Do you occasionally see a big black ant crawling across your kitchen counter? If so, you probably have a carpenter ant infestation. You may even be aware of this but shrugged it off. It is not all that troubling to see one or two ants now and again. But, when you see one or two carpenter ants in your home, there may be hundreds, or even thousands more, chewing on the wood inside your walls. This is because carpenter ants don't need to feed on the food in your pantries and kitchen cabinets to survive. There is a wide variety of foods outside of your home that will sustain these insects. The sighting of a big black ant every once in a while does not indicate how big your infestation is. It is a warning sign that your home has a wood-chewing pest in it. And that is a warning you should not take lightly.
It is even possible that you have found large black winged insects on your interior window sills and window panes and simply vacuumed them up without looking into the problem. You wouldn't be the first to do this. It can feel like those insects may have gotten into the house, and that the vacuum is a quick solution to the issue. But those flying ants are male and female reproductives. They are produced by a mature colony that has had years to develop within the wall of your home. More than this, they are an indication that the mature nest inside your walls is about to be accompanied by another nest.
Whether you see a black ant crawling around every now and then, or you've seen flying ants on your interior walls and windows, it is important to take this warning seriously. When left untreated, carpenter ants can do a considerable amount of damage to a home.
Carpenter Ant Damage
When carpenter ants chew galleries and tunnels inside the wood of a home, it can lead to:
Floors that bulge out as if they have water damage.
Floors that dip.
Holes in the framing of doors and windows.
Doors that stick or swing freely.
Windows that stick or do not stay up.
The weakening of support structures and warping of your home's frame.
Ceilings that sink.
Protecting your home from the damage carpenter ants can do begins with properly identifying this insect pest. Carpenter ants are entirely black or a mixture of dark red and black. Workers are typically around ¼ of an inch. Winged carpenter ants are ¾ of an inch to more than an inch. Since these are fairly large ants, you can also look between the thorax (chest) and the abdomen for the single node between. This node will look a little like a blunt spike.
Because of their color, little black ants are often confused with carpenter ants and vice versa. But this shouldn't be the case. Little black ants are considerably smaller than carpenter ants. A typical little black ant measures in at a mere 1/16 of an inch. That is tiny enough to make it extremely hard to see its distinct difference, the fact that it has two nodes between its thorax and abdomen.
What To Do When You See Carpenter Ants
The appearance of even one carpenter ant in your home should prompt you to call a professional. It is never a good idea to allow wood-destroying pests to go untreated. If you're in our New York service area, we invite you to call Parkway Pest Services. Do-it-yourself carpenter ant pest control is challenging and, if your home has more than one nest, you may think the problem is solved but continue to have damage.
At Parkway Pest Services, or highly trained and Green Shield-Certified, pest control technicians use industry-leading Integrated Pest Management and a limited and focused application of EPA-approved pesticides to destroy nests. Once those nests are gone, your technician will also ensure no other nests in your home. So you can rest easy knowing that your equity isn't being nibbled on.
For information or to set up service, reach out to us today.