While carpenter ants aren’t the most dangerous insects out there, they nest inside wood, and this can lead to serious structural damage when left untreated.

Ant

While ants are perhaps one of the least scary looking insects out there, they can inflict some pretty scary damage. Carpenter ants build their colonies inside wood, tunneling away to create nests and passageways. Similar to termites, they leave behind noticeable wood damage. While carpenter ants aren’t quite as severe as termites, an ant infestation can cause severe structural damage when left untreated. Homeowners can identify carpenter ants based on their physical appearance, behaviors, and nesting habits, and then they should contact a pest control company like All Seasons Pest Control to eradicate the problem before serious damage is done.

Physical Appearance
Carpenter ants are among the largest species of ants in the country, ranging from about a quarter-inch to a half-inch. They can be found throughout the world, but they especially like to build colonies in forested areas, which makes the Finger Lakes region a prime territory for potential infestations. They’re most commonly black, but it’s not unusual to see reddish-brown ants as well. Most of these ants are called workers because their job is to forage for food. There are also swarmers, which look similar to workers with one distinguishing feature: wings. Swarmers are only produced when a colony matures and is ready to expand, so their presence indicates a colony that’s been around for some time.

Behaviors
While they often forage for food during the day, carpenter ants are most active overnight. They travel as far as 300 feet from their colony. This means that spotting a few ants inside the home doesn’t absolutely mean there’s a colony inside—it could be outside somewhere surrounding the home. Carpenter ants make rustling or crinkling noises as they move about the colony, so this noise is a good indication that the colony is nearby.

Nesting Habits
Unfortunately, carpenter ants aren’t too picky about where they build their colonies, as long as it’s near a moisture-prone area. Inside the home, this includes areas around plumbing, under windows, and anywhere water has leaked and moisture has accumulated. Outside, this includes decaying or hollow wood, stumps, rotting logs, and trees. They tunnel into the wood grain using their mouths to create passageways that connect each section of the nest. As they tunnel, they produce fine wood shavings that may contain parts of dead ants; the presence of these dead ants indicates possible nesting locations. Unlike termites, these ants keep the pathways in their colony smooth and free of mud and soil. While these colonies actually aid in the decomposition of dead wood in forests, the hollowed wood inside a home can cause serious structural damage if left untreated.

There are DIY carpenter ant treatment options available, but they contain chemicals harmful to people and pets. The professional technicians at All Seasons Pest Control handle infestations using treatment methods that are friendly to people, animals, and the environment. Call or text All Seasons Pest Control today at 315-548-4427 or schedule a free consultation now.