Ants on the deck. Ants in the bathroom. Ants in the dishwasher?! Ants in your pants? Well, ok, they might not be in your pants, but they’re everywhere else. If you’re seeing black ants in your home, chances are they’re carpenter ants.
Carpenter ants reside both indoors and outdoors, preferring damp, moist places such as decaying wood. Outside, the queen ants prefer to find a rotting stump or decaying timbers to start her nest. It is in these permanently damp nests that she lays her eggs. From there, satellite nests are created to care for the older larvae and pupae, as they do not require as much moisture. It is more common to find these satellite nests within the home. Bathrooms, kitchens, under windows, wall voids, attics, and decks are some of the most common areas in a home where carpenter ants can be found, as they are more vulnerable to moisture.
The ants cut “galleries” into the grain of the wood to create pathways so they can move from one section of a nest to another. By doing so, they leave behind a sawdust-like material, called frass. This can be a clue to an infestation in your home. If carpenter ants have nested inside a building, it can lead to serious structural damage, as the ants tunnel from decaying wood, into sound wood.
So now that you know you don’t want carpenter ants around, how do you keep them out of your home? The best prevention is to maintain dry conditions. This can be done by repairing any damaged wood around your home, proper ventilation, storing firewood away from the house, cutting back tree branches away from the house, and removing old stumps and logs.
How do you know if it’s time for a professional to step in? As a general rule of thumb, if you’re seeing more than 8 to 10 ants in your home in a day, you need help. Also, if you’ve noticed small piles of sawdust laying beneath the crack in the wall, or can hear light rustling in the walls, you can be fairly certain you have a nest in your walls.
If you think you might have reason for concern, call us and talk to anyone of our licensed technicians to discuss inspections and possible treatment options!