wood that has been softened by fungus caused by moisture. Homeowners should check under sinks and around bathroom walls.
Homeowners may notice small rounded holes where the carpenter ants have chewed through walls or wood. They excavate their way through the wood leaving sawdust-like shavings and/or fragments of insulation outside the holes. The accumulation of this debris below the holes is a good indication of an active infestation.
Preventing Ant Infestations
Carpenter ants are like most living creatures, they need three things for survival: food, water and shelter. Take a look around your home for what may be attracting them. Is it a dripping faucet? Or maybe crumbs that are left around the kitchen? Or perhaps your foundation needs some patching? Any of these things could be drawing the ants toward your home.
To deter carpenter ants take the following actions. Remove water sources from touching the wood of your home including gutters that are in need of cleaning, utility pipes, or siding that is not flush with the structure. Consider having any leaks fixed, and repair or replace areas of water-damaged wood. While you are inspecting your home’s exterior look for cracks or openings in the foundation that could a point of entry for the ants. Lastly, take a look at your kitchen. Are there spills or crumbs or trash barrels that are calling to ants to come and get a free meal? Clean it all up thoroughly.
If you have a number of ants marching into your kitchen or bath looking for their next meal or drink, call Pest-End Exterminators. We can come up with a solution to eliminate and exclude these silent snackers from your home. Call us at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321.