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Have you seen a large black, or reddish-black, ant wandering around in your kitchen? You may want to take a moment to stop and look at it. If that ant is a carpenter ant, that is a good thing to know. Carpenter ants are wood-destroying pests that can really do a number on your home. Let's take a moment to explore some of the problems carpenter ants pose, why these ants are such a problem, and what can be done to prevent the damage they cause.
Carpenter ants do not eat wood, the way termites do, but they can still do a lot of damage. These insects create tunnels and galleries inside wood to establish a safe place to create their nests. When they do, they can cause support beams to weaken and the structure of a home to warp. This can lead to doors and windows that don't open, walls that bulge, ceilings that sink down, and floors that dip.
There are a lot of misunderstandings about carpenter ants, and these misunderstandings can lead some people to shrug off a random carpenter ant. They assume that their carpenter ant issue is small because they only see an ant or two crawling around inside their kitchen or pantry. But carpenter ants don't need to feed on the food in your home to live inside your home. They have a significant list of foods they can survive on. Many of those foods can be found outside of your home.
Sometimes, when a carpenter ant is seen, a homeowner will be laying some food down for the ants to take. When the food isn't taken, they assume there is no problem. But, a food source could sit for days in a home that is infested with carpenter ants and never be taken. Think about it. If you were in charge of an ant colony, where would you send the majority of your scouts? Would you send them to crawl around outside where there they can grab leaves and vegetation aplenty, or send them into a home to find an unprotected food source?
Even when a carpenter ant infestation rears its ugly head, some folks don't realize the significance. When a dozen flying ants appear on the interior windows of a porch, it doesn't take much to suck them up with a vacuum. But those flying ants are a warning that there is a mature nest in the house, and that nest is sending out male and female reproductives to create another nest.
There are two ways to deal with carpenter ants. The ideal way is to keep carpenter ants from coming into your home in the first place. Here are some ideas:
If you have firewood, construction materials, or some other type of wood product near your exterior walls, consider moving them 20 feet away and elevating them to get them off the ground.
Refrain from storing firewood inside your home.
Cut branches and bushes back away from your walls to reduce shade. This will allow the sun to dry moisture up and keep the wood of your home from rotting. Wood rot is particularly attractive to carpenter ants.
Make sure you have no obstructed gutters and that there are no breaks in the system. When water runs down the side of your home, it can create puddles near your foundation walls and also cause wood rot.
Address any other water issues near your home.
Address any areas that have been rotted. If you're not able to properly fix things, use a caulking gun to fill holes.
Do a detailed inspection of your foundation walls and seal any gaps or cracks you find.
If carpenter ants are already inside your home, it is best to have a certified and educated pest control technician deal with the issue. The last thing you need is to think that this problem has been fixed and have it continue on for years. Over time, carpenter ants can do significant damage to a home.
For carpenter ant infestation in Washington D.C., Northern Virginia, and Maryland let American Pest help. Our QualityPro-certified team is one of the best in the business. We'll make sure all of those wood-destroying pests are taken care of and that your property is protected from future infestations. Life is complicated enough without having to struggle with carpenter ant repairs. Reach out to us today for immediate assistance.
Our Preferred Care Plan is an affordable pest control solution for eliminating common insects that enter the home from the outside. You will receive an initial interior and exterior inspection and treatment for your target pest problems, along with those we uncover during our inspection. Exterior treatments continue once every quarter to control ants, mice and rats, spiders and 30+ home invading pests. Guaranteed service quality backed by our Pest Free Pledge.
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