large black and red carpenter ant in tn

How To Identify Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are larger than most other ants in our region.  Adults may grow up to ½ of an inch and the queens  up to 1 inch in length. The workers have large strong mandibles that they use to excavate wood as they tunnel through it to create nesting areas. Carpenter ants are usually black but can come in a range of colors that include red, black, yellowish or a combination of colors.

Why Do I Have A Carpenter Ant Problem?

Carpenter ants need a source of moisture to survive, they generally build their nests outside in wet or decaying wood. In such places as tree stumps, landscaping, and firewood. Carpenter ants may enter into homes through cracks around doors and foundations, or through holes found around wires as they are looking for food. Once inside they will contaminate and feed on pet food, meats, sweets, and other foods that they find. They may also nest in the structural wood of your home, behind walls, baseboards, or underneath floors, especially if the wood has been damaged by water.

Are Carpenter Ants Dangerous?

Carpenter ants are not dangerous to people or pets because they don’t bite or carry diseases. Carpenter ants are however, dangerous to property. They do not eat the wood like termites do, but they do make extensive tunnels and nesting areas while excavating the wood as they go. The tunnels and galleries that they create will weaken the structural integrity of your home. Repairing carpenter ant damages can be quite expensive and time consuming.

How Do I Control Carpenter Ants?

Controlling carpenter ants can be complex because the nests and members of the colony both inside and outside of your home need to be found and eliminated. Simply getting rid of the few ants you see wondering around your home  or the satellite colony in your wall will not get rid of your problem. The best way to get rid of carpenter ants is with the help of a professional pest control expert.  Russell’s Pest Control offers effective pest control services for carpenter ants.  Contact us to learn more. 

Carpenter Ant Prevention Tips

Limiting moisture both inside and outside of your home will go a long way in preventing a problem with carpenter ants. Some other things that you can do to help prevent carpenter ants from invading your home include:

  • Keep your gutter working properly to guide water away from your home.

  • Fix or repair any leaky outdoor fixtures.

  • Repair any area around your home that allows carpenter ants inside.

  • Seal cracks in the foundation, caulk gaps around windows and doors, install door sweeps, and seal any holes around utility lines and pipes.

  • Inside and outside your home you should regularly remove garbage.

  • Inside your home use de-humidiers to keep your moisture level down and replace any water damaged wood.

  • Keep food in sealed containers or in the refrigerator.

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