Watch Out for Carpenter Ants in Spring

Most ants are simply a nuisance, but others in the case of carpenter ants can cause structural damage to your home if given the opportunity. Because these tiny pests are a common problem in spring, we at United Pest Solutions would like to talk about what makes them different from other ant species and more importantly, what you can do to help keep them away from your home.

What are Carpenter Ants?

Carpenter ants are larger than most ants in the Pacific Northwest, ranging in size from ½” to ⅝” long. While many carpenter ants are black in color, these pests can also be red, brown, or a combination of the two.

Do Carpenter Ants Cause Damage?

Yes, carpenter ants do cause damage, in fact, they’re one of the most structurally damaging pests in the Pacific Northwest. Carpenter ants don’t eat wood, but they excavate it, to help build their nests. They’re typically found outdoors in lumber and trees, but they will also build nests on roofs and anywhere in your home that has damp wood.

How to Prevent Carpenter Ants

As with all pest control, prevention is key. Below are some steps you can take to help prevent carpenter ants.

  • Repair water leaks: these pests are mostly motivated by moisture
  • Remove any damp or rotting wood: carpenter ants tend to seek out wet or decaying wood
  • Seal areas where utilities enter your home: ants can fit into the smallest of spaces
  • Trim tree branches away from your home: branches and limbs could serve as bridges for these pests to gain access into your home

Signs You Have Carpenter Ants

Because carpenter ants create tunnels in wood, they leave behind a sawdust material called, “frass.” If you see frass around your home this could be an indication that you have carpenter ants. Below are some other common signs you may have carpenter ants.

  • “Kick-out holes”: these are the openings created by carpenter ants after they push out the frass
  • Flying carpenter ants: these are identified as swarmers, their purpose is to mate
  • Discarded wings: this is often a sign of a mature infestation

How Do I Eliminate Carpenter Ants?

If you are noticing signs of carpenter ants, you’ll want to contact a professional sooner rather than later. Sometimes the carpenter ant nest you have in your home is actually not their primary nest, but another nest several yards away. A licensed pest control technician will be able to inspect your home, determine the scope of your problem, and effectively treat it.

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