10 Thing to Know About Carpenter Ants
June 10th, 2020
Spring is the perfect time to get outside and inspect your yard and around your house for any signs of damage from the winter and any potential pest problems you may need to deal with. Carpenter ants are one of the most potentially destructive pests home owners may have to contend with, so let’s take a look at 10 facts you should know about carpenter ants and how to deal with them before they do serious damage to your home!
1. Unlike termites, carpenter ants don’t actually eat wood. This means they can live in any kind of wood, even chemically treated woods. They will typically choose damaged or rotting wood, spaces in between walls, attics, and crawl spaces. Outside your house, they will look for firewood piles, tree stumps, or fence posts.
2. Carpenter ants love the sweet honeydew produced by aphids when they eat plants, and will farm these insects in order to have a steady supply of the delicious nectar. However, carpenter ants aren’t picky and will also eat other insects and scavenge for food like grease, meat and eggs from your kitchen.
3. Carpenter ants will bite, and even have the ability to inject a formic acid into the wound which is quite painful.
4. Carpenter ants set up two colonies that are in near proximity to each other: the primary one needs to be humid and will probably be located in a dead tree trunk or other wet and rotting wood outside; the satellite colony doesn’t need to have the same level of humidity, so may be located in dryer wood sources, like the wood in your house.
5. Carpenter ants come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours. The two most common varieties are black. The kind of carpenter ant you may be most familiar with is the large winged “swarmer” ants that fly out from the satellite colony in the spring to reproduce. Seeing these in or around your house may be your first sign of trouble.
6. Since carpenter ants burrow into wood, but don’t eat it, they leave little piles of sawdust behind called “frass”. If you see these, they can also be an indicator that you have a carpenter ant infestation. They are the “neat freaks” of the insect world and will clear their habitats of any dirt, dead ant bodies, sawdust and old food.
7. Carpenter ants will kill and eat termites. Enough ants can wipe out a whole colony of termites. But don’t try using carpenter ants to get rid of termites or you could end up with an even worse problem!
What to do if you have Carpenter Ants on your property:
8. Eliminate food sources to make your house less desirable to carpenter ants. Keep plants trimmed around your house, store food in sealed containers, and always clean up food crumbs.
9. Eliminate desirable places for carpenter ants to live by removing rotting trees from your yard and prevent moisture build-up in and around your house. Clean and repair drains and downspouts, repair any foundation cracks, rotting wood framing, and leaks in your roof or plumbing.
Who can help you get rid of Carpenter Ants?
10. Carpenter ants can be very tricky to deal with on your own if you have a large infestation, and especially since there is usually more than one colony. Eliminating a satellite colony will not necessarily eliminate the problem, since the queen lives in the primary colony and will keep producing more worker and swarmer ants. If you are concerned about a carpenter ant problem, calling in the experts may be the best way to prevent expensive damage to your property.