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Carpenter Ant Control & Treatment

Every critter has their own story.

The secret of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), a proven, cost-effective strategy to combat pest problems without unnecessary pesticide use, is to understand the life-cycle of the pest that is pestering.

Carpenter ant on a piece of tree bark.
What do carpenter ants look like and why are they concerning?

Carpenter ants are members of the genus Camponotus. They have heart-shaped heads with strong mandibles and a rounded thorax. Adults grow to be between 5/8 of an inch and ½ of an inch long, and queens can be up to 1 inch long. After a colony has matured, which takes about two years, winged carpenter ants will appear.

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Carpenter ants can be a variety of colors, including black, brown, red, yellow, or a combination of these colors. In the United States, the black carpenter ant is the most common. Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not consume wood. Instead, they chew through it and leave behind a sawdust-like material called frass. Carpenter ants are not dangerous to humans, however their tunnels and nests can cause major structural damage to homes and businesses.

Where do carpenter ants live?

Carpenter Ants build their nests inside wood. They carve out galleries, which are areas they chewed out with their mandibles, and they prefer dead damp wood. They hollow out sections of trees and are known to infest wooden buildings and structures.

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Carpenter ant galleries are different from termite-damaged areas in that they are smooth, whereas termites pack mud into their hollowed-out areas. Once they enter a building, carpenter ants can tunnel through anywhere made of wood, including under floors or behind walls.

Why do I have a carpenter ant problem?

While they usually nest outside, carpenter ants are often attracted to houses and other buildings due to the fact that they provide easy access to food and shelter. They can enter through any open spaces, such as those around windows and doors.

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They enter living spaces to forage for food and search for water. Most often they find the food they are looking for in kitchens and pantries, and the water they need in bathrooms and basements. They are originally attracted to and tunnel through wood that is damaged by water and mold, but they may go on to build tunnels through wood that is dry and otherwise undamaged.

Carpenter ant on a leaf.
When are carpenter ants active?

On the Eastern side of the United States, carpenter ants are most active between May and August. Unlike many other insects, carpenter ants do not die during the winter. Instead, the colonies become dormant when colder temperatures arrive. If their nests are warm enough, however, colonies will not remain dormant.

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Depending on the location of the nest, this may be caused by mild outdoor temperatures or the use of indoor heating mechanisms such as wood stoves and furnaces. In some cases, a colony might skip the dormant phase completely.

Carpenter ant chewing wood on a wooden surface.
What’s the best way to prevent a carpenter ant infestation?

In order to prevent carpenter ants from entering a home or business, all cracks and crevices that may lead inside should be sealed and all decayed or water damaged wood should be replaced. You can avoid having water damaged wood by ensuring that all gutters are properly directing water away from the building, and by fixing leaky faucets, both indoors and outdoors.

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The use of dehumidifiers in generally moist areas, like basements, can reduce the amount of moisture that affects the wood in your home or business. Keeping trees, shrubs, and firewood piles away from the outside walls of buildings will eliminate easy access points for carpenter ants. To get rid of carpenter ants on your property call EXCEL today and have one of our carpenter ant control experts visit you.

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Carpenter Ants FAQs

What sets carpenter ants apart from other ant species?

Carpenter ants are easy to spot. These creepy crawlies stand out due to their larger size, typically measuring around 1/4 to 1/2 inch in length, and have a noticeable habit of excavating tunnels in wood. Unlike some other ant species, carpenter ants do not consume wood but can cause structural damage by nesting in it. Identifying them requires observing their size, behavior, and potential wood damage.

Are carpenter ants harmful to wooden structures in homes?

Yes, as stated previously, carpenter ants can indeed be harmful to wooden structures in homes. While they don't consume wood like termites, they create tunnels within wooden structures for nesting purposes. Over time, this activity can weaken the structural integrity of the wood, making carpenter ant infestations a concern for homeowners and business owners.

How do I identify a carpenter ant infestation?

There are several signs you can look out for. These include the presence of larger ants in and around your home, often with a reddish-brown or black coloration. You may also notice piles of sawdust-like material referred to as "frass" near nest sites. Sometimes, you will even be able to hear a rustling or tapping sound within walls or wood. If you suspect an infestation, it's advisable to contact Twin Boro for a thorough inspection, as early detection is crucial.

What methods do you use to eliminate carpenter ant colonies?

At Twin Boro, our experienced technicians employ a combination of methods for effective carpenter ant elimination. This process typically begins with a comprehensive inspection to identify the extent of the infestation. Depending on the severity, treatments may include

Are your carpenter ant treatments safe for indoor use?

Yes, the carpenter ant treatments used by Twin Boro are designed to be safe for indoor use. Our pest control methods prioritize the safety of your family and pets. We employ products and techniques that are approved for indoor application and ensure they are applied in a manner that minimizes any health risks.

Do you offer preventive measures to protect against carpenter ants?

Yes, at Twin Boro, we offer comprehensive pest control services, including preventive measures to protect homes and properties against carpenter ants. This can involve identifying and sealing potential entry points, implementing regular inspections, and providing advice on habitat modifications to make your property less attractive to these ants.

Can I control carpenter ants on my own without professional help?

While there are DIY products available, effectively controlling carpenter ant infestations can be challenging without professional expertise. Carpenter ants often nest in hidden areas, and their colonies can be extensive. Twin Boro's experienced technicians have the knowledge, skills and tools to locate and remove carpenter ant colonies effectively, helping ensure long-term control.

What should I do if I find carpenter ants in my garden or yard?

If you discover carpenter ants in your garden or yard, it's essential to take action to prevent them from entering your home. Contact Twin Boro for a professional assessment of the situation. We will determine if the ants pose a threat to your home and recommend appropriate measures, which may include treating nests or implementing preventive strategies.

How can I keep my home safe from future carpenter ant infestations?

To keep your home safe from future carpenter ant infestations, it's advisable to work with Twin Boro for ongoing pest management. We provide guidance on reducing attractants like food sources and moisture, as well as implementing structural modifications to make your home less susceptible to carpenter ant intrusion. Regular inspections and preventive measures are key to long-term protection.

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