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They may be black, they may be tiny with segmented antennae, and they may look identical to that of the traditional ant, but the carpenter ant is in a class of its own. With its powerful mandible, which can make extremely quick work of some of the toughest woods, it stands to do immense amounts of damage to your home. Either way, the carpenter ant isn’t something you want lurking in or around your property. Information is the key here. Arming yourself with as much viable information as possible. That’s exactly what we are here to help with.
Understanding The Carpenter Ant
Let’s start with the identification of the carpenter ant. While it might appear like that of the traditional ant, this tiny invader is anything but. Carpenter ants are amongst the largest of the ant species, with the ability to grow anywhere from 3.4 to 13 millimeters long. The most common color you will see them in is black, but some species can appear in reds, yellows, and a combination of the two. The color honestly varies from species to species and ranges from jet-black to dark brown, red, black, yellow, orange, yellowish tan, or light brown. Some will exist with a red and black color combination.
How Did I End Up With Carpenter Ants?
While these ants prefer a variety of woods, it is the dead, decaying wood they choose above all else. This is where they prefer to establish and build their colonies. If you are dealing with a carpenter ant infestation, there is a good chance that you may also have an underlying moisture problem somewhere. Maybe it is some leaky pipes that are your problem or maybe there is simply an area with too much moisture content. Whatever the situation, these are the common things that draw these invaders to most properties.
In addition to this, the pest species like to utilize tree branches and overhanging roofs as a means of access into homes. Any unsealed openings in these areas could spell entryways for these sneaky invaders. Unsealed openings around utility vents and pipes or wires are just some of the common ways these invaders access the property as well.
Knowing The Severity Of The Invader
The carpenter ant classification originates from a propensity for wood. They like to build nests inside the wood. They use their powerful mandibles to hollow out tunnels in beams, 2x4s, and various wooden structures. This weakens the wood from the inside while also increasing the potential for cracking and splitting. A long-term infestation with multiple colonies in a home could spell serious structural damage along with unsightly cosmetic damage. Just put it this way, the situation would be as bad as it appeared.
Learning The Early Warning Signs
The key to any pest problem is prevention. It is always best to have measures in place to stop the problem before it becomes a problem. Of course, this is much harder than simply saying it. If it was so easy there would be no need for pest management. You can clearly see that’s not the case. Regardless of the situation, it is best to identify it and jump on it as soon as possible. Learning to identify the early infestation signs will help with this.
Worker Ants: One of the first and most obvious signs of an infestation is live worker ants. These are the crawlers that you’ll see in the home foraging for food scraps. Look in the pantry, kitchen, or any place where there is leftover food, candy, or anything edible.
Swarmers: Swarmers are flying ants. These invaders will emerge when the first colony has reached maximum size. The signs of these guys are not good, as it means they are scouting locations for additional colonies. You’ll usually see them around doors and windows.
Debris Or Frass: Carpenter ants bore into wood, but they do not eat the shavings produced from the process. They will later use this material for various purposes. Sometimes they pile the leftovers into neat little piles in the corner.
Sound: Believe it or not, you might even hear these guys inside the home. If it is incredibly quiet inside the home, you might hear these problematic pests scurrying around inside your walls. Keep your ears open, especially during the late-night hours.
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