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Are These Carpenter Ants?

carpenter and crawling on wood

If you've been living under a rock (pun intended) you may not know what a carpenter ant is. So let me tell you. A carpenter ant is about ⅛ to ½ an inch long, depending on the species. They can be all black, all red, or a combination of those two colors. If you see large black ants inside your house, those are most likely carpenter ants. You don't have to worry about these ants spreading diseases or infections; however, they can still be a big problem since they make their nests inside the wood of your home and can cause serious structural damage.

Signs of a carpenter ant infestation:

One indication that carpenter ants have taken up residence inside the wood of your home is small holes in wooden structures. These holes are the openings where the ants crawl through to get to their nests. Often there is a small pile of sawdust just below these openings. If you find these signs, most likely the ants first came in while foraging for food. When these ants infest a home, it is likely a satellite colony that has moved in because of a nearby food source, warmth, and safety.

Though it is unlikely you will have a carpenter ant infestation start during the winter months, if one has already started, they will be doing damage to the wood of your house all winter long; but there are some things you can do to try to get rid of them. Please be aware, however, that it can be extremely difficult to completely eradicate these ants. The source of the infestation must be found, and the entire colony must be dealt with. If only the satellite colony is eliminated, they will likely find their way back in and re-infest your home. These little wood chewers should not be taken lightly. If left unchecked, they can cause permanent damage to the support structures of your home. And the longer you wait, the more damage they are able to do, and the greater the cost of repairs will be.

 Things you can do:

  • Eliminate all food sources. Store food in tightly sealed plastic containers.
  • Immediately clean up all spills or messes.
  • Repair ripped screens.
  • Make sure door sweeps are in good working order.
  • Repair any holes in your outside walls including gaps or cracks around pipes, vents, or air conditioning units.
  • Fix any plumbing leaks.
  • Clear away all rotting trees or lumber piles from your yard.

The sure way to get rid of carpenter ants:

If you have discovered carpenter ants in your home, it is a good idea to have an inspection done by a professional pest control company right away. They will be able to assess the extent of your infestation and will work to eliminate your ant problem quickly and completely. Don't wait until carpenter ants do permanent damage to your home, give Big Blue Bug a call and ask about year-round pest protection. We can fix that ant problem. No problem.