Carpenter ants are on a mission to destroy and take over wooden structures on our property. Most active in the evening hours. These pests do not eat wood like termites. However, they will seek out moist wood and create a satellite colony within it.
Identification: What Do Carpenter Ants Look Like?
- 1/8 -1/2” inch in length
- Usually black or brown in color
- Wood shavings found near activity areas
- Some posse 2 pairs of wings (2nd pair of wings are smaller)
- Slender waist
- Bent antennae
Source of Carpenter Ant Problems
These ants are in hot pursuit of wood damaged by water or moisture. The most common attractions are tree stumps, railroad ties, wooden decks & fences, wood-soil contact, leaky plumbing in the home, warped wooden windows, stored firewood, pet food, sugary plants, bushes & flowers. For more information relating to this pest, check out this page from the University of Minnesota Entomology Department https://extension.umn.edu/insects-infest-homes/carpenter-ants
Carpenter Ant Control
Pesticides will control the ants for the short term… Exterminating all present ants will provide structural control. The negative, new ones will appear in the future. The long-term solution is to identify & eliminate the source drawing them near the dwelling.
Carpenter Ant Prevention
Remove all railroad ties, firewood, old tree stumps, and roots from the property. Replace the old rotting wooden deck, fence, or shed. Make sure gutters are clean and draining properly. Extend gutters or bury downspouts to redirect water as far away from home as possible. Replace mulch with rock in flowerbeds. Confirm that there is zero wood-to-soil contact on your property besides trees and bushes (and maybe mulch if you absolutely need it). If a sprinkler system is present on the property, be aware of where the water is being applied. Ensure sprinklers are not blasting non-target areas like wooden fences, decks, sheds, firewood, railroad ties, and your home. Do not overwater lawns, trees, bushes, and flowerbeds. If your home ever experiences any flooding, replace moist or warped wood inside of the structure.
I found the queen! It’s the one with wings, right?
Usually, the queen is protected and far away from us. More times than not, the winged ants we see are swarmers. What’s a swarmer? These ants are in charge of seeking out new attractive locations to set up a “satellite colony”.
Do Carpenter Ants bite humans?
These big monster ants are capable of biting humans. However, they are not actively seeking to attack us. Their primary instinct is to expand & manifest their territory. The main concern is the devastating damage they cause to wood within a structure.
Will Carpenter Ant Bait eliminate the whole colony?
Bait is definitely a great tool to use when fighting carpenter ants. Some baits are capable of eliminating a whole colony or satellite colony if used correctly. However, the success of baiting treatment hinges upon many variables such as weather, the season of the year, placement & food preference of the ant.
If you are having issues with ants in your home this winter... Check out our previous article https://antpestcontrol.com/winter-ants/
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