What NOT to do if you have Carpenter Ants
Carpenter ants are the #1 wood-destroying pest in the Pacific Northwest. Left unchecked, Carpenter ant colonies will cause significant damage to sound wood, possibly compromising the structural integrity of a building. If you see big black ants in or around your home, it may be time to call an ant control professional to protect your home's structure. This would be the best plan of action. But here are some things you definitely do NOT want to do if you think you have Carpenter Ants:
1. Not Properly Identifying the Type of Ant Infestation
Termites and Carpenter Ants do similar types of damage to damp, dead wood. Many times you'll see piles of wood shavings or sawdust near wood that is infested with either termites or carpenter ants. But in order to get rid of the infestation, you must ensure that you are treating your property for the correct pest. Carpenter ants are black ants with segmented bodies that measure 1/4 - 5/8 inches long. Termites or "white ants" don't have segmented bodies and have a large head.
2. Ignore Signs of Carpenter Ant Damage
Common signs of a carpenter ant infestation are:
- Carpenter ants crawling in or on a building or home
- Carpenter ants crawling out of holes or crevices in a home
- Small piles of sawdust or wood shavings
- Faint rustling noise in walls
If you have any of these signs, it's important not to ignore them! Carpenter ant infestations only get worse and larger as time goes on. Early detection is the best way to prevent further damage from carpenter ants.
3. Relying only on D.I.Y. Ant Control Methods
When people spot signs of an ant infestation, the first thing people tend to do is apply do-it-yourself (DIY) ant control methods. This often includes Borax or natural remedies like cinnamon. These remedies might seem effective at first, but will they eradicate an entire colony? Not very likely.
The only way to ensure carpenter ants won't return is by eliminating the colony. It's one thing to apply treatment to a few ants you see running across your kitchen counter tops, but it won't do much unless you get the source of your ant infestation.
4. Not Calling a Pest Control Company
The best line of defense when it comes to eliminating carpenter ants is hiring a professional pest control company. This is the case for most pests, come to think of it! Unlike DIY methods, the ant infestation removal services of a pest control company like Eastside Exterminators can ensure ants will be gone and won't return. Your PMP (Pest Management Professional) will be able to tell between a parent colony and a satellite colony, which require different pest control approaches. Pest specialists will also be able to provide you with ant prevention tips. If you think you might have a problem with carpenter ants, call immediately: (425) 482-2100.
Tips for Preventing Carpenter Ants
- Remove any piles of debris, wood, and junk from around your home
- Keep trees, shrubs, and plants trimmed and away from your home
- Caulk cracks and crevices around foundations that provide entry from outside
- Provide a dry, vegetation-free border, such as gravel or stones, around the perimeter of house foundations to discourage nest building. Wood chip mulches and landscape plants provide a good nesting environment
- Keep food put away and don’t leave dirty dishes out
Telltale Signs of Carpenter Ants
- If you see piles of wood shavings or sawdust in or around your house, you may have an active colony in your house. Carpenter ants do not eat the wood (like termites do), but they burrow and dig in it, creating "galleries" for shelter. Carpenter ants may burrow into wood furniture, too, so you may find piles of wood shavings or sawdust just below wooden objects like desks.
- Listen for ants in the walls. Gently tap on the walls in your home while pressing your ear against the wall. Tapping often disturbs an ant nest. If you have a carpenter ant infestation, you may hear a light rustling sound. NOTE: While carpenter ants can nest anywhere in your home, they prefer areas near water sources or near window frames. It is common to find carpenter ants in kitchens and bathrooms for this reason.
- Check for worker ants at night or early in the morning. If you think you may have an infestation, check for worker ants. They tend to come out after dark, so search for the carpenter ant workers near where you heard rustling in the early morning or late at night, scanning the area with a flashlight.
Professional Carpenter Ant Control Services in the Greater Seattle Area
If you're feeling overwhelmed by your carpenter ant infestation, or if you're not sure what you're up against, your local Eastside Exterminator Pest Management Professional is just a phone call away. Your dedicated pest specialist will create a comprehensive ant control plan that is specifically suited for your house and your own infestation. Professional ant control will remove the ants and prevent them from returning in the future. Call us at (425) 482-2100 for more information or to start the process of removing the infestation and protecting your home now.