It can be irritating to see large black, or black and reddish, ants crawling around in your kitchen. It is even more frustrating when those random ant sightings turn into a large line of ants stealing food from your home. But, if you're being annoyed by carpenter ants, that is the least of your problems. Here's what you need to know most about these wood-damaging ants.
When carpenter ants chew their way into your home, they leave holes behind. These holes can let heat out during the winter months and allow other bugs to get into your home. If left untreated, those holes can grow even larger when rodents chew on them. And no house is a nice place to be when there are rodents living inside. So, in an indirect way, carpenter ants can lead to rodent infestations. And, rodent infestations lead to infestations of other dangerous pests like lice, mites, ticks, and fleas.
If you never see signs of carpenter ants, they can still be a problem. Since carpenter ants chew tunnels and galleries in wood, there will come a time when you're going to have to get that wood replaced. And, it is important to understand that carpenter ants don't just chew on rotting wood. They can chew on sound wood too. This can lead to structural issues and even higher repair costs.
Doors And Windows Sticking
When carpenter ants go untreated, they can be as destructive as termites. This can lead to windows that are hard, or impossible, to open--or windows that slide freely. Both are equally as frustrating. And, when wall studs twist and bend, it can lead to doors that do the same.
Carpenter ants create damage that is often mistaken for water damage. Walls can begin to bulge, ceilings can begin to sink, and floors can begin to dip. But these insects can also create damage that allows rainwater to get into a home and create real water damage.
We often think of carpenter ants as pests that damage the wood of our homes, but they can also cause damage to the people living inside a home. No, they don't sting or bite. But damage done to a balcony, exterior staircase, or some other structure that is suspended, it can lead to a fall.
Invasion Of Food Products
While carpenter ants are not linked to the spread of harmful bacteria, like several other household ants, that doesn't mean that there is no link, nor does it mean that it is ever fun to find ants crawling in your sugar, flour, and other packaged items. Therefore, carpenter ants are still considered a pantry pest.
Carpenter Ant Control
These ants are opportunistic. They can be found in areas that provide what they need for survival. The best way to keep them out of your home is to reduce attractants. Here are some ideas:
If you have a wood pile near your home, consider moving it to at least 20 feet away from your exterior walls. It is also a good idea to elevate your stacked firewood.
If you bring wood into your home, it is a good idea to burn that wood within 48 hours.
Obstructed or broken gutters should be repaired to prevent water from soaking the soil next to your home.
Bushes and shrubs should be 2 feet from your home. This allows the sun to dry the soil next to your home when it rains.
If you have mulch, it is a good idea to replace it with crushed rock. If you use mulch specifically for flowerbeds, replace it periodically to keep it fresh and resistant to wood pests.
Areas around your home that have excessive shade, or moisture buildup, should be addressed to reduce the threat of carpenter ants.
Partner with a pest control company to get ongoing service for carpenter ants. In many cases, this is the only way to guarantee that these clever and resourceful ants are excluded from your home.
If you're in our Tennessee service area, and you would like ongoing protection from carpenter ants and other destructive pests, Russell's Pest Control can help. Give us a call to schedule service for your Tennessee home, or to set up a time for one of our professional pest control technicians to perform a free in-home pest evaluation. There is no time like today to get your protection in place. The professionals here at Russell's are standing by to assist you.
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