Are you noticing small cracks on your furniture or baseboards that you can’t quite explain? If you live in an area where common carpenter ants, these pests may have found their way into your home.
While most ant species are merely annoying nuisances, carpenter ants are serious pests that should be dealt with immediately. These wood-destroying insects tunnel through structural lumber, causing extensive damage to structures and furniture.
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most common signs of carpenter ants in your house so that you can be on the lookout for them. Also, we will provide some tips on how to get rid of these pests if you find them in your home.
What Are Carpenter Ants?
Carpenter ants are a species of ant known for their wood-destroying habits. These pests are commonly found in the United States, especially in areas with a lot of moisture. Carpenter ants get their name from their nests built by excavating wood. While carpenter ants do not eat wood like termites, their nesting habits can still cause significant damage to your home.
Signs Of Carpenter Ants In Your House
The easiest way to tell if you have carpenter ants is by finding their nests. These nests are usually located in damp or rotting wood. If you tap on the wood, you may hear a hollow sound. You may also see sawdust piles nearby. The details include:
1. Presence Of Flying Ants
The most common sign of carpenter ants in your house is the presence of large winged ants, also known as swarmers. Swarmers are carpenters ant reproductives that leave their nests searching for new places to start colonies. If you see winged ants indoors, it’s a good indication of an active carpenter ant nest somewhere in your house.
2. Ant Trails
Carpenter ants are very tiny insects, and they always keep their nests clean. You will often see them traveling in straight lines, called ant trails. These trails are usually about the width of an ant’s body, and they can be easily followed to find the nest.
3. Piles Of Wood Shavings
One of the telltale signs of carpenter ants is piles of wood shavings near their nests. Carpenter ants hollow out wood to create their nests, and they push the shavings out through tiny holes in the wood. These piles of shavings are a sure sign that there are carpenter ants nearby.
4. Damaged Wood
Carpenter ants can cause serious damage to wood, especially if they are left unchecked. If you see any damaged wood in your house, it’s a good indication that carpenter ants are present. The damage is usually caused by the ants hollowing out the wood to create their nests.
5. Rustling Noises In The Wall Voids
If you hear strange noises coming from your walls, it could signify carpenter ants. Carpenter ants make a clicking noise when they’re working, and this noise can be heard through walls. If you hear this noise, it’s a good idea to investigate further to see if carpenter ants are present.
6. Damaged Wood Will Have Sanded Texture
Carpenter ants hollow out wood to create their nests, and in the process, they leave behind a telltale sign: a sanded texture on the wood. This sanded texture is caused by the carpenter ant’s mandibles, covered in tiny teeth. If you see this sanded texture on any wood in your house, it’s a good indication that carpenter ants are present.
7. Temporary Disappearance Is Common As They’re Not Constantly Active
Carpenter ants are not constantly active, so it’s common to disappear temporarily. This is usually because they’re searching for food or water. So, if you don’t notice carpenter ants for a few days, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re gone for good.
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What Attracts Carpenter Ants?
Carpenter ants are attracted to soft, wet wood, food, and damp, dark places. If you have carpenter ants in your home, it is essential to find and eliminate the source of the problem. The sources can be:
1. Soft, Wet Wood
Carpenter ants are attracted to soft, wet wood. This is because they need this type of wood to build their nests. When carpenter ants find this type of wood, they will excavate it and create a nest.
Carpenter ants are also attracted to food because they need it to survive. Carpenter ants will forage for food in areas where there is a lot of human activity.
3. Damp and Dark Places
Carpenter ants are also attracted to damp and dark places. These places provide them with the moisture they need to survive. Carpenter ants will often build their nests in these types of places.
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How Destructive are Carpenter Ants?
Carpenter ants are one of the most destructive ant species in North America. They damage homes and other structures by excavating tunnels through the wood. These tunnel systems can weaken the structural integrity of a building, making it more susceptible to collapse.
1. Infestation Starts With Damp Wood
Carpenter ants are attracted to damp or rotting wood. If your home has any water damage, such as a leaky roof or plumbing, it could be appealing to these pests. Once they find a source of food and water, they’ll start to build their carpenter ant nests.
2. They Can Cause Electrical Problems
Carpenter ants are also known to cause electrical problems. Because they like to build their nests in wood, they often chew through electrical wires. This can create all sorts of issues, including power outages and fires. If you notice any chewing marks on your electrical wires, it’s good to call an exterminator right away.
3. They Can Destroy Personal Belongings
Carpenter ants will also destroy personal belongings in their quest for food. These ants are attracted to sweets and proteins, so they will often invade pantries and cabinets searching for food. Once they find their way into these areas, they can contaminate food and damage packaging. If you notice carpenter ants in your pantry or cabinets, it’s best to throw out any contaminated food and contact an exterminator.
4. Carpenter Ants Can Be Difficult to Control
Once carpenter ants have infested your home, they can be challenging to get rid of. These pests are attracted to sweet foods and sugary drinks, so keep your kitchen clean and free of crumbs. It would be best if you also sealed any cracks or gaps in your home’s exterior to prevent worker carpenter ants from getting inside. If you have a carpenter ant problem, it’s best to call a pest control professional for help.
The amount of carpenter ant damage depends on the colony’s size. A small settlement may only do minor damage, while a large one could bring down an entire house. If you suspect you have carpenter ant infestations, it’s essential to have it looked at by a professional as soon as possible for carpenter ant control.
Do Carpenter Ants Eat Wood?
Carpenter ants are one of the most common ants found in North America. Though they are not as destructive as termites, carpenter ants can still cause damage to your home if they are left unchecked.
Carpenter ants do not eat wood, but they will tunnel through it to create their nests. This tunneling can weaken the structural integrity of your home and lead to expensive repairs down the road.
How To Get Rid Of Carpenter Ants?
To deal with a carpenter ant infestation, you can try:
1. Locate The Nest
The first step is to find the carpenter ants’ burrow. This can be tricky, as carpenter ants will travel up to 100 yards from their nests searching for food. However, if you can locate the nest, you can more easily get rid of the carpenter ants. To find the nest:
- Look for large piles of sawdust near where you’ve seen carpenter ants. Carpenter ants excavate tunnels as they travel, and these tunnels are lined with sawdust.
- Follow carpenter ants back to their nest. If you see a carpenter ant during the day, it is likely traveling away from the nest, searching for food. Follow him back to see where he came from.
- Listen for rustling sounds in walls or ceilings. Carpenter ants make a rustling sound as they travel through their nests.
2. Destroy The Nest
Once you’ve located the nest, you can destroy it. There are a few different options that are effective against carpenter ants, but we recommend using a product that contains boric acid. Boric acid is a natural substance that is toxic to carpenter ants.
Prevent insecticides and pesticides around your home, as this will only kill some of the ants and force the carpenter ants to create new satellite colonies.
If you’re having trouble finding the nest or want to be sure that all of the carpenter ants are eliminated, you can set out bait. Carpenter ants are attracted to sweets, so sugar-based baits are particularly effective.
4. Sealing Entry Points
Once you’ve destroyed the nest and eliminated the existing black carpenter ants, you’ll need to take steps to prevent new carpenter ants from entering your home. Inspect your home for cracks and crevices that could serve as entry points. Seal these openings with caulk or another sealant to prevent carpenter ants from entering.
5. Keep Your Home Clean
Carpenter ants are attracted to food sources, so one of the best ways to prevent them from returning is to keep your home clean. Vacuum regularly and wipe up spills quickly to prevent carpenter ants from finding food in your home.
Why Do Carpenter Ants Suddenly Appear?
There could be several reasons why carpenter ants would suddenly appear in your home. It could be that they were already present but hidden and have now come out into the open due to a lack of food. Or, it could be that they’ve recently moved into your home from outside, attracted by something like a leaky pipe or unprotected food source.
How Do I Get Rid Of Carpenter Ants In My House?
The best way to get rid of carpenter ants is to call a pest control company that can identify and treat the problem quickly and efficiently. However, there are also some things you can do yourself to try to get rid of them, like removing any potential food sources and sealing up any cracks or openings where they might be getting in.
Should I Be Worried If I See Carpenter Ants?
Yes, you should be worried if you see carpenter ants in your home. While they don’t carry diseases like some other types of ants, they can cause severe damage to your property as they tunnel through wood to create their nests.
What Attracts Carpenter Ants Indoors?
Several things can attract carpenter ants indoors, such as leaks, damp wood, and unprotected food sources. To prevent them from coming inside, it’s important to address any potential attractants and make sure your home is well-sealed.
How Do You Know If Ants Are In The Walls?
There are a few signs that you can look for to see if ants are in the walls, such as small holes or tunnels in the wood, piles of sawdust near these openings, and actual ants crawling around.
How Long Does It Take To Get Rid Of Carpenter Ants?
It can take a few weeks to get rid of carpenter ants completely. However, if you address the problem quickly and efficiently, you can hopefully get rid of them before they cause too much damage.
What Time Of Year Are Carpenter Ants Active?
Carpenter ants are most active during the spring and summer months when they’re searching for food and mates. However, they can also be active during other times, so it’s essential to look for them year-round.
How Do You Find A Carpenter Ant Nest?
One way to find a carpenter ant nest is to follow the worker ants back to their home. However, this can be difficult, so another method is to look for signs of nests, such as small holes in wood or piles of sawdust near these openings.
Do Ant Traps Work On Carpenter Ants?
Yes, ant traps can be effective at getting rid of carpenter ants. However, placing the traps in strategic locations is essential, such as near potential food sources or nest sites.
Which Are Worse Termites Or Carpenter Ants?
Both termites and carpenter ants can cause severe damage to your property if left unchecked. However, termites are typically more destructive, as they feed on wood 24/7 and can quickly eat through a structure. On the other hand, Carpenter ants only tunnel through wood to create their nests and generally don’t cause as much damage.
Do Carpenter Ants Come Back Every Year?
There’s no guarantee that carpenter ants won’t come back after getting rid of them. However, if you take measures to prevent them from coming back, such as sealing up cracks and removing potential food sources, you can hopefully keep them away.