carpenter ant frass

Signs of a Carpenter Ant Infestation 

Carpenter Ant Infestation Signs

Having pests around the house is usually a great nuisance for every homeowner.  It gets even worse when they cannot be seen thus delaying the detection process and in turn the termination process. Carpenter ants are one of those pests that could lead to total destruction of all the wooden parts of a house over a long period without being noticed. Carpenter ants live in colonies and are black, red or a combination of these two colors. Rather than damaging wood directly like termites, they hollow into wood that has been damaged by decay or moisture and build their nests in them. Below are some of the basic signs of an infestation by carpenter ants. If you have observed any of the following signs, call a professional exterminator and schedule an ant extermination. Call: 647-496-2211

Presence of Worker Ants

A colony of carpenter ants consists of the queen ant that lays eggs to produce a new colony and worker ants that search for food and suitable sites for nesting. Worker ants must come out of the wood to forage for food and if you are keen enough, you could detect them. They are omnivorous and feed on both plant and animal foods and they often come out at night making it easier to detect them within a home. You could also be lucky enough to spot dead carpenter ants during the day. Though this is not full proof of them being within the home, it should sound as a warning to a possible or impending infestation.

Trails of Sawdust or Carpenter Ant Frass

As these carpenter ants bore through the wood grains, they always leave behind sawdust trails. This is because unlike termites, they do not feed on the wood. This sawdust is usually free of mud as these ants do not use mud or soil to create their tunnels. Piles of fine sawdust are a sign of an infestation of these ants.

Wood Sounds Hollow When Tapped

When carpenter ants invade a wooden object, they tend to drill through the inner parts of the wood to create room for nesting. The larger the colony, the bigger the space needed thus as the colony grows, these ants continue to create space within the wood. This in turn hollows the wood and the only way to detect this without cutting across it is to tap upon it. In cases of sever infestation, the wood surfaces may be weak and could easily crack or break when pushed even lightly.

Faint Rustling Sounds

Once a colony that consists of at least 1000 carpenter ants has made a home within wood, there definitely will be some faint rustling sounds from the walls or ceilings. This is normal because of the myriad of activities going on within the nest including boring of holes and building of new nests. As the colony matures, these sounds tend to increase and can be heard easily.

Ant Trails

Just like other ants, carpenter ants release chemicals known as pheromones that create a scent trail that can be detected and followed by other ants. As much as most ants and termites make trails through wood, trails belonging to carpenter ants are distinct. Carpenter ants make trails across the wood grains and they are smooth-surfaced and free of debris. Their trails are usually wide, irregular and do not have traces of mud as it is with termites.

Carpenter Ant Treatments

Carpenter ants are usually hard to detect especially because they destroy the inside of wood leaving its surfaces undamaged. Having all wood sidings raised from the ground or using wood only for your interiors will help prevent infestation. Sealing the wood or painting will also prevent moisture damage or decay thus preventing infestation by carpenter ants. In any case you discover wood that has been infested by these ants, it is advisable to avoid direct contact with them because when irritated, they may become aggressive and inflict painful bites.

Asking for help from a professional pest terminator will help a great deal to control ants. You could also choose to use pesticides sold in particular stores. However insecticides sold in stores are much less effective than the ones a licensed exterminator has access to. In case wood has been completely damaged, then replacement is usually the best option. Any of the above signs should not be ignored as it could help you identify carpenter ants which could otherwise cause great damage to your home. For permanent solutions to carpenter ant problems call The Exterminators – Pest Control Toronto: 647-496-2211