What TO Do and What NOT to Do About Carpenter Ants

What TO Do and What NOT to Do About Carpenter Ants

There are many kinds of pests that plague our homes. Most insects are an annoyance. There are a few, however, that can actually do damage to your property. Termites get all the headlines for being destructive. They are, of course, one of the worst types of pests you can have within your home or commercial property. Termites can do tens of thousands of dollars in damage in a relatively short amount of time. However, they are not the only pests that do more harm than merely being aggravating. 

While not necessarily as destructive as termites, carpenter ants can wreak their share of havoc. If allowed to linger, these tiny insects can do a lot of damage and cause homeowners to pay a significant price in repairs. We want to help you learn everything you need to know about carpenter ants.

Here is what you should and should not do when it comes to the presence of carpenter ants on your property.


Do NOT Confuse Carpenter Ants With Termites

If you see signs of damaged wood, your first assumption might be termites. However, if you begin treating your property for termites, it will do little to deter carpenter ants. They will be allowed to continue causing damage while you may be assuming they have been exterminated.  

DO Learn To Identify Carpenter Ants

One of the first steps in battling carpenter ants is learning what they are and what they look like. Carpenter ants are large in size compared to common ants. They have an extra-large, round thorax and giant mandibles (jaws). They are typically black but can have shades of red and yellow. You may see one or two away from the area in your home where they are causing the most damage. If you recognize one, make sure you examine your home for signs of their colony.

Do NOT Think That Killing One Will Deter Them

Seeing a single carpenter ant might not be alarming at first. It is fairly easy to deal with just one or two little ants. Besides, just a few will not do that much damage, right? Unfortunately, when you spot the first one, it likely means your house or business has been marked by carpenter ants as a good place to call home. Getting rid of one or two of them will not deter the colony from boring holes in your wood floors and steps. When you see the first sign, you must take steps to get rid of them. 

Do Watch for Signs of Carpenter Ants in Your Home

Carpenter ants may be hiding in your home well out of plain sight. Even if you do not see carpenter ants, they will show signs of their presence. Here are signs carpenter ants may be in your home:

  • You have high humidity areas in your home. 
  • You have places in your home that are damp or have been water-damaged in the past. 
  • You see piles of wood shavings, especially in basements, crawlspace, wooden stairs, and near wood furniture. 
  • You hear the sound of faint tapping within your walls or under your flooring.
  • You notice hollow parts of your steps, walls, and floors.

Some of the signs of carpenter ants are similar to termites. You should consider bringing in a trusted exterminator who can quickly identify whether you have carpenter ants, termites, or something else. 

Do NOT Ignore Carpenter Ants

It is easy to think something so small may not really cause all that much trouble, but carpenter ants are not something to ignore. They are not going to go away on their own. Home and property owners must be vigilant against them. Steps you should take against carpenter ants include:

  1. Exterminate them: You need all carpenter ants thoroughly exterminated. 
  2. Make repairs: Once the ants are gone, you will need to make sure all the damage they did is repaired. Furthermore, make repairs to water-damaged and rotted wood, so carpenter ants are not as attracted to return.
  3. Eliminate moisture: Take steps to eliminate moisture. You may consider sealing your crawl space; otherwise, water damage and wood rot can attract carpenter ants to return. 
  4. Seal entry points: You need to make sure carpenter ants cannot return. Seal their entry points to make it as difficult as possible for them. 
  5. Hire a professional: Carpenter ants are not something to take lightly. They can do extensive damage, leading to expensive repairs. A professional exterminator can help you identify carpenter ants and what attracted them to your home or property. Rid-a-Bug can also find the potential entry points and help you seal your crawl space. 

We want to make sure carpenter ants do not spoil your homeownership experience in the Carolinas and Virginia. Rid-a-Bug Exterminating is your trusted extermination team. We can quickly identify whether you have ants, termites, or something else. We will thoroughly exterminate carpenter ants and take steps to make sure they do not return to your property. 

Contact us for more information about what to do and what not to do about carpenter ants. 

Not sure of what you’ve got? Check out our article, What Do Termites Look Like and Signs of Termite Damage, or How To Identify Ant Infestations.