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Common Indicators of Fall Carpenter Ants

October 23, 2018

carpenter ant up close

In: Ants

In the summer, you get used to seeing ants all over the place. They roam around your driveway and build small hills in your flower bed. A backyard picnic brings them around by the dozens. An unnoticed spill can bring tiny sugar ants into your home in droves.
 
While all of these ants can be potential problems, for the most part, they remain outside where they belong. Besides, you know that once fall comes around, their numbers will diminish until they disappear for the winter.
 
That isn’t always the case though. Certain ants may decide to enter your home in the fall, hunker down for the winter, then continue to wreak unseen havoc on your house for years to come. These aren’t just nuisance ants; they’re carpenter ants that have the potential to cause thousands of dollars in damage to your home, even to the point of making it unsafe in which to live.
 
Why are carpenter ants so dangerous? It’s due to the damage they cause when they get into your home. When carpenter ants remain in their natural habitat, they can be quite beneficial to that location, helping rotted wood decompose and giving new growth a chance to flourish.
 
However, what’s good for the goose is not always good for the gander. When carpenter ants get into your home, they’ll continue to do what they do, but no homeowner wants carpenter ants speeding the decomposition process of their home’s structure.
 
The reason they can cause so much damage for such a long period of time without being detected is that they often don’t leave a lot of visible signs of their presence until the damage is already quite extensive.
 
Still, there are a few things you can keep a lookout for if you suspect carpenter ants could become a problem for your home.
 
First, know what they look like. Carpenter ants are very large ants. They’re typically about ¾ of an inch long and black or reddish-brown in color. Some have wings, but not all do. If you see one or more in or around your home, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have an infestation, but you could. The few you see could be scouting out your home as a potential location for their next colony, so if you see them, it is best not to ignore them!
 
Second, understand that although they don’t eat wood, they still cause a lot of damage to wood. Carpenter ants make their nests in wood. To do so, they dig tunnels through the wood. Since these tunnels are inside the wood, you won’t see them just by looking at the outside of a beam. However, if you see small holes with sawdust below them or if you knock on a piece of wood and it sounds hollow, you might have a carpenter ant problem.
 
Third, carpenter ants prefer to come out at night to eat. If you think you have carpenter ants, try putting some honey out, turning off the lights, and waiting for the carpenter ants to find it. When you turn on the lights to see them, you can track where they go to figure out where their nest is, which is vital to proper extermination.
 
Finally, keep a close eye on any water-damaged areas. Carpenter ants much prefer damp wood, so areas that have had leaks or damage due to water are at greater risk of infestation.
 
If you see any of these signs, it is important to call in a professional pest control company such as American Pest Solutions. Carpenter ant colonies can have thousands of ants in them and once they’ve invaded your home, they don’t simply stop with one nest. They’ll branch off, building more and more nests, and growing bigger and bigger colonies that can live for dozens of years.
 
American Pest Solutions will inspect your home and offer a customized treatment plan based on your home’s specific needs. We also guarantee our services, so you know we will do what it takes to get it right and eliminate your carpenter ant problem. Give us a call today to get started.

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