What is not to love about summer? For a lot of us, this time of the year means vacations with family, trips to the lake, backyard barbecues, and lots of stops for ice cream. Being able to get out and enjoy blue skies, beautiful gardens, and the smell of fresh cut grass is by far more appealing than shivering around the heat vent on a cold February morning while you wait for the house to warm up. But, this time of the year does come with its own set of problems. Pests that seemed to be dormant all winter have now made their way out and about, and many of them are already planning ahead to the next cold weather season.
The carpenter ant is one of those industrious insects that are always thinking ahead. When they emerged from their nests after the winter finally lost its grip, they came from an ever-expanding nest that had gotten far too crowded over the winter months. To reduce overcrowding, the excess ants are born with wings so they can literally fly from the nest. The winged carpenter ants, or swarmers as they are called, are on a mission to find a brand-new nesting site and form a new colony. Once they find the perfect spot, carpenter ants waste no time dropping those wings, breeding a new queen and new workers, and expanding the new territory by tunneling through the wood they moved into.
This is when, as a homeowner, we run into problems. It is doubtful that most of us who have ever spent any time outside have gone through our lives without seeing a flying ant. It doesn’t generally register to us that these ants are on a mission looking for a new home or that they are carpenter ants in disguise. However, if they are in your neighborhood, these ants are looking for a home and are not opposed to sharing yours. When a carpenter ant picks out a home, it is always in wood. They look at any water damaged structure or tree with enough space as the perfect nesting spot.
Carpenter ant colonies are responsible for thousands of dollars in damage to homes every year thanks to their constant tunneling through wood that, over time, completely compromises the structure of the home. Unfortunately, too many of us do not even know they are causing a problem until we see sagging or warping support beams and floors. That’s why it is essential to get them before they get you, so to speak.
Carpenter ant swarmers can be discouraged from making your property their home. Outside, make sure any stored wood for the fireplace is at least 15 feet away from the house and that it is raised from the ground on pallets or wood stands. Make sure that you are taking the time to clean gutters or replace shingles and siding that are compromised to make sure that the wooden structure underneath remains dry and protected. You might also want to pay attention to details inside as well, namely in the kitchen. Carpenter ants are highly sensitive and attracted to the foods we consume. They love the sweet stuff as well as the greasy residue that is often found in our kitchens. Thoroughly cleaning all surfaces regularly and putting foods in plastic containers can help reduce that attraction.
If you see any flying ants on your property, especially near your home, please do not ignore it. Give Parkway Pest Services a call. Our team can help you find the source of the problem, protect your home from invasion, and save you thousands in repair costs down the road. Give us a call to learn more about our residential pest control services.