Seasonal Hazards To Your Home – Carpenter Ants

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

them desirable.

Wood damage by C. herculeanus
Wood damage by C. herculeanus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


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