Seasonal Hazards To Your Home – Carpenter Ants

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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)


1 comment

  1. My wife and I just discovered that we have some uninvited visitors in our basement. The carpenter ants have been eating at the wood for a few weeks now here in Victoria. We are looking into having someone come and take care of it for us before there is extensive damage. We will definitely be spraying our doors and windows to prevent any return, thanks for the tips.


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