Carpenter ants are a type of ant that can cause damage to wood structures in homes and buildings. These ants get their name from their habit of tunneling through wood to create nests. While they do not eat wood like termites, the damage they cause can be significant.
Carpenter ants are typically black or reddish-black in color and can range in size from 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch long. They are most commonly found in the United States in the Pacific Northwest and along the East Coast.
One of the main signs of a carpenter ant infestation is the presence of small, sawdust-like piles near wood structures. These piles, called frass, are a mixture of wood chips and insect body parts and are a telltale sign of carpenter ants at work. Other signs of an infestation include the presence of winged ants, or "swarmers," and the sound of ants moving inside walls or other wood structures.
If you suspect that you have a carpenter ant infestation, it is important to take action as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Here are some steps you can take to control carpenter ants:
Remove any sources of moisture: Carpenter ants are attracted to damp or rotting wood, so it is important to fix any leaks or other sources of moisture to prevent the ants from returning.
Seal any entry points: Carpenter ants can enter your home through small cracks and gaps, so it is important to seal any openings to prevent them from getting inside.
Remove any food sources: Carpenter ants are attracted to sweet or greasy foods, so it is important to keep your home clean and free of crumbs and spills to discourage the ants from coming inside.
Use bait stations: Carpenter ant bait stations can be effective in controlling an infestation. These stations contain a food source that is attractive to the ants, but also contains a poison that will kill them.
Contact a professional: If you are unable to control the infestation on your own, it may be necessary to hire a professional pest control company to help. A professional will have the expertise and experience to identify the source of the infestation and develop a plan to eliminate the ants.
Carpenter ants can be a serious problem if not properly controlled. By taking steps to prevent and control carpenter ant infestations, you can protect your home and prevent costly damage.