As a property owner, you have every reason to fear carpenter ants. These ants can do significant damage to your New Haven home in a relatively short period of time. Learn more about these insects and find out how to control their population.
How To Identify Carpenter Ants
With so many ant species in the area, you might wonder how to identify the species in your home. Carpenter ants are relatively easy to identify, compared to some other species. They range in size from ½ an inch to ⅝ of an inch in length. Although these ants are most often black, they can be black, red, or brown. They can also be multi-colored.
The thorax of the carpenter ant is round, but the waist is slim. If you’re not familiar with ant anatomy, you don’t need to worry. One of the easiest ways to identify carpenter ants is through their habits. They burrow in wood, and as they do, they leave behind tiny piles of wood shavings. You may find piles of shavings near your wood furniture or along your walls.
Identifying An Infestation
There are other ways in which you can identify a carpenter ant infestation. In addition to finding wood shavings, you may hear these ants inside your walls. Tap your finger against a wall and place your ear against it. If you hear any rustling, you could have an infestation. The tapping disturbs the nest and gets the ants moving.
Most infestations occur near window frames or sources of water. Try tapping the wall near their preferred habitat.
Another way to discover an infestation is to do some detective work. Late at night or early in the morning, look for worker ants in your home. They tend to come out in the dark, so use a flashlight to find them. If you found wood shavings or heard rustling in your walls, start your search in those areas.
The Problem With Carpenter Ants
Because carpenter ants burrow in wood, they have the potential to cause serious damage. If you have a wood-frame home, they may destroy the structure of your home. They can also damage wooden furniture, costing you money in repairs.
There’s another expense associated with carpenter ants. Just like many other ant species, carpenter ants may raid your food. As they do, they can contaminate it. You might need to replace some of your stored foods. Between the wood damage and the food contamination, carpenter ants can be expensive house guests.
Getting Rid Of Carpenter Ants
As soon as you suspect a carpenter ant infestation, you should take action to eliminate them. But it could be too late. Your best bet is to take steps to prevent these pests from coming into your home in the first place.
As a preventative measure, you can remove all moisture and standing water from your property. Replace rotting and moist wood in your home with dry wood. You should also limit access points for these ants. If there are any branches or plants near your home, trim them back. Doing so makes it more difficult for them to enter your residence. You should also seal up cracks or openings in windows, doors, or your foundation.
Carpenter ants particularly enjoy firewood piles. To make your property less appealing to these ants, keep log and firewood piles away from your home. Move them further back on your property, and you may be able to keep the ants outside.
If your preventative measures don’t work, hire a professional to remove them from your home. Don't try to get rid of them on your own. Instead, contact the professionals at Connecticut Pest at the first sign of carpenter ants.