Are Carpenter Ants Invading Your Home?
Texas is host to eighteen carpenter ant species, though not all of them destroy property. There’s confusion between winged reproductive carpenter ants and winged termites, without professional identification. Both cause expensive structural damage, though in different ways.
The winged black carpenter ant is a reproductive swarmer. Both male and female flying carpenter ants mate during the swarming season between May and late July in order to form new colonies. Swarms near or inside your home are a strong sign that the colony is causing structural damage to your property.
How to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants
It won't be easy to kill carpenter ants, and may not work after purchasing many retail baiting products and spending months trying to get rid of them. But, here are some tips if you prefer the Do-it-yourself pest control method.
- Carpenter ants are notoriously challenging to lure with bait traps, though plenty of retail products try to convince you otherwise. Container baits, in particular, have little effect on our Texas species.
- Find outdoor foraging trails when the ants are active at night, in warmer weather, using a flashlight. Likewise, the best way to find ants indoors is spotting one at night and following it back toward the colony.
- If you know where the colony is located, you can attempt to drill into the wall and inject a pesticide safe for wall voids of homes. But please use extreme caution. This method is best left for the experts.
- Carpenter ant control is not once-and-done. It requires multiple treatments and proactive management.
YardDoc knows exactly how to identify and get rid of carpenter ants. We'll tailor an ant control process for you that includes both prevention and elimination. Take a look at our happy customer reviews to see for yourself.
First, we will identify the species infesting your property and then try to locate the colony nest itself. Next, we will determine the most effective pest control method. It may include a variety of commercial-grade baiting, safe pesticide injection directly into the colony, and exclusion techniques.
Last, we'll monitor, manage, and adjust your carpenter ant treatment program to ensure thorough extermination. And, if your home sustained damage because of the ant invasion, our talented handyman team can assist with repairs.
Carpenter Ant Damage
Carpenter ants are sneaky in that they inflict damage slowly over a period of years. They don't eat wood like termites do. Instead, they infest existing hollow spaces such as wall voids and window frames, or tunnel out trails between insulation and wood structures in a crawl space or attic.
They'll often use cracks or gaps in windows and doors to gain entry inside your home. They need moisture, and so rotted or damp wood (such as window frames), attracts them. As they build and expand their nest and tunnels, the wood splinters and breaks off, causing property damage. A carpenter ant's excavation activity creates galleries for nesting and travel, and extensive damage to your property over time.
Texas carpenter ants live in smaller colonies and are not as destructive as those found in the Northwest and Northeastern regions of the United States. But they should not be dismissed.
Carpenter ants are classified as wood-destroying insects. Therefore, their presence must be noted on real estate transactions and can seriously affect the value of your home, even after you've completed expensive repairs.
What do carpenter ants look like?
It usually takes an expert, like a YardDoc pest control technician, to identify whether you have carpenter ants or termites. Carpenter Ants are one of the larger species of ants found in Texas (1/4 to 3/8 inches). They have a reddish-brown head and thorax with a black abdomen.
The workers of the species may range in color from yellow to black. The winged reproductive males and females are black, and larger (1/4 to 1/2 inch) than others within the colony. All ants have bent or elbowed antennae. This is one way you can distinguish them from Drywood termites or Subterranean termites, which have straight antennae.
Do carpenter ants bite?
They are not dangerous to humans or pets and do not sting. But they will bite, usually in defense of their nest. Powerful mandibles, designed for chewing through wood, exert a lot of pressure. And they may inject a chemical form of formic acid. Therefore, sometimes the area around a bite will become red, inflamed, and itchy.
What do carpenter ants eat?
Outdoors, they nest in the dead wood of trees, stumps, fences, and piles of firewood. Carpenter Ants eat other insects and honeydew (not the fruit; the sweet liquid produced by plant-loving aphids).
Inside your home, this pest will consume anything we eat. They are attracted to sugar, honey, wet and dry pet food, and crumbs of any kind that we've left on the floor or countertops. It's rare to spot a carpenter ant indoors as they only forage for food at night.
Professional Pest Control Services
The YardDoc team excludes and exterminates unwanted rats, mice, and other rodents, mosquitoes with mosquitoe traps, ants, roaches, bed bugs, spiders, scorpions, wasps, lawn grubs, termites, urban wildlife, asian beetles, roaches, millipedes, and other pests safely. We use a holistic, organic approach to protect you, your pets, and beneficial insects.
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