Most ants we encounter on our properties are beneficial, or at worst, mildly annoying, but carpenter ants are a scourge of homes across the country, rivaling termites. While an encounter with most ants will end with a relatively painless bite, a colony of carpenter ants taking up residence in your house often results in repair bills of thousands and thousands of dollars.
Carpenter ants are large, about 1/2 to 5/8 of an inch, and red, brown, black, or a combination of the three. They have narrow waists with a single node, an evenly rounded thorax, and elbowed antennae. On swarmers, their hind wings are shorter than their front wings.
Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not eat wood but tunnel through it to build nests.
Let’s look at how to recognize signs of carpenter ants on your property, how to get rid of carpenter ants, and, if that fails, how to find reliable pest control in the Marlborough area.
Are All Winged Ants Carpenter Ants?
The queen will produce a generation of flying ants when the colony is established (usually 3 to 5 years) and has enough food. Once grown, flying ants will leave the nest, and mate with each other, following which the male ants will die, but the females, future queens, will go on to find a place to establish a new colony.
Carpenter ant swarmers (ants with wings) are often mistaken for termites. If you look closer, carpenter ant swarmers have shiny black bodies with bent antennae and narrow waists. The bottom pair of wings are also shorter than the top ones, unlike the evenly matched sets of wings termites sport.
Flying carpenter ants around your property indicate that a nest is close by, and each flying female can begin a new infestation.
The Extent Of Damage Carpenter Ants Can Do To Your Home
Carpenter ants do not bite and do not spread infectious diseases, but in their pursuit of building a colony, they tunnel through wooden house structures and weaken them, sometimes severely. The infestations often go unnoticed for a long time, allowing the colony to grow, and causing significant damage to the building’s structure.
Watch for the following signs of carpenter ant infestation:
- Swarmers around your property
- Small holes in the wooden surfaces
- Little piles of sawdust ants generate as they tunnel through wood
- Presence of the worker ants
If you’ve spotted signs of carpenter ants in your home, your best bet is to contact a professional immediately to evaluate the extent of the damage and develop a treatment plan.
The Factors That Can Attract Carpenter Ants To Your Home
Carpenter ants are attracted to your home by the abundance of food and their favorite nesting material — wood. To make your house as unappealing as possible to these wood-chewing invaders:
- Fix plumbing leaks to remove accessible sources of moisture.
- Seal gaps and cracks in the walls and foundation.
- Cut tree branches away from house walls and roof.
- Don’t store firewood next to the house.
A few simple prevention steps will go a long way in keeping carpenter ants away from your property.
How To Get Rid Of Carpenter Ants In Your Lawn
At Bug Bully Pest Control, we’ve been handling pest problems for Marlborough residents for over 17 years. Our carpenter ant control approach does not just center on pests plaguing your property right now but takes the necessary steps to prevent reinfestations in the future.
We will determine the type of carpenter ants infesting your home and your lawn, apply an effective carpenter ant treatment to take care of adult ants and neutralize their eggs, and advise you on preventative measures you can take to make your property bulletproof to ants and other pests.
If you suspect there’s a carpenter ant infestation in your home, give us a call today for a free inspection and estimate!