There are over 12,000 species of ants that have been identified around the world, ranging in size from 2 mm to 40 mm. However, only a handful of ant species will infest homes in search for sources of protein, sugar and moisture. Carpenter ants will also enter the home looking for food, because unlike termites, they do not actually eat wood, they just nest inside it. So what are some of the factors around your home that attract carpenter ants?
Food Leftovers and Crumbs
Carpenter ants will need a steady supply of food in order to thrive, and for this end, they will take nutrients wherever they can get from, from both natural sources and prepared/processed foods. Their preferred foods are rich in protein, fats or sugar. They will go for pet food, food that is left in open containers, honeydew from aphids (if you have an aphid population of your property), and crumbs of bread, sugar, sweets, and meat. They will also go for any garbage that they can get their mandibles on, so make sure that your garbage container is sealed, otherwise the ants will use it as a food source.
Moisture and Dampness
Moisture is very important to carpenter ants, and they will often choose damp areas and moist, rotting wood to set up a new nest. This is because the moisture provides both humidity which they need to survive and it makes the wood softer and easier to tunnel through. They will also tend to go for areas near doorways and windows because these areas will accumulate condensation during the colder seasons. Other common areas where these ants create colonies include bathrooms, kitchens, near drains, pipe fixtures and roof vents, and in laundry areas.
Wooden Rrash and Debris
Any type of wooden debris or trash that is left outside on your property will be a draw for a lot of pests, including carpenter ants. Firewood, wooden planks, and logs, especially if left out in the rain, will become prime real estate for these ants and other insects. You may also bring carpenter ants onto your property when you buy logs or firewood. The ants can also come from your neighbor’s property as well if he has an infestation.
Taking care of these factors will improve your odds of preventing an infestation, but they will not help you get one under control. Contact us today if you have problems with carpenter ants on your property.