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How Do I Know If I Have Carpenter Ants?

Carpenter Ants In Massachusetts

The summer is halfway over; have you gotten everything you wanted done this summer, especially as far as home improvement projects go? If you were planning on repainting your home this summer, that’s definitely not something you want to hold off on, because not only will newly repainted siding make your house look good, the paint can help protect the wood of your home from water and weather damage. This is especially important in keeping your home’s structure sound and to protect your home from insects that will take advantage of water damaged wood. Insects that may infest your water damaged wood include termites, carpenter bees and carpenter ants. In this blog, we’ll focus on the carpenter ants in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and CT that are looking to make your home their own. 

What are carpenter ants?

Carpenter ants are social insects that live in large colonies with worker ants and their queen ant. The worker ants are between ¼ of an inch to ½ an inch long and are the smallest residents of the colony that work hard to gather food and water for the colony.  If they find your home as a suitable place to make a nest, they will bore holes into water damaged wood and then gnaw away galleries in the wood to make room for more members of the colony. A queen ant is typically ¾ of an inch long and she is often the one to start a new colony by laying her eggs.  Carpenter ants typically nest in live or dead fallen trees in the forest, but if they’ve found your home to be suitable, they may enter to create their galleries. Carpenter ants tend to be black or red, or a combination of these two colors. 

What are signs of carpenter ants?

You may recognize that you have carpenter ant damage to your home when you see (or hear) any of these signs: 

  • Wood that sounds hollow when tapped upon
  • The sound of faint rustling within in the walls can be heard in infested wood
  • A knife can very easily penetrate the surface of wood that has been infested with carpenter ants
  • The presence of wood with wide, irregular galleries that are smooth-surfaced (almost as if they’ve been rubbed down with sand paper) and free of debris
  • Shed wings of swarmer carpenter ants laying around near window sills, baseboards and vents
  • Trails of sawdust that can be left behind where carpenter ants have bored holes into the wood 

This information regarding carpenter ants should help you determine whether or not you have an infestation of these ants inside your home. Once people find out they have carpenter ants in the house, they tend to ask a few questions, including:

Are carpenter ants harmful?” The answer is carpenter ants are only harmful to the wood in the structure of your home; they’re not dangerous to your health.

Do carpenter ants bite?”  They may bite, but their bite is not toxic and will only leave a small mark on your skin. 

If you’ve got home improvement projects that you’ve been delaying this summer, don’t delay any longer or you could end up with many more problems than you expect! If you suspect carpenter ants are in your home, or you already have water damaged wood in your home’s structure that may be attracting carpenter ants, contact the professionals at Big Blue Bug Solutions today for your first inspection. Our carpenter ant control services can help you find an infestation and take care of it quickly so that more damage can be prevented.