The summer sunshine inspires us to be proactive, and summer is the time of year when we do most of what we want to do. But the bad news is that this is ,also true for many pests. Lakewood pest control specialists know that from March to September your home is in danger of structural damage from carpenter ants.

carpenter ant crawling on sawdust

What Do Carpenter Ants Look Like?

Carpenter ants are a specific type of ant that enjoy mining into wood. They dig networks through trees and other wooden structures by incessantly gnawing away. These ants look very similar to other ant species, but have some key differences. A few characteristics of carpenter ants include:

  • Fully or a combination of black, brown, and red
  • Long, thin legs
  • Two thin antennae
  • Two small pincers
  • Range from 3/16 inch to 1/2 inch long
  • A heart-shaped head

Black carpenter ants in your home might seem indistinguishable from other ants. The main difference is the heart shape of the head. Another difference is usually the size. Carpenter ants tend to be larger, but they vary a lot in size from colony to colony, so it can be hard to distinguish.

How To Tell If Carpenter Ants Are In Your Home

Carpenter ants can remain hidden for a long time. There have been cases where the ants had been busy in the walls for years without going detected. In a private home, you have certain advantages that commercial buildings don’t have.

  • Signs of carpenter ants in your house are:
  • Seeing one of the workers in your home
  • Seeing carpenter ants with wings on your Lakewood property
  • Conical sawdust piles
  • Small deposits of debris from disinterred wood
  • The sound of them nibbling when it’s quiet

If you spot a worker carpenter ant, it can mean there is a substantial colony within your walls. These pests come out to forage at night, which is a good time to spot them. If you see one, follow it and see where it goes. Reproductive castes of ants have nuptial flights at dusk. If you see winged swarmers in your yard, it could signify an infestation. Lastly, carpenter ant frass in your home means they’ve been busy chewing your wood away. Frass resembles piles of sawdust and is made up of excrement and wood excavated as the ants burrow.

How Much Damage Can Carpenter Ants Do To Your Home?

Carpenter ants are just as damaging to wood as termites. Fortunately, these ants work more slowly than termites, but unfortunately, carpenter ants have fewer limitations. Termites don’t like exposure to air, and ants are unfazed. They can freely roam from wood to tree to log and back.

The initial sites of attack are most often water-damaged or rotten wood. This is easiest to chew away. But carpenter ants will persist into sturdy wood. Places to look for carpenter ant damage are:

  • Anywhere with wet or moist wood
  • Wood near leaky pipes
  • Exterior wooden structures
  • Fence posts
  • Support beams
  • Deck or patio wood
  • Flower bed wood

One thing to note about these pests is that they spread themselves across large areas. There won’t be simply one nest. They’re known for their satellite nests, which they install across entire acres of property if allotted sufficient time. Carpenter ants in trees in the yard can easily become a problem inside your house.

How To Deter Carpenter Ants In Lakewood

Carpenter ants are only different from other ants in where they choose to live. They don’t eat the wood they burrow through, and their diet is the same as other ant species. This means the same things attract them, in addition to their propensity to whittle away wood. If you want to avoid carpenter ant damage to your home, practice limiting the ways you can attract them. You can:

  • Use airtight containers so food aroma doesn’t permeate.
  • Fill in or seal all cracks and holes.
  • Make sure vegetation is trimmed and not leading to the house.
  • Get rid of all rotten wood from your yard.
  • Keep firewood on a raised platform away from vegetation.
  • All ants are foragers. This means they use their time searching for optimal conditions. Try the above suggestions to make their search more difficult.

At Bugaboo Pest Control, we offer free quotes after inspection with no unnecessary costs. We know exactly what pest control action to take and can tell you on the same day you call us. Reach out if you’re worried about carpenter ants or any pest bothering your Lakewood home.