As the spring season approaches, the presence of carpenter ants once again becomes apparent in many properties. Often mistaken for termites, which are also commonly present in the springtime, carpenter ants have dark-colored bodies and bent antennae, and can often be spotted in the open. These common ants tend to feed on sources of protein and sugar, which may include meats, honey, sugar and jelly indoors, and trees, shrubs, honeydew, and plants outdoors.
Carpenter ants nest within excavated areas of wood, creating hollowed tunnels out of rotting trees, tree stumps, logs or moist wood indoors. Extensive wood damage can occur if a carpenter ant colony exists for long enough. They may also be found under bathroom tiles or near tubs, sinks or showers. If a colony develops, additional satellite colonies may be established as well in nearby indoor or outdoor areas, which can survive without the need for moisture. Multiple colonies can often result in significant damage, especially in weakened structural wood.
Detection and Elimination
Once spotted, it is important to determine whether the nest is inside or outside. Carpenter ants are seen during late winter and early spring months and often indicate an indoor nest. An indoor nest means that all mating occurs inside and the infestation can be greater. Detection may require following the path of the ants without startling them or placing certain foods, such as honey or tuna in areas where ants have been spotted. Proper detection and identification can be best achieved by an experienced professional.
If carpenter ants are detected, the nest must be located and thoroughly destroyed, which can be done by following the path of active ants. Properly destroying a carpenter ant nest may be a difficult task, and should be left to an experienced professional for best results, who has the knowledge and access of a wide range of products to best eliminate these pests. Once the nests are destroyed, certain steps can be followed in order to prevent them from recurring. Exterminators and their customers can work together to report and future behaviors and develop an effective prevention plan for the individual property.
Carpenter Ant Prevention
Successful prevention of carpenter ants can often be achieved by eliminating any high moisture conditions, especially any moisture-damaged wood. Any firewood or other building materials should be stored in a dry place away from the house. Branches and plants may be used as a means of entry into the house, and should, therefore, be cut back from the house. As with nearly any type of bug infestation, even the smallest cracks and openings in the structure of the house can allow carpenter ants to enter.
If you have a problem with carpenter ants in the New York metropolitan area, contact Parkway Pest Services today! Our residential pest control packages are ideal for the prevention of carpenter ant and many other pests.