Can Carpenter Ants Cause Structural Damage to a Property?

Many people including exterminators think carpenter ants are not as destructive as termites and this is mostly true. This causes some homeowners to put off extermination, do DIY extermination rather than hire a professional or to simply ignore the infestation since presumably, the ants can cause major damage anyway.

There are a few factors that are easy to overlook and which make carpenter ants just as dangerous as termites.

Carpenter ants can most definitely cause damage, not only to the wood frames of properties, but also to hollow doors, and in many cases too, to foam insulation. The damage is caused when carpenter ants tunnel into damp wood to build their nests. If you are starting to see signs of a carpenter ant problem then Call The Exterminators asap to schedule an ant extermination Toronto. Call: 647-496-2211

Why Carpenter Ants Are Dangerous

Carpenter ants are also associated with wet and damp wood but cases of carpenter ants excavating dry, solid wood, fibreglass or foam insulation and PVC pipes are not uncommon. This damage can get very expensive very quickly if unchecked.

The presence of carpenter ants in the first place is indicative of a larger problem. Because of their affinity to rotting or damp wood, you most likely have moisture issues such as a leaking roof. Exterminating the pests is just one problem. Get a thorough inspection to repair and replace the moisture prone areas. Although carpenter ants themselves may not collapse your house, they may weaken support beams or foundation enough for a storm or heavy snow to do the rest.

Carpenter ant colonies are usually found around decks, windows, eaves, verandas, bathrooms, and kitchens and they use the wiring and pipes in the structure to get to and from their colonies. The presence of mating swarms of carpenter ants, is usually an indication that there is a colony nearby.

As their name implies, carpenter ants will chew into any moist wood to create their nests, but unlike termites, they do not eat the wood. Instead, they hollow out the wood to create galleries and tunnels for the purpose of raising their young. Carpenter ants keep their nests clean by pushing the sawdust away from the entrance to their nest, and it’s these little piles of sawdust which are a good indication that your house has an infestation of carpenter ants.

They stay in their nests during the day and come out at night to look for food, usually sweets, meat, fat, as well as other insects, so if you suspect that you may have carpenter ants in your home, it is best to use a flashlight at night to confirm your suspicions.

When and Where to Inspect for Carpenter Ants

Keep in mind that carpenter ants are nocturnal which means that they are active at night. You may want to begin your search at night if possible. Early morning and late evening are also good times to inspect for carpenter ants.

Just because you have spotted the ants doesn’t mean that they are nesting in your house. The pests could very easily be nesting outside in a tree stump and simply coming in and out of the house to forage for food or water. There might also be a parent colony outside and a satellite colony inside the house. Carpenter ant colonies work together and share food and resources rather than compete like most other species of ants. The point is you should be prepared to do a through inspection inside and outside.

Indoors these ants prefer to live in widow and door sills and frames, kitchen and bathroom walls, around sinks and in chimneys. For an indoor nest site, focus your search around;

  • Attics
  • Areas with moisture problems
  • Inside wall voids
  • Ceiling
  • Windows
  • Skylights
  • Floor and subfloors
  • Plumbing and piping
  • Dishwashers

Take your search outdoors and focus around;

  • Garden waste and debris piles
  • Trees
  • Mulch beds
  • Dead trees and stumps
  • Fences and woodpiles
  • Windows and door frames
  • Utility entrances such as gas lines, telephone, TV and cable
  • Gutters and roof lines
  • Outdoor structures such as dog houses and sheds.

Pay attention to signs of carpenter ant activities such as sawdust-like material near wood structures and galleries and tunnels in damaged wood. You can also knock walls, baseboard and other wood surfaces and structures you suspect the ants could be nesting. Listen for a faint, rustling sound which indicates the ant’s presence.

Using sprays and baits to get rid these ants is very often effective as long as they are directed towards eliminating the nest. Most times, it is best to simply call in a professional pest control company like The Exterminators Inc. to eliminate the ants. To prevent an infestation, cracked interior walls and leaking roofs should be repaired immediately, and a good wood sealant used to prevent the wood from becoming damp and creating the perfect environment for carpenter ants to nest in. Call The Exterminators for effective treatments against carpenter ants, pavement ants, citronella ants and pharaoh ants. Call: 647-496-2211

Hire a Professional Exterminator To Get Rid of Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ant extermination Toronto is one of the most difficult and painstaking jobs even for seasoned professionals. DIY extermination has a high failure rate for a number of reasons.

There is no telling how many satellite colonies exist. Even if you are lucky to destroy one or two nests, there might be many others and you will continue to have the ant problem after spending considerable time and money.

Carpenter ants also split when their nest is disturbed. This is why you should never spray into colonies you find. You could easily multiply your troubles if you are unsuccessful in killing all the ants. Queens, and there could be a number of them, may head in different directions to form new, independent colonies. A few months later and you will have a worse problem than you begin with.

Lastly, most over-the-counter pesticides don’t have the potent active ingredients needed to get rid of carpenter ants. Stringent pesticide and chemical controls in Canada restrict most of these potent pesticides to licensed exterminators and other professionals.

Hire an exterminator who can do the tedious job of finding all ant colonies and treating appropriately. The carpenter ant exterminator in Toronto will also prevent a future infestation by protecting the vulnerable wood and cleaning your yard among other preventive measures. Make sure you get a warranty for the service of at least six months.

Updated: August 6th, 2018

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Joe The Exterminator
Joe The Exterminator

Joe is a professional pest control exterminator with over 15 years of experience and enjoys sharing his knowledge about different pests and how you can deal with them.