If you’re wondering if carpenter ants can damage your home, the short answer is yes! Carpenter ants can certainly leave their mark on your home, especially if you don’t realize you have an infestation.
At Stomp Pest Control in Raleigh, NC, we want to not only treat any carpenter ant infestation you may have but also give you valuable tips so you can identify signs of an ant infestation in your home and take preventative actions as soon as possible. In this post, our Raleigh pest control professionals will reveal where carpenter ants are most commonly found, how they get into your home, and how you can prevent them from taking over your home.
What do Carpenter Ants Look Like?
Before you can spot a carpenter ant infestation, you need to know exactly what you’re looking for. Carpenter ants are larger than most other ants. They can be anywhere from 3.4 mm to 13 mm in size. They can be black or red, and sometimes a combination of both colors.
Where are Carpenter Ants Found?
Much like carpenter bees, carpenter ants like to build their nests in wood structures. These include:
- Wood sources
- Tree stumps
They like wood that is wet or damaged, such as structures that are rotting due to water damage. This is largely because ants can chew through porous wood much easier than they can hard, sturdy wood. Inside the home they can typically be found in:
- Door Frames
- Crawl spaces under roofs
A mature ant colony can contain more than 10,000 workers. In larger colonies, there are often multiple nests inside structures as well as outdoors. This is how they can cause damage so quickly.
How do Carpenter Ants Damage Your Home?
They excavate wood to build nests. This results in smooth tunnels inside the wood. Over time, these porous tunnels can damage wood and compromise its structural integrity, which will cause structural damage to your home.
How do Carpenter Ants Get Inside the Home?
Carpenter ants are sneaky because they tunnel quietly through wood without any external signs of damage. They usually sneak into buildings through cracks around doors and windows, as well as holes for wires. If you have damaged, wet wood, the ants can also get in that way.
They typically like to invade wet wood first, but eventually, they get through paths of dry, undamaged wood as well. Carpenterants can find their way into your home if they are inside a piece of wood you bring in. They may also come into your home through gaps in the windows, doors, or floors. To that end, it’s important to make sure your house is well-sealed.
Signs You May Have a Carpenter Ant Infestation
While carpenter ants are going to do their best to keep hidden, there are little signs that could signal an infestation. Homeowners may notice sawdust or wood fragments coming from a crack that the ants have created. If wood is badly damaged, it will have small openings in it. This can be a sign as well.
Other infestation signs include:
- Trail of ants
- A large number of ants under the sink
- Areas of moisture around the wood
- Rustling noises behind walls
If you suspect carpenter ants in the walls, use a wineglass or a stethoscope to try to listen to what’s going on behind them. The quicker you can detect carpenter ants, the more likely you’ll be to prevent excessive damage.
Flying ants or wing remnants on windows or cracks and crevices could also signal a carpenter ant infestation. Flying ants will leave the nest to reproduce and create new colonies. If you have any winged ants on your property, it can be a sign of an established carpenter ant colony.
How Can I Prevent Carpenter Ants?
Remove Standing Water
Since carpenter ants love moisture and standing water, one of the best ways to prevent them is to remove standing water from your property and your yard. If your basement or attic gets damp, use a dehumidifier to reduce the moisture.
You can also trim branches and shrubs from your house. This will not only deter carpenter ants but also other pests.
Keep Wood Away from Home
Store firewood and other wood building materials at least 20 feet from your home, and at least 5 inches off the ground.
If you notice any cracks on the outside of your home, fill in any gaps to prevent carpenter ants from entering.
FAQ about Carpenter Ant Damage
How long does it take for carpenter ant damage to appear?
Carpenter ants damage homes by chewing through wooden structures. Depending on where the colony is, you can notice damage in just a few months.
Do I have a carpenter ant infestation or a termite infestation?
Look at the wood damage. Termites eat the wood while carpenter ants damage it to make their nests. Carpenter ants leave sawdust piles that can be easier to notice compared to the damage termites cause.
Can carpenter ants make my home collapse?
While the carpenter ants themselves may not collapse your home, they can weaken support beams or the foundation. This can make it easier for weather damage to be more severe.
Do carpenter ants bite humans?
This can happen occasionally because they have powerful jaws for their size. If you do get bitten, you’ll feel a little pinch and then some minor irritation.
Do You Have a Carpenter Ant Infestation? Call Stomp Pest Control
If you think you have a carpenter ant infestation in the Raleigh area, call the professionals at Stomp Pest Control. Our team will come to your home and assess the situation to determine the next steps. We can control a carpenter ant infestation and take steps to prevent it from happening again. This can require the elimination of many satellite colonies that may be inside or outside your home. This is why you only want to trust a professional when it comes to treating a carpenter ant infestation.
Experience The Stomp Difference and see why so many people in Raleigh and surrounding areas trust us when it comes to pest control. To keep you yard and home free from ants, you can choose a pest control package for as low as $25/month. Call us today at (919) 231-3292 or fill out the form below to request a free quote.
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