Most of the time, when we see an ant crawling around our home or backyard, we don’t think twice about it. Maybe we buy some repellents to keep the little crawlers out of the kitchen. However, it’s important to keep an eye out for the characteristics of each ant you see on your property, because they may offer important clues as to whether you have a carpenter ant infestation or not.
The threats posed by carpenter ants
What sets carpenter ants apart from most other ant species is the fact that they can actually cause structural damage to the home. A carpenter ant colony will be built inside of wood, and as the colony expands, the workers will dig more and more tunnels. On top of that, one main colony will have several satellites in the nearby area, rapidly increasing the rate at which the ants tunnel through wood. Given enough time, the damage caused by these ants can become extensive, and the repair and control costs can get quite high.
How to prevent an infestation
There are several things that can be done to lower the odds of a carpenter ant infestation occurring in your home. First, you want to make sure that all the wood in your home is not affected by high levels of moisture. This can mean fixing leaks, clearing up clogged gutters, or lowering the humidity inside the home. You then have to make sure that there are no food sources available for the ants in the home. Here you want to focus on keeping all your food in sealed containers, including any pet food, and cleaning up whenever there is a spill, crumbs or leftover food in the home.
Getting rid of an infestation
If prevention methods fail, then it is time to move onto control. Carpenter ant infestations are best controlled by a professional who will use insecticidal baits, foams and dusts to contain and destroy a colony. DIY methods may seem like a good idea if you want to save costs, but it is often the case that DIY is not able to completely remove an infestation, which will result in more damage to the home and higher costs over time.
For more information on carpenter ant prevention, or if you have an infestation in your home that has to be removed, contact us today.