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.
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.
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.