What Do Carpenter Ants Look Like?
There are thousands of ant species in the world, but fortunately, not many of them infest homes. You might not be able to tell which type of ant has invaded your home, and that can make it hard to remove these insects. Carpenter ants are easy to identify since they are the biggest household ants. The common size for carpenter ants is between six to twelve millimeters in length. They have one node at the waist, while most other species have two and their bodies can be black or reddish all over. Certain carpenter ants have wings that are distinguishable from termites. Foremost, the winged ants are larger than termites and are easier to spot since ants have distinctive waists than termites.
Signs of a Carpenter Ant Infestation
When mature, the western black carpenter colon contains about 10,000 to 20,000 workers, with larger colonies of more than 50,000 individuals. There is usually one wingless queen per colony. Swarmers are not produced until the colony is more than two years old and help over the winter in the nest for release the following year. The only external sign of a carpenter ant infestation other than the presence of workers and swarmers is the appearance of small openings on the surface of the wood. Ants expel debris which consists of sawdust-like shaving, fragments of insulation, and insect bodies. The accumulation of this debris below the visible holes is a good indication of an active infestation.
Carpenter ants prefer to attack softened wood by fungus and often associate it with moisture problems. The most obvious sign of carpenter ant infestation is the presence of workers inside a building or home. These ants forage for food within great distances of their nests and can be spotted out in the open. They can also be detected by faint rustling noises inside woodwork or walls. When large winged ants emerge from ceiling, walls, and other hidden crevices, an infestation is almost certain.
How to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants
Indoor and Outdoor Baiting
Baiting is the most effective way of carpenter ant killing. For using baiting, you will need to identify an outside colony and an indoor colony. Usually, the indoor colony serves as the base, and the outdoor groups are the main colony. The ants usually leave the main colony to go and search for food around the base one. In doing this, they will create a trail between the main and base colonies. The outdoor baiting method will exploit these trails and get rid of all the carpenter ants in both groups. The bait should be applied along the trails, around the house, trees, and other places so that the ants pick it up as they move between the two colonies. Apply baiting around cracks and crevice in your house where the carpenter ants are seen entering. You can reapply the bait regularly if you have a recurring ant problem.
Another option people use sprays for carpenter ant control. For this method, you will have to locate the main colony of the carpenter ants, where the queen lives. Once you find the nest, you will need to spray around it and along the trail of ants. However, you should never use sprays inside the house because they drive the ants away and will not have a major impact on the colony as a whole. With repellent sprays, the carpenter ants will detect that they are under attack, and the queen will instruct the ants to take the eggs and split as they create multiple base colonies.
Insecticides are among the best methods of carpenter ant extermination that is safe for household use. Insecticides can be in the form of sprays, mists, or foams. They are meant to be applied around the nests of the ants or along their trails, and some of these insecticides will seep into the wood and discourage the ants from returning in the future.
If an infestation is suspected and you need to know how to get rid of carpenter ants, it’s always best to contact a professional pest control service who can assess the situation and recommend a method of carpenter ant extermination. Rid-A-Big has been providing the top-leading pest control services in areas such as Davidson, Cornelius, Mooresville, and Huntersville for over 50 years. Contact us for more information about how to help with your carpenter ant issue.
Worried about other pests springing up this time of year? Read our article, Animals To Watch Out for During Spring, for some other helpful tips.