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Why You Should be Concerned About Carpenter Ants

Updated on: March 5, 2019

Carpenter ants are an intimidating and formidable foe that can wreak havoc on your home. If left alone these ants will go about their business. They become aggressive and will bite if you invade their nest. Their bite can be painful and cause discomfort, but it’s not life-threatening.

However, they can break the skin and spray formic acid in the bite wound. While carpenter ants aren’t dangerous, they are still a pest that you don’t want wreaking havoc on your home.

What are Carpenter Ants?

Known in the insect world as Camponotus pennsylvanicus, carpenter ants are some of the biggest ants in the U.S. They are anywhere from 3.4-13mm long. Black is the most common color, but some may have a yellowish or reddish mix of color. Carpenter ants are also known for their large mandibles.

Carpenter ants are a common pest that plague homes primarily in northeastern America. They don’t eat wood like termites. Carpenter ants bring the wood back to their nests in piles. They feed on many of the same things that we eat such as meats and sweets as well as other insects. They usually swarm in the spring, and if you see some in your home, that’s a definite sign that you may have an infestation.

Where Do Carpenter Ants Come From?

In their natural environment, they help the decomposition process of old, rotting trees. Typically, they build their nests in stumps, hollow trees, and logs.

When the dark worker ants set out to search for food, they often find that source in your home. If you see one or two of these ants in your house, don’t be alarmed yet. However, if you see multiple ants each day, your home may be infested. Carpenter ants can easily access your house by crawling across tree branches onto roof overhangs as well as any unsealed openings around wires and utility pipes.

The Damage They Cause

Usually, these ants don’t excavate dry, healthy wood but they may tunnel into decaying, moist wood or other softer materials such as foam insulation. You often find carpenter ants in places near water leaks such as chimney or roof leaks, bathtubs, sinks, and inadequately sealed door and window frames.

Carpenter ant nests are commonly found in moist wall voids as well, such as behind the dishwasher or in porch columns that are hollow.

It's critical to understand that these nests can be inside or outside of your house. Carpenter ants make parent colonies and satellite colonies. When parent colonies mature, they house one queen to lay eggs, her brood, and at least 2,000 worker ants. Satellite colonies have many worker ants but no queen, young larvae, or eggs.

Carpenter ants are as good at destroying wooden structures as termites are. However, these ants hollow out sections of wood so that they can make smooth tunnels throughout the structure of your home or outbuildings.

Carpenter ants are infamous because the larger their colony, the deeper they dig into a wooden structure. This tunneling weakens the wood from the inside. If you have a long-term infestation, you likely have significant structural and cosmetic damage. They may damage your walls as well. Homeowners pay thousands of dollars every year because of the damage carpenter ants do to houses and buildings.

How to Get Rid of Pesky Carpenter Ants

Don’t wait until swarms of carpenter ants are crawling around inside your home. Contact PermaKill Exterminating to inspect your home, determine where their nest is, and the extent of the damage they’ve caused. The nest can then be removed or treated with a chemical.

To prevent future carpenter ant problems, you must resolve the moisture issues that attracted them in the first place. Otherwise, they will keep coming back to your home. Seal all open cracks and breaches. Trim any tree branches close to your house that could allow ants to access your home. Ants will even crawl through your water hose, so put it away after every use.

It’s vital to trust the professionals and contact PermaKill Exterminating to remediate carpenter ants. Carpenter ant treatment is a process, and there are several options available. There are powder and liquid spray applications that can be utilized on the outside and inside of your house depending on the results of the professional inspection.


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