One of the most destructive pests that you could find in your home is carpenter ants. Carpenter ants chew into the inside of wooden fittings, including beams and roof timbers, weakening the structures and causing costly damage. If undetected, a colony of carpenter ants can rampage through your home for years, wreaking havoc unnoticed. Call The Exterminators for fast and reliable ant control services.
How fast do carpenter ants destroy wood?
Carpenter ant activity goes through several stages:
Scouting for territory
Your first opportunity to detect carpenter ants comes when the worker ants are out foraging for food. Carpenter ants eat other insects, including termites. Also, the ants feed on nectar, sweet things, such as honey, and even dog food.
So, it’s possible that you might notice one or two worker carpenter ants on scouting missions in your kitchen. That said, there’s plenty of food for the ants outside your home, so you needn’t worry that you’ll find a big infestation going on.
Distinguishing carpenter ants from other species is quite straightforward. Carpenter ants are big, measuring up to half-an-inch long. These ants are mostly black, although there are some subspecies that are reddish or brown in color. Also, worker ants have large mandibles that they use for chewing through wood fibers.
Signs of nest building
Once a nest has been established, you’ll notice small piles of sawdust (frass) appearing underneath the entry holes that lead into the ants’ tunnels. Carpenter ants do not eat wood as termites do. Instead, they simply chew through the wood and discard it, clearing and polishing the tunnels as they go.
Often, you’ll notice sawdust in your basement, garage, and in other secluded areas of your home. Frass can also be seen stuck to your walls around the tunnel entrances or piled up on surfaces.
Flying ants (swarmers)
Flying ants are seen when you have a mature carpenter ant colony on your property. Swarmers, as flying ants are known, are usually seen appearing on your window panes and windowsills inside and outside your home.
Swarmers are sexually mature ants whose job is to leave the established colony and fly off in search of a new territory.
Signs of carpenter ant damage
If a carpenter ant colony or series of parent and satellite colonies goes undiscovered for a length of time, your first clue to their presence will be when you notice structural problems in your home.
Common indicators of damage to wooden structures include:
- Sloping floors
- Sinking ceilings
- Stuck doors and windows
- Bulging walls
If you notice any of these signs, you most likely have carpenter ants in your home.
What to do next
Carpenter ants are extremely difficult to get rid of once they have set up and established colonies. Although there are a few DIY methods that you can try, none of them are reliable, and there is a danger that the ants will return.
We recommend that you use a professional pest control company to deal with a carpenter ant infestation. Pest controllers are highly trained and experienced in dealing with carpenter ants. Also, exterminators have the chemical weaponry and equipment that’s often required to safely and effectively get rid of the pests for good.
Carpenter ants can destroy the very fabric of your home by chewing through wooden structures. Depending on the whereabouts of the ants’ colony, structural damage can occur in just a matter of months.
Rather than chancing the DIY route to getting rid of carpenter ants, hire a professional exterminator to do the job right for you, and banish these destructive pests forever.