Spring brings warmer weather and more time outdoors, however, it also brings unwanted pests along with that warm weather. Unfortunately, carpenter ants fall within that category of unwanted Spring pests. It’s extremely important to understand the signs of carpenter ants and how to prevent an infestation before they become a bigger problem and wreak havoc on the inside of your home.
Understanding Nesting Habits
Once you understanding the type of nests that carpenter ants create, you will be able to recognize the initial signs of a possible infestation. Typically, there are two types of nests created by these pests – parent colonies and satellite colonies.
Parent coloniesare usually found outdoors in pieces of wood that is rotted or moist. Most often, these pieces of wood are logs, tree stumps or rotting trees. However, carpenter ants also fancy any type of wood that is moist or decaying even on the inside of homes.
Satellite colonies are where you will find most of the worker ants rather than eggs since these nests tend to have less moisture. Even without the homeowner noticing one of these nests, there may still be a possible infestation due to the size of the colony.
How Carpenter Ants Invade Homes
Although carpenter ants prefer moist and wet damaged wood, they can enter through many different crevasses and cracks that are hiding on your windows and doors. Once they are inside your home, they will create colonies and nests regardless of whether the spot is moist. Especially since satellite colonies can create habitat in dry areas. To give you a better idea of how quickly these pests can cause damage, a colony that is fully developed contains nearly 10,000 ants of which only around 10% work outside the nest.
Signs of Infestation
Unfortunately, there are more times than not where a carpenter ant infestation will go unnoticed until it becomes too late. In addition, once the homeowner notices the damage, it can quite often be confused with damage that is caused by termites. Unlike termites, a carpenter ant only creates a hollow area inside the wood, making it a longer process to create extensive damage to your home. If these warning signs go unnoticed, the pests can continue chewing on wood in and around your home for years before it becomes detectable.
The first sign that you may want to look out for are the worker ants since these ants are sent out immediately to find food for the survival of the colony. If you, for some reason, miss this initial sign, your next sign would be the presence of sawdust from the established nest. Since carpenter ants push out the wood that has been chewed, there will be debris in the surrounding areas, including crawl spaces under your home and garage. The final sign is the arrival of flying ants on your windows. This is an indication that there are mature nests on your property.
Here are some major warning signs to look out for when keeping an eye out for carpenter ants:
- Piles of sawdust or wood shavings near the baseboards and window sills of your home
- Rustling noises that come from hollow doors or inside of your walls
- Winged or flying ants sneaking out of your walls or hollow areas
- The shedding remains of ant wings near baseboards and window sills
Prevention and Removal
By the time you notice some of the signs of carpenter ants, it may already be too late for the prevention stage. However, it’s still a good idea to store firewood away from your home and keep your trees and bushes trimmed near the home. Water leaks should also be fixed and monitored so that there is no room for extra moisture to be created.
These are extremely difficult pests to get rid of once you have an active infestation, and it’s not always the best idea to handle removal on your own. If any ants survive, you are at risk of the continuation of more damage being done to your home. Our pest control specialist in Hamilton can handle the issue and manage the infestation properly. It’s always better to have the situation professionally addressed than to be wondering if there are still ants invading and damaging your property.