Summer Carpenter Ant Prevention For New England Residents

Carpenter Ant crawling on sand.

Carpenter ants are on the move throughout New England. If you’ve noticed these black or reddish-colored ants in or around your home, then you should be concerned. Carpenter ants are usually about ¾ of an inch in length, but can vary slightly in size. Some carpenter ants you see may have wings as well. You may think that noticing only one or two of these ants in your home isn’t a problem, but think again! It’s common to see a few ants here and there scoping the house out before the entire colony moves in. Now is the perfect time to figure out how bad your carpenter ant infestation has become and how to fix it!

Carpenter ants prefer to make their nests in damp and damaged wood, and there is plenty of that here in New England! The plentiful wooded areas in our area also allow carpenter ants thrive here. These destructive ants are able to endure most of the cold weather we encounter as well. To prepare for the winter, they will fatten up and seal themselves in their nest, allowing them to survive the cold winter. Carpenter ants can be very helpful in recycling the fallen trees and decomposing wood in our forests, allowing for new growth to come up and flourish. They are definitely not beneficial to our homes, however.

Carpenter ants won’t hesitate to enter your home and when they invade, they invade in large numbers. Carpenter ant colonies can contain thousands and thousands of ants, not to mention a colony can live for decades! They will create multiple nests in your home, growing the infestation. Because their colonies are so large, these pests can do some serious damage. If you suspect a carpenter ant infestation in your home, don’t put it off! Ignoring the problem could result in devastating damages to your home. When building their nests, carpenter ants may weaken the wood inside our homes to the point where it’s no longer safe to live in.

Finding out where in your home that these pests have built their nests can be quite difficult. Since the damage is inside your home, it’s hard to tell whether your home has been damaged at all. Two signs of carpenter ant activity to look out for is actually seeing the ants in your home and seeing the sawdust or wood shaving they’ve left behind. If you’re seeing either of these signs in your home, it’s time to take action. Here are a few ways you can help prevent carpenter ants on your own:

  • Fix any leaks and repair any water-damaged wood in or on your home. Though dry, undamaged wood is less appealing to carpenter ants, they may create their nests in this type of wood as well.
  • Seal any cracks or holes that these ants could use to gain access to your home and check your screens to make sure there are no holes or tears in them.
  • Keep all of your food covered or sealed in airtight containers. Unlike termites, carpenter ants create their nests without eating the wood. Therefore, you will likely find these ants trying to eat your food. If they can’t find a food source, they’re not likely to enter the home.
  • Eliminate any damp organic debris around your home. This will also make your property less satisfying to carpenter ants. Fallen trees, old logs, and decomposing stumps provide nice homes for carpenter ant colonies, so eliminating them will help to deter them.

DIY efforts can be frustrating when dealing with such large populations of ants and realizing that significant damage has already been done. When dealing with such damaging pests, contacting a professional for help is recommended. American Pest Solutions offers inspection, treatment, and ongoing prevention. Our state-certified and licensed pest control consultants will customize a treatment plan to meets the needs of your property. Don’t wait until the infestation becomes too severe, give us a call at American Pest Solutions today to get started!