Carpenter ants are wood-damaging insects. But they don't damage just any ol' wood. They have a preference. Understanding this preference can give you some insight into where you should look for carpenter ant damage in your New York home.
In nature, carpenter ants tunnel into logs, stumps, and other wood that does not have life in it. They don't tunnel into living trees, though they can be found dwelling inside trees that have heart rot. Heart rot occurs in a tree when a fungal disease leads to wood decay in the center of the tree trunk. So it is, essentially, the same type of wood as a log or a stump: soft and decaying.
Do you have soft, decaying wood on your property?
If you do, this is the wood carpenter ants will target first. For most property owners, it is fencing, decks, stairs, sheds, and other exterior wood structures that get hit first. This is because rain, snow, ice, and other weather conditions can work to break down exposed wood. The wood inside your home should be protected from the weather outside, at least, to a far greater extent than external structures.
It All Works Together
When you see wood damage on external structures, it is not necessarily carpenter ant damage. The sun can dry wood out. Expansion and contraction from temperature changes can cause gaps. Moisture can get into the gaps and soak the wood. Spores can land on damaged wood and get stuck. This leads to wood decay. As damage increases, carpenter ants take advantage of it.
Carpenter Ants May Not Stop
While carpenter ants prefer soft, decaying wood and are prone to attack wood that is damaged by moisture, they may not stop their tunneling when they get to dry, sound wood inside your home. This is especially true of black carpenter ants, such as Camponotus pennsylvanicus—a common ant in New York. This makes these ants a significant threat to the equity of our homes.
Fortunately, carpenter ants don't do a ton of damage overnight. If they are caught early and addressed quickly, repair costs can be minimized or averted altogether. This is where a licensed pest professional can help. When you invest in residential pest control service from an experienced and trusted pest control company, like Parkway Pest Services, you get fast detection and fast elimination of carpenter ants. If you've been on the fence about whether or not to get essential pest control service for your New York home, let those carpenter ants tip you over the edge. No New York home should be without it.