Carpenter ants are the most commonly found ants in homes, and have the ability to destroy the entire establishment if left untreated. The male ants begin coming out somewhere around February, while the females that are larger than them, come out during the spring. A colony of Carpenter ants will have a queen, workers and the brood, which would be winged ants. The presence of any colony near your home could mean that you have a nest within or close to the structure.
The threats that carpenter ants pose
If the carpenter ant-infestation is treated early, then you can avoid a lot of structural damage to your establishment. However, letting them grow could lead to a lot of damage, especially when these go undiscovered for a long period. The best way to take care of Carpenter ants is to take professional help. This is because if you try to correct it yourself and perform an incorrect procedure, the colony could rebound with the surviving members, who would then resume their foraging and burrowing.
Often, people do not take professional help, thinking that carpenter ants are what they can take care of on their own. The five following things about these ants will give you an idea of how serious the threat that they pose is:
- The ants that crawl indoors are not more than 5 to 10% of the total ants in the colony.
- In the warmer months, these ants come out mostly during night. People often think of this as a sign of their absence.
- Carpenter ants do not just pose a threat to wood, but also harm materials with a similar desntiy, including pressure treated wood, foam, insulation and so on.
- Carpenter ants come in many different sizes, or are polymorphic as the term goes.
- The queen ant of the colony lives for over 20 years, and from a single fertilization, can give birth to over hundreds of thousands of young ones.
Determining when it’s time to get professional help
One of the biggest signs of a carpenter ant-infestation can be found from ‘frass’. Frass is a material similar to sawdust, which carpenter ants leave behind. This frass acts as a clue to the nesting locations of these ants. You will also find that galleries of these ants are much different from areas that have been damaged by termites- in fact, these galleries are much smoother.
Before you hire a professional to help you treat the carpenter ant- infestation, try to answer the following questions:
- Have you observed their presence in your home for over 1 year?
- Have they been present during the winters?
- Prior to swarming (mating flights), have you seen any winged verities near or in your home?
- Have you heard any chewing noises, especially at night?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then either you have a satellite colony or a main colony nesting in or near your home and you will need to get professional treatment for that. A professional will not only help you treat and get rid of carpenter ants in and around your property, but also help ensure that there is no rebound of these near your establishment.