The number one cause of wood damage in the Pacific Northwest is created by the carpenter ant.  Catching a carpenter ant infestation early on is the key to less damaged wood and overall structural damage.  This article is going to show you how to recognize the signs of carpenter ant damage.  As well as being a guide on how to find appropriate pest control services.

How to Recognize a Carpenter Ant

It’s fairly easy to recognize this ant. Even if you are not a pest control professional. One can identify these as black large ants.

What is this ant’s appearance?

The appearance of an ant

A carpenter ant is black or dark brown in color. This pest may also be yellow, red, or red and black.  These ants are large insects measuring between 3.4 to 13 mm.

What does carpenter ants damage look like?

Carpenter ants do not seek nourishment when they eat wood. They create their nests in this damage. Ants including those ants with wings, tunnel through it and shape their nest inside, the softer sides of the grain.  The next section has places that are common areas of damage when you see signs that a carpenter ant maybe present in your home.

Places you may recognize ant damage

You may recognize the presence of black ants in your house when you see wood shavings around these areas:

  •  floor joists
  •  walls studs
  •  furniture made of wood

Signs of a Carpenter Ant Infestation

Signs of carpenter ant infestation

Some signs of an ant infestation include the following:

  • You may see large black or little black ants in your house
  • Piles of sawdust-like wood shavings are located around the window, door jambs, and baseboards
  • You might find long paths or trails on your lawn. This is due to the distance a carpenter ant travel to search for food to bring back to the nest.
  • You can often hear them stirring inside the building.  This is usually a light rustling sound as they make tunnels for their nests.
  • See these winged pests in crevices and cracks of your walls, floor joists, or ceiling
  • Lastly, you may see or find the discarded wings of the swarmers ants by the baseboards, vents, or window sills.

What makes Carpenter Ants Suddenly Appear?

Just because you haven’t seen any carpenter ants in a while doesn’t mean they are gone.  This non-activity could be because they are busy building their nests or tending to the colony.

Carpenter ants leave the ant colony during dry and sunny weather. It is during this time they look for food. These ants prefer to care for the pupae of the colony when it is damp or cold outdoors. This ensures these young ants are able to mature and nest within their home. In addition, it aids in doing wood damage to a building or your home.

What Temperatures do Carpenter ants prefer?

Carpenter ants prefer it when daily temperatures average around 45 degrees. It is at these temperatures that you will recognize the presence of carpenter ants in cold weather. However, should you notice more carpenter ants, they have most likely been present within the building for much longer.

Do carpenter ants leave frass?

A carpenter ant does not eat wood as termites do, yet they do leave behind proof they exist. Similar to how a termite leaves “termite dirt” which are noticeably balanced pellets consisting of wood carpenter ants leave frass.

Carpenter ants leaving frass

What does frass look like?

Frass is the wood shavings the worker expels from their galleries when they are making their home. This is done as they unearth dead insects and accumulated waste products released after feeding.

The Difference Between Carpenter Ants and Termite Damage

One way to distinguish a termite and carpenter ant infestation is to take a closer look at the damaged wood. The carpenter ants like it to create their nests. They get no nutritional value; therefore, they don’t consume it as termites do. There are holes in the galleries of a carpenter ant. These holes allow for worker ants to dismiss rejected debris.

How do you know if you have a carpenter ant infestation?

Carpenter ants keep the wood in their galleries polished and smooth, while termites galleries are filled with mud and soil. Although the surface of it may not look damage, one can identify signs of a carpenter ant galleries by these holes.

Do carpenter ants destroy wood?

Carpenter ants are not as damaging a pest as a termite. However, over time it can become significant. As the ant colony increases in size, the ants nest also grows inside.  This increased ant colony activity causes more structural damage by these pests. These little black ants in house may look like termite work, except it is polished clean, and smooth inside.

Carpenter ants destroying woods

How long does it take for carpenter ants to destroy wood?

It could take many years for a carpenter ant to do equal harm termites do to a building.  Property that has problems with moisture is often the reason for a carpenter ant infestation.

How is wood harmed by ants?

Carpenter ants get their name from how they find their way through the wood. The formation of tunnels results in harm to the structure of a building as they create nests. It weakens the basic framework of the building as they construct their colony.

Where do these ants prefer to nest?

Carpenter ants choose to use decaying wood as a place to build their home and nests. You will often see carpenter ant colonies in places with consistent temperature and humidity. It is placed with lots of moisture that ants carpenter.

How do you get rid of the pests?

A.N.T Pest control getting rid of ant pest

Interesting Fact: When ants see a dead ant they carry their waste out of the nest and get rid of it in the midden. The midden is a pile. It is like a dumpster which also acts as a cemetery. Ants move the body of a dead ant to prevent contamination of their queen.

The best way to get rid of a carpenter ant infestation is to call a professional.  The professional you call knows the signs and differences between carpenter ants and termites.  The first and most important contact should be with a licensed pest control company.

Carpenter ants do not consume the wood they nest in. However, a colony that has been active for several years results in severe property destruction.

The treatment services you contact know what areas of a home or yard to search.  They look for debris, decaying wood, and walls with cracks in them.

Your first call should be to A.N.T. Pest Control. This professional treatment expert you contact knows the best ant killer for yard. Their treatment and services your ant infestation requires. Ant Pest Control is a rights-reserved company offering you these very important ant removal services.

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