If you’ve seen more than one carpenter ant inside your home, you need carpenter ant pest control - stat! They are fast actors, non-stop workers, quick movers, and can burrow into your home before you can blink an eye. Carpenter ants cause massive structural damage if not stopped quickly. Thus, do not hesitate to call a carpenter ant pest control expert right away.
Importantly, you must be able to differentiate a carpenter ant from different ant breeds to identify whether you have an infestation.
Some physical characteristics of carpenter ants are as follows:
- Carpenter ants are among the largest ants found in North America (though they are found all over the world).
- Their bodies exhibit a structure divided into three segments.
- Some carpenter ants are winged.
- They are usually ¼” to ¾” long.
- The majority of carpenter ants are black, though there are some slight color variants in some cases (brown or red).
What to Know about Carpenter Ants
- Carpenter ants primarily feed on insects. However, they’ve also been known to eat dog food.
- They often travel in flying swarms at night.
- They bite (if provoked) but do not sting. Their bites can be quite painful. This is because the bites contain formic acid, which enters the open wound.
- Pheromones, instead of vision, guide them.
- Carpenter ants are particularly problematic in New England, where many homes are made of wood, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in damage.
- Carpenter ants can lift up to seven times their own body weight with their jaws. That’s like a human lifting a full-sized car.
- Some species of carpenter ants chew through wiring and destroy electrical devices, such as TV sets.
- Each colony can contain up to 10,000 individual ants.
- Scientists have discovered colonies with multiple queens. These are known as super-colonies, and they are very difficult to destroy.
- Carpenter ants are primarily, but not exclusively, nocturnal.
- If a nest or colony is disturbed, it will restructure and relocate.
- A colony does not necessarily need to be inside a wooden structure; for example, colonies found inside creosote.
- Carpenter ants will forage for food at night at distances of several hundred feet.
Carpenter Ants vs. Termites
Carpenter ants and termites are often confused. However, termite pest control and carpenter ant pest control are carried out quite differently and are not the same, so it’s important to know which is which. Aside from the physical characteristics, which are different (termites are primarily brown and bi-segmented), there are many behavioral differences. Termites ingest wood particles, while carpenter ants remove wood shavings without ingestion. Carpenter ants do not cause as much immediate damage as termites, but they do catch up in the long term.
Property Damage: Telltale Signs
There are multiple areas of your property that you should check if you suspect carpenter ant activity. Carpenter ants, as their name suggests, are drawn to wooded areas. They easily burrow through them, especially if the wood is old, damaged, or porous. Inspect areas like fence posts, door frames, window frames, and plumbing that may be held in place by wood structures, the basement, woodpiles, and so forth. If you notice any clusters or lines of carpenter ants, this, of course, is a clear indication of an infestation.
Another sign is an audible clicking or chewing sound within your walls. Sometimes carpenter ants may not be visible, but their presence might be noticed through audible signals.
If you see any evidence of frass, or very fine carpenter any sawdust, or noticeable damage to the wood itself, you more than likely have a carpenter ant infestation. Hence you need to exercise carpenter ant pest control right away.
One of the reasons why it is so important to act fast if you suspect you have a carpenter ant infestation is to ensure that any claim you may submit for damage is honored by your insurance company.
While homeowner’s insurance policies vary from company to company, most insurers differentiate between sudden and gradual damage. In some cases, according to insurers, homeowners should have taken reasonable steps. This is to prevent further damage from something, such as insect infestation.
So, if a homeowner observed signs of a carpenter ant infestation over time but did nothing to stop it for an extended period of time until there was serious structural damage, he or she may not be reimbursed for the total cost of repairing the damage by the insurer.
For this reason, it is of the utmost importance that if you see the telltale signs of carpenter ant activity, you act fast. Do not wait until the infestation hits the crisis level. Not only will your home sustain serious damage. But you also may not receive support from your insurance company.
Understanding Carpenter Ant Pest Control
There are several different methods to consider when approaching carpenter ant pest control. The main question is: what is the best pest control for carpenter ants? You may want to consider a DIY approach to carpenter ant pest control. Or you may want to immediately make an appointment with a carpenter ant pest control expert. Depending on what your needs are, the extent of the infestation, the urgency of the situation, the signs of carpenter ant damage to your property, and your general comfort level.
The DIY Approach
The DIY approach to handling carpenter ant pest control may be the best pest control for carpenter ants in certain situations. This is particularly true if the infestation has not gotten out of control.
In other words, you are not seeing major structural damage. There are no carpenter ants in every room. You do not feel that the carpenter ants are posing a serious health risk to you and your family, and so on. You might have caught the infestation early enough where the DIY approach is, indeed, the best pest control for carpenter ants.
DIY carpenter ant pest control typically involves the following steps:
- Before going any further, make sure to read ALL directions first. Take all precautions involving removing people and pets from any areas where insecticides are going to be used.
- Removing all extraneous collections of wood, such as woodpiles, etc.
- Repairing or replacing old or rotted wood.
- Thoroughly rake your yard and apply a carpenter ant insecticide, wearing the requisite protective gear.
- Carefully vacuum the inside of your home and free it of as much extraneous clutter as possible (besides, you don’t want that stuff anyway!)
- Applying carpenter ant bait (e.g., a duster). Wear protective gear and carefully follow all instructions.
- Applying a carpenter ant insecticide (e.g., a foam). Again, wear protective gear and follow the directions.
- Take steps to prevent future infestations, including treating your backyard and your plumbing fixtures, applying an outdoor duster, and so forth.
Hiring a Carpenter Ant Pest Control Specialist
There are times when an infestation is too far advanced for a DIY approach to carpenter ant pest control to be appropriate or effective. When an infestation has reached a critical level, there is absolutely no doubt that hiring a professional is the best pest control service for carpenter ants.
As previously mentioned, a serious carpenter ant infestation can cause real structural damage to your property. This can make the floors unsafe to walk on, the walls weak, the surfaces unsanitary, and so forth. Additionally, a carpenter ant infestation can be both frightening and unsightly.
The Importance of Professional Expertise in Pest Control
At night, the ants often swarm from one satellite nest to another. The winged carpenter ants take flight. And this is quite a disturbing sight to see and not exactly something you’ll want to tackle with a shop vac. Rather, in situations like this, it’s best to pick up the phone and get a professional out to your property as soon as possible.
Pest control specialists are professionally trained to identify all carpenter ant nests, which are not easy to find. This is part of the reason why so many carpenter ant infestations become out of control. They are able to go unnoticed for several years until they have multiplied in huge numbers and done considerable damage.
No matter how vast the infestation may be, one of the biggest advantages of hiring a pest control specialist is that they are able to get a carpenter ant infestation under control - fast. Time is true of the essence with carpenter ants.
Additionally, they have access to specialized chemicals and insecticides that are not available for purchase without the proper license. These strong, powerful chemicals are incredibly effective tools against carpenter ants.
It is also important to note that a carpenter ant pest control specialist will know how to find and destroy the queen. Without destroying the queen, it is virtually impossible to wipe out the colony.
Comprehensive Plan and Preventive Measures
Carpenter ant pest control specialists will be able to formulate a plan with you, the homeowner. To destroy the infestation, clean your home and yard, and prevent future infestations safely and effectively. This involves treating the inside and outside of your home. Dusters are often employed. To prevent the re-entry of carpenter ants, professionals meticulously seal surfaces and fixtures. Even the smallest crevices and cracks are patched and repaired to fortify your home and make it impenetrable. Outdoor walls and garages are sprayed with the best ant killer spray, and shrubbery is relocated so that it is not directly up against your house.
Pest control professionals may also be able to refer you to a contractor, if necessary, who can mitigate any structural damage to your home in conjunction with your insurance company. Therefore, when an infestation is severe, there is no doubt that hiring a professional is the best pest control service for carpenter ants.
Carpenter Ants Pest Control Cost
The carpenter ant pest control cost, like any other part of a household budget, is something to consider. One of the reasons why the DIY pest control approach is more appealing is that the upfront costs are less. It typically involves purchasing goggles, a mask, rubber gloves, and several bottles of insecticides, all of which are available for purchase under $100.
Carpenter ants pest control cost becomes much more considerable, at face value, if you choose to hire a professional. However, it is a misconception that in the long run, the DIY approach is less expensive.
Carpenter ant infestations often involve multiple hidden nests scattered throughout the property. These nests are not easily visible and can be found in various locations, including indoors, outdoors, and within the walls of your property. Others lurk under the floorboards. Often, if you see a few carpenter ants gathered in a corner of your home, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Carpenter ants are resilient, adaptive, and difficult to get rid of.
For this reason, many people who initially try the DIY attempt at carpenter ant pest control wind up retaining a professional. While the upfront fees are more considerable, a professional carpenter ant pest control expert gets the job done right. They also take preventative measures to ensure that there will not be any future infestations, saving you time, money, and aggravation.
Conclusion: Carpenter Ant Pest Control
Carpenter ants are a big problem throughout North America. Carpenter ants are adaptive, clever, and persistent. They are unwelcome and unwanted visitors that wreak havoc on our homes and yards, virtually destroying anything and everything made out of wood.
Fortunately, there are several different approaches to handling carpenter ant pest control. For infestations that are newer and not too severe, a DIY approach may be best, wherein you do not need to call in a professional. For more serious and pervasive infestations, the DIY approach might be inadequate.
In such situations, entrusting professionals with enough experience is optimal. This is to ensure the job is executed accurately and restore your peace of mind. It’s also a sound investment when considering the cost of carpenter ant pest control. It might be slightly more expensive to hire a professional than to attempt to do the job yourself. But there is no putting a price on the health, happiness, and peace of mind of you and your family, knowing that your home is safe, clean, and protected once again. Contact A.N.T Pest Control now, the pest control experts around New Lenox Illinois who can provide you best ant removal services to get rid of ants that are causing disturbances to you.