ABOUT CARPENTER ANTS
Carpenter ants, especially black carpenter ants, are commonly found in Warwick and throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
These ants build their nests in hollowed out trees, logs, and stumps, and aid in the decomposition process of dead trees. Often, however, carpenter ants will invade a household or business in search of food . They will build their nests inside a home or office building if they find rotting wood or other soft material like insulation inside the structure. They are sometimes called wood ants.
Tremendous damage can be caused by a carpenter ant infestation because these ants consume wood to make way for their tubes and tunnels.
Carpenter ants are red and black, or entirely black and can grow The black carpenter ants found in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey area are wingless (with the exception of the queen), and can grow to lengths of ¼” to ½”. They range in color from brown to black, and are usually shiny. They have antennae that are jointed and a small node separates the thorax and abdomen.
Carpenter ants are often confused with termites. The difference between the two is that termites have a thick waist and straight antennae, while carpenter ants have a narrow waist and jointed antennae.
It is a popular misconception that carpenter ants eat wood. In fact, they do not eat wood; rather, they chew it to clear pathways for their nests. Carpenter ants eat honeydew, meats, pet food, honey, jelly, sweets, syrups, sugar, etc..
Carpenter ants generally live outside in stumps, plants (garden areas), in and around firewood bundles, and in decaying trees. They can easily create nests and galleries inside structures where there is damp wood including around windows, decks, in bathrooms, kitchens, and porches. They might also be found behind dresser drawers, inside cabinets, in Styrofoam insulation, and behind books in bookcases.
PROBLEMS WITH CARPENTER ANTS
Due to the carpenter ants nature to chew through wood, they can cause great destruction to a wooden structure. When the ants chew through the wood to create tunnels, it weakens the wood and creates an unsafe environment for people living or working inside.
In addition, fixing the type of damage that is caused by a carpenter ant infestation can be very costly. Damage is done from the inside out, making it difficult for a home or business owner to visually determine if an infestation exists.
Carpenter ants forage mostly at night, and use pheromone trails Carpenter ants build their colonies outside, but during the winter months will nest inside a home or office building and remain active. These nests are usually what are called satellite nests, and house a different set of ants than the primary nest, but can still cause tremendous damage.
Satellite nests might be located in attics, window sills, inside walls, curtain rods, and beneath insulation. Ants will travel 300 feet to find food, and depending on the age of the colony, populations can reach into the thousands.
Carpenter ants will not attack humans; however, bites can be painful (due to the existence of formic acid) and easily become irritated. They do not spread disease but both human and pet food can become contaminated when the ants track their waste over the food.
SIGNS OF A CARPENTER ANT INFESTATION
A suspected carpenter ant infestation should be handled immediately; as considerable damage of the structure can result from their presence. Some indications of a nest include:
• Baseboards, windowsills, and vents may be riddled with the discarded wings of the reproductive carpenter ants.
• Carpenter ants leave a pile of sawdust behind when they chew through wood; this is called “frass.”
• Tapping on wood will reveal if it is hollow, indicating the possible presence of carpenter ants.
• Active ants can be heard in the walls as a rustling, chewing, or crackling noise.
• Tunnels and galleries can be seen through a nearly transparent and smooth wood surface.
At SafeGuard Pest Control, we advise business owners and
There are many ways carpenter ants can enter a building. Through the windows, through heating ducts and air conditioning units, telephone and power cables, holes in the foundation, firewood that is brought into the house, and where vegetation meets the house.
Using the below prevention tips will help home and business owners make their structures less attractive to ants; however, it will not stop them completely if the ants are determined. Call a licensed pest control provider immediately if an infestation is suspected.
• Keep all food - pet and human - sealed or covered tightly.
• Store firewood away from the house and garage, and away from all other wooden structures.
• Keep all vegetation (including trees and bushes) trimmed back away from the structure.
• Seal any leaks in and around the building to prevent moisture build-up, which will attract carpenter ants.
• Kitchens and pantries should be kept sanitary, including floors, counters, sinks, etc.
• Never bury wood debris or stumps near the building.
• Replace any rotting or decaying wood solid, sound material.
• Keep gutters clear of debris and trapped water.
• Seal any broken window moldings.
CARPENTER ANT CONTROL
Primary ant colonies, when left untouched, will expand into satellite colonies. Additionally, there may be more than one satellite colony inside a home or office building.
If you suspect you may have a problem with carpenter ants contact SafeGuard Pest Control LLC. Our trained technicians will provide accurate species identification, identify entry points, and implement the best treatment methods for complete eradication.