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5 Signs of Carpenter Ants and What to Do About Them

By Chuck Henrichsen on May 16, 2017

Many homeowners are unaware of the damage that carpenter ants inflict on a home. The risk posed by these small creatures is substantial, and if you are a homeowner you need to know exactly what carpenter ants are and how they operate. It's natural to not really consider ants in the list of possible threats against a home. Pesky, yes, but that little ant crawling across your floor doesn't seem to be very threatening.

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Yet, just as you are aware of the extreme damage that termites can cause to your home, be aware that carpenter ants are equally as dangerous. Just like termites, carpenter ants can destroy property and cost you thousands of dollars in damages if they are not stopped right away. Having knowledge about what these insects do and how to get rid of them can save you a lot of money and help prevent severe damage to your home.

 

5 Signs of Carpenter Ants in Your Home

The first step to getting rid of carpenter ants is knowing where and how to find them in your home. Below we list 5 ways that you can find and identify these destructive little pests.

1. Weather Changes

We all look forward to warmer weather - carpenter ants included. While they do hibernate during the winter, during warmer months ants get back on the move. For you as a homeowner, this means keeping a heightened lookout for carpenter ant activity during the months transitioning from spring to summer.

As for the colder months, if you see a carpenter ant in your home during the winter, there is a high chance that an infestation has already occurred, as the warmth of your home can keep the ants from hibernating. If this has happened to you, it would be wise to contact a specialist immediately.

2. Big, Black Ants and Smaller Ants With Wings

Carpenter ants mostly live in trees, but they venture into and invade homes. These ants look similar to normal ants, but there are some differences that you should be on the lookout for. Carpenter ants’ bodies range between 3/8 and 1/2 of an inch. While they do range in size and color, carpenter ants are typically black, have distinct bent antennas, a rounded thorax, and a very narrow waist. Ants that have wings are in their reproductive stage. If you spot a cluster of winged ants in your home it means they are looking for a nesting site, and you should seek to prevent infestation right away.

3. Examine Wood and Piles of Sawdust

Carpenter ants threaten your home's structure. Unlike termites, they do not eat wood. Rather, they manipulate wood by cutting, shoveling, and gathering wood to be used in their own nests. Carpenter ants are especially partial to damp wood. If they are allowed to work uninhibited, it can cause major damage to your home and spaces.

When checking your home for ants, be especially aware of tiny piles of sawdust. Carpenter ants deposit unneeded wood shavings outside of their holes. If you see these telltale piles of sawdust near wooden structures or walls, you may have carpenter ants in your home.

4. Rustling Sounds

When you have a major infestation, you may hear faint rustling sounds coming from your walls. A good test is to knock on the wall and then press your ear against it. You may hear a faint sound like crinkling cellophane - these are ants moving through the wood. Noise of this kind is an indication of an extreme infestation, and you should seek the help of a specialist as quickly as possible.

5. Wood Damage

Look for damaged wood in your home. You may see rotted wood, soft wood or wood that has collapsed. If wood in your home has these signs, it may mean that ants are burrowing beneath it.

 

Rid Your Home of Carpenter Ants

Unfortunately, discovering and removing an ant nest from your home may not be the solution to your problem. Often, the main colony is actually outside of the home and can be up to a hundred yards away.
Carpenter ants do not disappear easily! Despite spraying and other homeowner defense methods, these ants have an uncanny ability to quickly come back.

Because of this, many experts suggest that you save yourself time and energy and invest in a professional who can get the job done right the first time. Pest control companies, such as Clean Crawls, can help assess your pest problem and suggest the best solution.

Now that you are familiar with how to detect carpenter ants in your home, you can prevent them from entering and damaging your house. If you suspect an insect invasion has already started, contact us at 866-606-2914.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

crawl space critters

Chuck Henrichsen

President and CEO of Clean Crawls, Treasurer of E3 World Wide, proud husband and father.

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