There could be 10-20,000 tiny little carpenters making use of the wood in your walls as you read this. We're not talking about the handy carpenters that helped build your home, we're talking about the tiny, wood-ruining terrors known as carpenter ants.
Carpenter ants (Camponotus) are a species of ants that want nothing more than to set up shop inside the wood in your walls. If left untreated, a carpenter ant infestation can leave your home with some serious cosmetic and structural damage. The best way to keep these pesky pests from damaging your home is knowing how to spot them, and knowing who to call when you do. Let's explore some of the ways you can identify carpenter ants and how you can prevent them from wreaking havoc on your South Pasadena property.
What Do Carpenter Ants Look Like?
Carpenter ants are some of the largest ants in North America, ranging from 3.4mm to a whopping 13mm long. They're typically black or dark brown but some species have a reddish or yellowish hue. Carpenter ants tend to have larger mandibles than most ants. They need these to chew through the wood in your home to make nests and tunnels.
One of the most distinguishing characteristics of carpenter ants is the set of long wings on a swarmer's back. Swarmers (also called alates or reproductives) are produced when a colony is mature.
What Type Of Damage Do They Cause?
Carpenter ants build tunnels and nests in wood, weakening it from the inside and hurting its structural integrity. As you can imagine, when several colonies of thousands of ants have free reign inside your walls, they can leave the wood in pretty bad cosmetic and structural shape. Unlike termites, carpenter ants don't eat the wood they come across, they remove the wood and place it in small piles outside their nests.
How To Spot Carpenter Ants
While carpenter ants are sneaky little criminals, they tend to leave evidence at the scenes of their crimes. Below are a few signs you can look for that may indicate a possible carpenter ant infestation.
- Tiny piles of wood.
- Faint rustling noises inside your walls.
- Large winged ants found around your home.
How Carpenter Ants Get In Your Home
Critters as small as carpenter ants have a knack for finding their way inside homes. Tiny, unsealed openings on the exterior of your home make perfect entry points for carpenter ants. They can also enter your home from tree branches that hang over your roof or chimney.
How To Help Prevent Carpenter Ant Infestations
Proper prevention and extermination of carpenter ants should always be left up to professionals, but there are certain steps you can take to help reduce the likelihood of an infestation. Here are some easy, actionable steps you can take to help keep your home ant-free:
- Seal entry points around your foundation, doors, windows, etc.
- Keep your home clean and keep food in airtight containers.
- Trim the trees and bushes around your home.
- Fix any moisture leaks that directly affect the wood in your home.
How Kat's Pest Solutions Can Help
The best thing you can do to eliminate carpenter ants is to contact Kat's Pest Solutions. We have years of experience finding and eliminating carpenter ants safely and efficiently. We will thoroughly inspect trouble spots in your home and create a pest control plan tailored specifically to you and your home's needs. Request your free inspection today or contact us at 877-528-5287 with any pest-related questions.