What do I look for?
The first signs of activity will be carpenter ants foraging for food in your kitchen sink, dishwasher and any spill on the floor. Carpenter ant colonies or nests can be found in moist wood usually below a door or window that has been improperly flashed. The workers excavate these areas called galleries. The resulting sawdust is carried off and dropped onto the ground in a neat pile below the nesting area. Carpenter ants like a clean living area so as ants die off they are carted out and dumped into the pile of sawdust. Carpenter ants chew the wood to remove it. At night you may be able to hear chewing sounds as they enlarge their colony.
Carpenter ants do not eat wood, they eat sweets like spilled honey, syrup and jelly. They also eat meat like dogfood or meat scraps, basically the same foods that we do. That is why they can be found in and around the dish washer, kitchen sink, cabinets with food crumbs and the trash can. Outdoors they like honeydew, a sweet liquid produced by aphids and scale insects. This is why you must be careful when bringing a fresh cut flower in from outside as the carpenter are inside the pedals. Carpenter ants also eat other insects.
Treatment of Carpenter Ants
In treating carpenter ants the sooner you treat them the less chance for serious structural damage to your home. Carpenter ants could cause extreme damage if not treated properly and left to a professional pest management company. Inspecting your home is the most important step. Our technician will be looking for moisture issues which is essential when looking for an infestation of carpenter ants. If we can determine the cause of the moisture and the carpenter ants in the first place we can stop them from coming back in the future. An inspection report containing recommendations for home improvements that will reduce the conditions that are conducive to carpenter ants will be sent to you. If the colony is in your home we will treat that location directly. This will kill the source of the infestation and stop the foraging ants you are seeing.
All crawling insects walk across your foundation at one time or another and that is why treating this area is important to the control of carpenter ants. Any foraging ants walk across our barrier treatment and bring the treatment back to the main colony.
Whether you have an infestation problem or experience occasional activity from outdoors, we have a plan that is right for you.
Call Freedom Pest today 877-737-8755 to schedule your carpenter ant treatment and ask about our Gold Plan for complete coverage of your home against insects.
Life Cycle of the Carpenter Ant
Carpenter ants life cycle is complete metamorphosis. In other words there are 4 stages in their life cycle. They are the egg, larva, pupa and adult. Normally the egg to adult sequence takes about 60 days. Colonies have workers, a queen, and may also contain winged females. The winged carpenter ants overwinter in the nest and swarm in the spring to start the cycle again next year.
Locating the Carpenter Ant Nests
Carpenter ants require moist areas to live in. They can be wood, Styrofoam insulation, buried stumps or construction debris. They do not eat wood, but remove it to expand their colony. There are two types of carpenter ant colonies, a parent and a satellite colony. The parent colony will be located in a tree, stump, or under some debris that is close to your home. As workers forage for food outside they discover your home and a source of food and water. Communication and travel between colonies is maintained through pheromones. As carpenter ants forage inside your home they are looking for a moist area in your walls or floors to set up a satellite colony. The satellite colony may contain larvae, pupae, and winged reproductives. The size of a typical parent colony ranges from 10,000 to 50,000 workers. Satellite colonies found in houses frequently contain up to several thousand workers
Carpenter Ant Damage
As carpenter ants hollow out areas for colony expansion they destroy the integrity of the wood. If a main structural beam is hollowed out it can result in serious structural damage. The earlier an infestation is discovered the easier it is to treat and reduce any chances of extreme damage.