3 Things Every Knoxville Homeowner Should Know About Carpenter Ants

3 Things Every Knoxville Homeowner Should Know About Carpenter Ants

In our Knoxville service area, carpenter ants can be a significant threat. These ants can damage man-made structures as they create places to establish nests. If they chew their way into your Knoxville home, there are three important points you should consider.


1.Carpenter ants aren’t always easy to detect.

This is the big one. If you know a little about carpenter ants, you might think you’ll be able to detect them and stop them before they damage your home. This isn’t always the case. The ways carpenter ants reveal themselves can sometimes go unnoticed:

  • Worker ants. You might think that you’ll see big, black ants crawling around inside your home when these ants get in. Sadly, this is rarely the case. Carpenter ants can find a lot more to eat on the outside of your Knoxville home than they can on the inside. They don’t need to raid your cabinets to get a bite to eat. You may, however, see a random scout every once in a while. If you do, be aware that one scout ant may be the only warning sign you get.

  • Ants outside. You might think that you’re going to see lots of busy little ants around your Knoxville home when carpenter ants get in. Unfortunately, carpenter ants are mostly nocturnal. They’ll be busy while you’re sleeping.

  • Sawdust. If you know that carpenter ants don’t eat wood, you might think that you’ll see sawdust piles when these ants get into your home. Keep in mind that the nocturnal nature of carpenter ants causes them to get into dark places around and inside your home. These are usually areas that are hard to get into.

  • Winged ants. You may think you’ll see flying ants if you have an infestation. The problem with this warning sign is that swarms don’t last for more than 30 minutes and sometimes flying ants take to the air and move right into the next-door neighbor’s yard.

 2. Carpenter ant damage can cause a lot of problems.

Over time, carpenter ants can do a lot of damage. As they weaken timbers, it can put stress on the structure of your Knoxville home and lead to serious damage.


3. Carpenter ants are difficult to control.

Have you ever tried to eliminate ant colonies? It’s hard. And when you’re unsuccessful, it is difficult to know it. This is something you don’t want to do with carpenter ants. The last thing you need is to have these ants continuing to do damage to your home right under your nose.

For ant control in Knoxville, reach out to Russell’s Pest Control. We have the experience and knowledge to help you protect your property and keep ants out.

Is My Knoxville Home At Risk For Carpenter Ants?  

Is My Knoxville Home At Risk For Carpenter Ants?  

June is the perfect month to finish the last of your spring cleaning. It’s also a great time to really pay attention to what kind of insects might be living in your house. While you are spring cleaning, carpenter ants are looking to find a brand-new nest. Don’t let them find their next home inside of yours.

Carpenter Ants

There are many species of ants in Tennessee, but carpenter ants can be especially harmful. They are bigger than other house ants and can be black or dark red in color. Carpenter ants have a varied diet, so you might not find them in your kitchen. However, if you do see carpenter ants inside, they may be scouts. They are searching your house to determine how much food and water there is and whether it will be a good place to relocate the colony–or a colony may already exist inside your home. Even one individual carpenter ant can be a sign of trouble, and you should never ignore it.

Once the scouts have inspected your house, you might see swarmers. These are flying ants that emerge during the spring to mate and set up new nests. Carpenter ants build their nests in tunnels of wood. This means that they can cause significant structural damage to a home.

Warning Signs

While you are finishing your spring cleaning and getting ready to enjoy summer, here are some signs that might be an indicator of carpenter ants in your house.

  • A single carpenter ant is a warning. Ants don’t travel very far from their colony, so if you see one ant, there are more nearby.

  • Seeing swarmers is another sign that you might have a problem. Swarmers set up new nests, so if you see flying ants, they might be building a nest somewhere in your house.

  • Even if you don’t see the swarmers themselves, you may see wings left on your windowsills. These wings could be from carpenter ants or termites. Either way, you have a problem.

  • Carpenter ants dig tunnels and discard the wood shavings. This sawdust is called frass and may be mixed with dust and dirt. You won’t always see frass because it could be hidden in crawl spaces, corners of the attic, or dark areas of your basement. If you do see sawdust coming from the walls or ceilings, call pest control immediately.

  • A final warning sign is visible damage to your house. If carpenter ants have been living in your house undetected, you may start to notice the walls are bulging, the ceiling is dipping, or the floor is warped. Doors and windows may also stick and become hard to open.

Preventing Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are first attracted to softwoods, especially wood that has been damaged by water or rot. To prevent a carpenter ant infestation, avoid damp wood and check for leaks, plumbing issues, or spills. Make it hard for carpenter ants to move in by keeping your kitchen clean and never leaving spills or crumbs for the ants to find. Finally, make sure that you don’t have any tree branches touching the roof of your house since this is a common entry point for carpenter ants.

When to Call Russell’s

These prevention tips can make your home less inviting. However, if carpenter ants find their way into your home, you’ll need professional help. Ignoring carpenter ants will lead to significant damage to your home. Call Russell’s Pest Control if you see signs of carpenter ants. They will assess the situation and create a treatment plan to keep your house clear of carpenter ants and protected from their damage. Don’t wait and don’t think you can keep carpenter ants away on your own. Let the professionals help you control the damage and prevent any further problems.

How To Tell If You Have Carpenter Ants

How To Tell If You Have Carpenter Ants

Are you seeing small ants in and around your home? Or small piles of sawdust? You could potentially be dealing with carpenter ants! Those few ants you’re seeing could end up increasing in number fairly quickly. If you aren’t familiar with carpenter ants, you should know that these pests can do some serious structural damage as they make their nests inside the wood—a.k.a your home. These ants are bad news! 

Carpenter ant infestations usually start off with a few ants scoping out your property. These are known as “scout” ants. It will be up to them to determine whether your home is fit for the colony to move in. What makes your home attractive to carpenter ants? They need sources of food and water. Carpenter ants also are attracted to damaged or damp wood and will choose these areas as their first location for making a nest. However, they will then move on to dry wood as their colony grows. And they aren’t actually eating the wood, only making nests inside it. So, as for their food, they may rummage through your pantries and food-storage areas to find their meals. Any crumbs or spills will attract them as well. 

The sooner you find these ants the better! A carpenter ant infestation that has gone on too long can result in buildings becoming unsafe to live in. They will bite away chunk by chunk with their powerful jaws day after day. With the size of their colonies, it doesn’t take long for the damage to build up. It’s important to know the signs of a carpenter ant infestation.

Signs Carpenter Ants Leave Behind:

  • Seeing the ants inside your home is a sure sign of an infestation. These ants may be black or red, and some could even have wings. Discarded wings could be left behind. 
  • Any damaged or decaying wood is subject to carpenter ants, so watch out for this. It’s important to replace the wood and fix the damage as soon as possible. 
  • Sawdust or tunneling is another sign of carpenter ants. As the ants tunnel through to make their nest, they will leave behind small piles of sawdust and the wood may appear brittle and break apart. 
  • It’s also important to know where to look for carpenter ants. As mentioned above, any damp wood is susceptible to an infestation and their hotspots for making nests include windows, chimneys, bathrooms, and door frames. Any hollow spaces could potentially be at risk.
  • Any damage to your home should be inspected. Carpenter ants are known to cause sagging ceilings and floors, as well as unstable walls. If you’re noticing any of these, it’s important to seek a professional.

If you’re seeing any signs of a carpenter ant infestation, it’s advised to call a professional pest control company. Russell’s Pest Control has been serving Knoxville and eastern Tennessee for over 45 years. If you live within these areas, our team will partner with you to inspect and eliminate pests from your home. Better yet, they can help prevent pests from ever entering! We have different program options that will keep your home pest free and safe from the damage carpenter ants can cause. Contact Russell’s Pest Control today to get rid of your pest infestations!

How To Avoid Carpenter Ants This Spring

How To Avoid Carpenter Ants This Spring

Tis the season again, the season for ants to begin infiltrating our homes. While it is never pleasant to see a few ants, or a few hundred ants, crawling around on our pet’s food dish or a piece of food that was dropped on the floor, it should be especially alarming if you see large black carpenter ants crawling around. And it is important to note that these ants are usually only seen in living areas 1 or 2 at a time. But if you see 1 or 2, there are likely hundreds, or thousands, just out of sight inside the wood of your home.

What Is More Damaging, Termites Or Carpenter Ants?

While it is well-known that termites are the most destructive of all the wood-destroying organisms, carpenter ants should never be ignored. While termites cost U.S. property owners billions of dollars each year and carpenter ant damage is only in the hundreds of millions, that’s still pretty serious. So it is important that we know how to identify these destructive creatures and know what we can do about them before they can do extensive damage.

How To Identify Carpenter Ants And Carpenter Ant Swarmers

Carpenter ants are the largest ants you’ll see inside your home. These black–or dark red–colored ants measure from 7 to 12 mm in length, with winged carpenter ants being as much as 22mm in length.

Ways to tell the difference between any winged ant swarmer (typically called “flying ants”) and termite swarmers are the following: Ant swarmers have elbowed antennae. Termite antennae are straight or slightly bowed. Ant swarmers have a pinched or constricted waist. The waists of termite swarmers are broad. And ant swarmers have a front pair of wings that are longer than the back pair. Termite swarmer wings are similar in length.

What Factors Are Conducive To Carpenter Ant Infestations?

Carpenter ants, like so many other household pests, typically get into homes by way of gaps and cracks in foundations or walls. If wood is wet, or rotting, this makes it even easier for pests to get in. Some things that can cause wood to be wet or rotting include broken or obstructed gutters, leaky spigots or hoses, and areas of overgrown vegetation that holds moisture close to walls and the foundation.

  • To keep carpenter ants from invading, it is important to address these issues.

  • Seal up gaps, cracks or holes in your foundation or walls.

  • Dry up moist areas surrounding your home.

  • Repair or unclog gutters and be sure water is channeled away from your home.

  • Repair any leaky spigots or hoses.

While these DIY steps will help to keep carpenter ants and other pests at bay, the best way to protect your home from these wood-destroying insects is to partner with a professional pest control company. If you live in our Tennessee service area, contact us today to learn more about our residential pest control options