Five Signs Of Carpenter Ants To Watch For Around Your Ithaca Property
March 15, 2021
Sometimes, life throws a lot of problems at you all at once, leaving you prioritizing as best you can. But if you do not keep pest control in mind, it may lead to an uncomfortable environment in your home as well as expensive damage. Even though termites seem to get all of the wood-damage attention, carpenter ants can be just as expensive, given enough time. Find out what to watch for to notice these destructive insects on your Ithaca property.
Alarmingly Big Ants
If you see carpenter ants on your property, you should know immediately what you’re dealing with. Unlike other black ants, these pests measure up to a half-inch long. They are one of the largest ant species in the world. Their size, however, is the least of your worries.
Carpenter ants are one of the most destructive species of ants, carving out nests within the walls of houses. However, they don’t eat wood as termites do. You might think that’s a positive, but not necessarily. Since carpenter ants don’t eat wood, they can venture into your stored food supplies, putting you at risk of contaminated food stores.
Setting up a nest within your house, they’ll wander outside when the weather is warm, but they’ll typically stay within your walls during the winter. If you don’t notice a carpenter ant infestation early on, they can cause hundreds of dollars’ worth of damage over time, along with bringing the risks of bacterial spread and food contamination into your home.
Noticing The Signs
Since allowing a carpenter ant infestation to stay can be detrimental to your home and health, spotting the signs early is crucial. How do know your home has a carpenter ant problem? Here are five signs of carpenter ant activity:
- Carpenter ants themselves
- Piles of wood shavings called frass
- Winged ants
- Shed wings along the outside walls
- Rustling noises in the walls
If you notice these signs of carpenter ant activity, you shouldn’t try to get rid of them yourself. Usually, store-bought repellents and home remedies allow the infestation to continue in other areas of the house, so you’ll be incurring damage that you’re unaware of.
Proper Prevention Strategies
If don't see these signs, then you can focus on prevention instead of eradication. The best way to keep carpenter ants off of your property and out of your house is to reduce factors that attract them while limiting their accessibility.
Start by addressing any moisture issues and wood that has moisture damage. Carpenter ants love soft, rotting wood for an easy nesting opportunity, so make sure you monitor your pipes for leaks and use a dehumidifier to limit moisture buildup. You’ll also want to check on your gutter system and drainage pipes to make sure all water is draining away from the house properly, as clogged drains can lead to wood damage quickly.
Another essential carpenter ant deterrent is lawn maintenance. Along with limiting moisture buildup in the yard that could seep into the foundation, maintaining the lawn will reduce clutter than can attract all sorts of pests. Plus, keeping woodpiles away from your home will limit attraction, while trimming back trees branches can prevent them from gaining easy access to the roof, one of their preferred entry locations.
Unfortunately, many homeowners do all of these things and still wind up with a carpenter ant infestation. Sometimes, when damage and health hazards are on the line, you have to go with guaranteed prevention methods. Contact Sweeney's Pest Elimination at the first sign of carpenter ants. We have the tools and experience to get your house back to being carpenter ant-free.