Ants are often seen as harmless insects that we just dislike seeing inside our homes. However, it turns out that they are real pests that can cause significant damage if not ousted out quickly enough. So, what is the problem exactly with carpenter ants, and how do you get rid of them?
Carpenter ants do not eat wood…
Carpenter ants are often mistaken for termites, but they are not termites. They do not feed on wood. Instead, they prefer protein and carbohydrate sources fond in dead insects. They extract the fluids and edible parts from the dead body before taking them back to their nests, leaving the carcass behind. Carpenter ants go hunting alone, or in groups. They are quite big in size compared to other types of ants, with an average of 24mm.
… but carpenter ants do nest in wood
Carpenter ants however, build their nests in wood. And this is exactly where the problem lies! They build large networks of galleries and rooms by removing wood shavings, to construct a safe place for their queen, the rest of the colony and the food supplies. Carpenter ants prefer places where wood is subject to moisture, as it is more tender and easier to dig into. as a consequences, colonies of ants are often found around windows, in roof eaves, or in house decks and porches.
Once a primary colony has settled, secondary ones will often form around. This explains why if the first colony of ants is not removed promptly, carpenter ants can cause significant damage to the wood construction in your home.
How can you get rid of carpenter ants?
To avoid carpenter ants choosing your home to nest, make sure there are no humid areas, especially around wood constructions and furniture. Make sure no pipe is leaking around the house, and rain water cannot make its way in.
If you spot carpenter ants in your home, the first thing to do is to figure out where exactly they live. One thing that help you identify it is the fact that more often than not, a pile of wood shavings and dead ants lie near the entrance of the galleries of a nest.
If the colony is small and you have identified the entrance of the nest, you can use a vacuum to suck any ants living inside. Placing a bait just outside is also effective. However, if the colony has gotten bigger already, the best option is to call a pest control professional to take care of the problem.