Although most ants live harmlessly outside, there are some that move
inside and if left uncontrolled, can do serious structural damage to
your home. Carpenter ants usually represent the greatest threat
to the homeowner.
Carpenter ants are large black ants about ¼ to ½ inch long. They
typically live in large trees or wood piles but can get into a home when
moist, decaying wood like siding is exposed to the earth or a tree limb.
Carpenter ants do not feed on wood like termites. Rather, they excavate
wood and other soft materials like insulation for their nest and colonize.
Once established, the ant colony generates enough moisture to keep
decay fungi growing which continues to destroy wood and does
additional damage to the home.
The best way to control Carpenter ants is to be preventative. Outside areas
can be sprayed or dusted from the ground to the 1st floor windows. Treat
window and trim areas exposed to moisture. Treat inside areas like openings
along baseboards, outlets, plumbing/heating pipes, etc.
Insecticide granules and dust can control ants in exterior areas and
provide a barrier against invasions. In most cases, sprays are preferred
inside the home because they are easy to use and stick to surfaces where
ants crawl. In some cases baits and traps can be effective. However,
they need to be placed where ants are foraging and the ants must find