How can such big ants be so good at hiding? This is the quandary that surrounds the elusive carpenter ant. Many ant infestations are more invasive, swarming the kitchen like it is their own personal picnic. Fire ants are more dangerous, bringing painful poisonous stings to the party. However, just because you don’t see the majority of the carpenter ant colony doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be worried. Much like an iceberg, the real danger is below the surface.
Should I Worry About Hidden Carpenter Ant Colonies?
In everyday life, carpenter ants may only be an occasional nuisance. Often, you just see a few crawling around the backyard deck and occasionally find one that has trapped itself in the sink or bathtub. However, these little wanderers can be representatives of a vast colony that could endanger the stability of your home. These large groupings can cause significant damage to wooden studs inside walls and other areas vital to the structural integrity of your house. They present the greatest danger to wood that is damp, dry, rotted or otherwise decaying. They are persistent, coming back year after year, and can gradually wear down structures both visible and unseen.
Where Do Carpenter Ants Nest?
The natural habitat of carpenter ants is not in your home, but rather outdoors in rotting wood like tree stumps and fallen logs. They have adapted to living indoors, but they still prefer areas that are most like their natural habitat. Here are a few areas where the ants are most likely to be hiding in your home.
- Inside exterior walls
- Wall insulation
- Wooden decks and porches
- Beauty bark gardens
- Behind kitchen cabinets
The perfect carpenter ant nest is a place where they will have access to food and water as well as the ability to easily traverse through holes and tunnels that they dig in earth and wood. Their travels are actually what can cause the majority of damage to your home.
Signs of a Carpenter Ant Infestation
The most obvious sign of carpenter ants is the ants themselves. If you have seen them, this is not definitive proof that they are nesting in your home because they can range far from their nest. However, there are other signs that you may have more to worry about. You may find small piles of sawdust caused by the ants burrowing. This is called frass and is the result of the ants pushing the sawdust out of the small tunnels they create. Another indicator is hearing a rustling or other odd noises in your walls, an indication that the carpenter ants are doing their construction work. Finally, if you see small roughly rectangular holes in any wooden structure, these are the tunnel entrances that they create.
Are you worried about the unseen damage that a carpenter ant infestation could be doing to your home? Preventing infestation and ridding your home of these unwanted construction workers is our mission. Contact University Termite & Pest Control for a free consultation today!