How To Get Rid Of Ants | Carpenter Ant Edition
To get rid of carpenter ants you will need to call an experienced local pest control company. As we will see below, getting rid of carpenter ants involves a thorough inspection of the exterior areas surrounding your home in pursuit of the main nest, along with an interior inspection to look for satellite nests. But let’s learn a little more about these dreaded pests, and see if a premium ant control service is required for your case.
What Are Carpenter Ants?
Carpenter ants are a WDO (wood destroying organism) that comes in the form of a large ant species. They are part of the one-node family of ants, and their workers range from ¼ to ½ an inch in length, with a black or bicolored black and red appearance. Being one of the largest species of ant they are dominant and highly territorial, they are not prepared to share their area with other ants or species such as termites.
Where Do You Find Carpenter Ants?
The Carpenter Ant is found in many forested areas around the world. They prefer moist and humid conditions, although they have been known to adapt to drier climates. That is why finding them in Sacramento is not an uncommon occurrence. Carpenter ants build their nests anywhere that they can find a significant supply of water. That is why it is common for them to be found in moist climates where they reside in old rotting tree stumps, and in homes that have plants. They are also common firewood pests and it is one of their main methods for gaining entry into your home.
What Threats Do Carpenter Ants Pose?
Carpenter Ants & Humans
Carpenter ants pose a serious threat to the native foliage and to the structural integrity of your home. Although they don’t usually have large numbers when it comes to their colonies (carpenter worker ants can usually rise to 2,000 per colony) they can inflict significant damage. Carpenter ants burrow small smooth tunnels in the wood in your home, weakening it similar to that of a dry wood termite. As they are a larger species of ant and have strong mandibles they have been known to bite humans although this is only if they are provoked. They don’t carry disease though, which is usually a common issue with pests.
Carpenter Ants & Termites
There has been an ongoing feud between ants and termites for a long time. This is particularly evident in the war between carpenter ants and dry wood termites that clash often in the walls of your home. Although the dry wood termites outnumber the ants, the sheer size and power of the carpenter ant would take a great number of termites to overthrow them.
How Did I Get Carpenter Ants?
The Carpenter Ant is predominantly attracted to food and water supplies, so your home is the perfect place to find both. Carpenter ants will establish “satellite nests” inside the wood of your home. They do not eat the wood like termites; just hollow it out to create a nest. From this nest, they will acquire their required food and water. Carpenter ants will generally reside in your walls, however, they will be attracted to your internal irrigation system so their nests can be close to the pipes. The ant is also a common household pest that gets brought into your home through firewood. Carpenter ants prefer warm and moist climates, but in the winter months when temperatures drop in Sacramento and Elk Grove, they will try and make their way indoor. Firewood is used more often during the winter months will result in an increase of a carpenter ant invasion.
What Do Carpenter Ants Eat?
Carpenter ants eat living and dead insects, meats, fats, and sugars. The most common food that they love is from honeydew (produced by Aphids) and nectar plants. What distinguishes carpenter ants from dry wood termites is that they do not eat wood. During their excavating process of your home, they will carry the wood to the external outlets of their tunnels, depositing the tiny particles of wood into little piles on the floor beneath them.
What Are The Signs Of A Carpenter Ant Infestation?
To the untrained eye, you may never know you have a carpenter ant infestation until it is too late. But here are three things to look out for that should set off alarm bells when it comes to ant infestations:
Carpenter Ant Sounds
One of the signs of a carpenter ant infestation is the sound of scuttling in the walls. It is pretty distinct, and as they preferably work from late in the day through the night it becomes noticeable in the silence.
Carpenter Ant Frass
Another sign of a carpenter ant infestation is the small piles of wood particles that are deposited in neat piles beneath small holes in the wall. Carpenter ant frass is different from termites. Carpenter ant frass will appear as sawdust or small wood splinters. It will also contain dead insect parts. Drywood termite frass will be small hard, grooved pellets. They vary in color depending on the type of wood they are eating. These holes are just the entrance/exit to the ant nest.
Carpenter Ant Damage To Wood
The third sign of a carpenter ant infestation is the hollowness of wood after these ants have had their way with it. Much like the dry wood termite, they will leave wood spongy to touch, with a hollow sound as it has been eaten away internally.
Are There Positives To Carpenter Ant Infestations?
One of the only positives to a Carpenter Ant infestation is that they can wipe out other species that pose structural damage to your home, like the dry wood termite. Although the dry wood termite will outnumber them, carpenter ants can do significant damage to the numbers of a termite colony. Although if these infestations go unimpeded for long your house will suffer, these temporary battles will slow down the progress they make, as their attention and numbers on both sides will lessen due to being occupied on the battlefield.
How To Get Rid Of Carpenter Ants?
To get rid of Carpenter Ants it is a pest to hire a local pest control company, as they can be quite difficult to get rid of. But there are techniques to help hinder their progress in your home:
Check Firewood For Pest Infestations
Inspect any piece of firewood that you bring into the house, and if there are signs of an ant infestation, shake vigorously, or even discard it. Better to be safe than sorry, as allowing a few in could result in them breeding and multiplying to become a major issue. Do not store firewood directly on the ground, make sure to have it elevated, and never in contact with your home either.
Cut Back Foliage From House
Make sure that there is a significant gap from your home and the surrounding trees and bushes. Carpenter ants could be infesting these trees and it only takes one branch making contact with your home to allow them to gain access.
Store Food and Water Away
Be aware of any loose food lying around your home, ants are notorious scavengers who have a sophisticated network when it comes to sourcing food and water. Store food in airtight containers, and check your pipes for leaks. To an ant, even a few drops of water is enough to satisfy hundreds of them.
If carpenter ants have already gained access to your home it is best to call a Sacramento pest control company immediately. We have the tools and expertise to find where the carpenter ant nest is, and what is the best method to deal with them.
Carpenter Ant Extermination Process
The carpenter ant extermination process involves a full inspection of the exterior area surrounding your home in order to locate the main nest. The main carpenter ant nest is commonly found in a dead tree stump. They may not even be in your yard but in your neighbor’s. We will apply the non-repellent products directly to the nest and to edges of all hardscapes, foundation, the base of trees and shrubbery and around doors and windows. A full interior inspection to locate the ant satellite nests which are commonly found around windows and doors. We treat these nests with a non-repellant dust formulation. Dust can be applied to entry/exit holes but often requires drilling through the drywall into the wood to gain access to the galleries. Multiple services may be required to locate and eliminate all satellite nests.
Ant Control Experts in Sacramento
If you have noticed any of the above-mentioned signs of an ant infestation around your home we would highly recommend you give us a call toll-free on (888) 885-5017. You can also submit an online contact form. Carpenter ant infestations are no joke they can inflict significant damage to you and your home. If you’re in need of an experienced pest extermination company in Elk Grove, Sacramento or Roseville call us now!