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If you are reading this, you are probably wondering how to get rid of carpenter ants. Carpenter ants are one of nature’s most aggressive destroyers. Although they don’t spread any known disease, carpenter ants just like termites damage wood. Unlike the termites, carpenter ants do not feast on the wood. Instead, they hollow through it to establish or enlarge their colonies. This is dangerous since it compromises the stability of your home’s structure.
Carpenter ants get their name from their nest building capabilities. The tiny insects can seriously damage your furniture as well as your wooden floors, walls and even ceiling. The carpenter ant is most active during spring. Their favourite kind of wood is moist or rotting. This is why their nests are found around sinks, showers, dishwashers or behind bathroom tiles.
Even though humidity is important to carpenter ants, they are known to build their nests in dry areas as well. Changes in temperature might give them the urge to infiltrate in large number in the search of food. The main problem with these insects is that when they first invade your home, the damage is unnoticeable. It’s only noticeable when distraction is significant.
How do carpenter ants look like?
Carpenter ants are among Canada’s largest ants with sizes ranging from 3.4 to 13 mm long. They are mostly black. However, their colors often vary with species, and some species are known to have a yellowish or reddish coloration. Some carpenter ants have both black and red colorations. The carpenter ant queen is wingless, while the workers have large mandibles.
How did I get infested by carpenter ants?
Carpenter ants have a reputation of building their nests in damp, moist or rotting wood. If your home has moisture problems caused by leaks, you’ll be a prime target for carpenter ants. They are also known to use overhanging branches to get access to your home. They will also get into your home through unsealed openings around utility pipes using wires as common entry points.
Signs of carpenter ants in your home
The first step to getting rid of these invasive ants is to find out whether you have them in your house or not. Several signs will help you figure out if indeed your home has been invaded by these ants.
Rustling noises. In case the ant infestation in your home is at a significant level, you will be able to hear rustling sounds while listening through your wall. To be certain, knock on your wall pressing your ear against it, if you can hear a sound like crinkling cellophane, then you have ants inside your walls. This sound is often an indicator that you have a serious infestation and you might need to call a pest removal expert immediately.
Sawdustaround your home. In case you notice piles of sawdust-like shavings around your house, there’s a high chance you have a colony of carpenter ants building a nest nearby. In such cases, the first thing you need to do is inspect your house.
Winged adults. Common during spring, winged adults can be found in your house especially close to windows. If you can find any, there could be a colony of carpenter ants inside your house. Carpenter ants are rarely found 30 feet from their nests.
How to get rid of carpenter ants
So, you are certain you have a carpenter ant infestation, and you know what you are looking for. How do you get rid of them?
The first and most important step to getting rid of carpenter ants is by ruining the place for them. Ants just like most invasive insects love a grimy mess. They will take back this loot to their nest. Therefore, the messier and dirty your home is, the more it will be appealing to ants.
The most common place you will find ants in your home is your kitchen since its where a vast quantity of their food is obtained. Cleaning up your kitchen will deter them. Ensure you thoroughly clean your home, wiping surfaces from top to bottom. Make sure not to leave bread crumbs or pieces of food trapped between surfaces. Remember ants need a little bit of dirt or filth to spark their greed. Ensure your kitchen is extremely clean.
Improve your trash behavior
Crumbs and scraps will lure more than just ants; therefore, it’s worth your time taking a look at how you handle your trash. Simply overfilling your bin by letting junk fall off can lure in ants and all manner of insects into your home. Ensure you practice good sanitation by disposing of your trash. Also, make sure your garbage area is far away as possible to your house. If possible, invest in a garbage bin with a lid, and always double bag your trash.
The most common route ants use to get into your house is through cracks and crevices. Sealing up these gaps isn’t an easy task, but it works as a fundamental defence against home invaders of the leggy variety. You will need to carry out a thorough inspection of your home to identify all the entry points. Plug up any hole no matter how tiny it might seem.
Use ant traps
If you have an indoor ant infestation, you could easily get rid of them by trapping them. After you have cleaned up your home and plugged up all the holes, you can begin ant trapping. There are a variety of ant traps in the market to choose from, and they come in different shapes and sizes not to mention prices.
An ant trap is a cardboard strip that is coated with a substance that will grip on the ant once it gets on top. Others are laced with toxins that will immediately kill the ant once it gets into contact. Place these traps in areas you have noticed ant activity in your home and wait. A DIY version of this trap is to sprinkle boric acid, diatomaceous earth or baking soda on something sticky and attractive that will lure the ants. You could use soda, syrup or even grease and spread it on a cardboard strip.
Confusing ant traps and ant baits is easy. Baits unlike traps scrap the frilly stuff and stick to offer poison-laced treats simply. They are packaged in containers to stop the toxins from losing potency. The principle here is to have the ants carry the laced bait back to the nest infecting the entire colony.
It is perhaps the most popular method to get rid of any bugs that get into your home. This method, however, is best suited for ants that are situated in your garden. However, you can still get insecticides that are safe to use indoors. The downside to this is you will need a lot of aerosol sprays to cover the entire home.
Insecticides work in two ways; they can be used to kill the insects, and they can also be used as a preventive measure. If you are using this method for preventive purposes, simply spray the contents of the spray as far wide around your home’s perimeter taking appropriate safety precautions. This method will discourage ants from moving close to your home. A disadvantage is, this method isn’t weatherproof, and you might need to redo the whole process after it rains or snows.
When it comes to eliminating carpenter ants, pesticides work almost instantaneously. Just apply the treatment directly to the ants. Depending on the type of pesticide you use (granulated or liquid) you need to get the toxin inside the nest. Some products can be mixed with boiling water and poured into the anthill. Ant sprays will work when used directly on the insects but will have little effect on the nest or colony. Granulated options can be poured on the anthill opening or their routes; it’s a hit or miss chance whether they carry it back to the nest.
DIY solutions are an inexpensive and safe way to get rid of ants. Some of the most effective natural ingredients for carpenter ants are tea tree oil, peppermint oil, citrus oil, vinegar and surprisingly, vodka. A downside to using this method is the ants need to come into contact with the ingredient to have any effect.
Pest removal services
This is perhaps the most guaranteed method you could use. While it costs significantly more than all the other methods, consulting a professional will be a one-time job. A professional carpenter ant control Toronto company has experienced technicians who understand the workings behind invasive pests.
They will thoroughly inspect your property to find out why and how the carpenter ants invaded your home in the first place. After this, they will carry out the termination process making taking the appropriate safety precautions. The last step of their service will be to apply preventive measure, sealing and safeguarding your home from future invasions. For more information about this service contact us today.