Carpenter ants are unlike any other type of ant. Most ant species seem to exist just to annoy us. They don’t do much damage unless it’s to our pantries when they invade our precious box of double stuff Oreos or get into the kids’ favorite cereal. Finding them having a party over a few dropped crumbs in the corner or milling around the faucet in the bathroom is just enough to make us go crazy. But carpenter ants are a different story because they actually do damage. They get into your walls and quietly do a lot of damage. Some people confuse them with termites but the difference is that they do not actually eat the wood, they chew through it, discarding the remnants. Their goal is to create tunnels and galleries so they can raise their young. The damage is expensive and getting rid of them can be very tricky because their colonies are often deep in your walls, in your attic or floorboards. You can’t exactly rip through these areas to attack their colonies. Instead, you need the expertise of professional ant control to ensure every last ant is taken care of.
Why carpenter ants keep coming back
Carpenter ants do not eat wood so just because your home has wood within the walls does not mean they will come swarming. They need sustenance and if your home has the perfect conditions for them, they come running. What are these conditions? Here are a few things to be wary of:
- Moisture: Carpenter ants love moist, damp areas. It’s especially nice if there’s some soft, even rotting wood involved because it makes it easy for them to chew through. If you have had a leak in your home that wasn’t properly cared for, this is a huge attraction. They love areas of where condensation might collect, such as doorways and windows. Bathrooms, kitchens, drains, pipes, roof vents and laundry areas are also a huge attraction. Keeping these areas free of moisture is a good way to prevent carpenter ants.
- Food: Carpenter ants love protein and sugar. Pet food left lying around has all the protein they need. They are also extremely attracted to honeydew, which is a sweet liquid produced by aphids. Controlling the aphid population in your yard is another way to prevent these ants. Carpenter ants forage for food at night and look for anything sticky, sweet or meaty. Garbage cans not properly sealed are a favorite.
- Debris piles: Firewood left outdoors that has gotten wet is like a neon sign advertising free room and board to a carpenter ant. If you unknowingly bring several pieces of firewood inside that harbor a few carpenter ants, this is another way they get inside your home. Carpenter ant infestations are often splinter colonies off a larger colony nearby.
Carpenter ants and the changing seasons
As the seasons grow cold and you have noticed carpenter ants around your home, maybe laid a few ant traps and bait, you probably wonder if the infestation will just die off now that it’s cold. Sadly, this will not happen. When it gets cold, carpenter ants enter a period of dormancy where their body slows down and they conserve their heat and energy to make it through the cold months. However, if the area in your home is warm enough or if the temperatures during the winter are warmer than usual, carpenter ants can skip their hibernation phase completely. An infestation is difficult if not impossible to get rid of alone as it only just gets stronger and bigger as time goes on. Professional residential pest control services are absolutely necessary to completely rid your home of carpenter ants. They are unlike any other type of ant and there are several methods of removal that should be carefully initiated. Professional ant control technicians know how to carefully do this without scattering the colony and making things worse.
Prevention and professional ant control for a pest-free home
Keeping your home free of carpenter ants all year long requires careful prevention of the things that attract them as well as ant control from Pointe Pest Control. We know the subtle signs to look for when it comes to spotting the beginnings of carpenter ant infestations before they become big problems. Our friendly technicians can walk through your home with you and give you tips on how to prevent future problems. For the best residential pest control around, Pointe Pest Control is here to keep your home pest free for many years to come.