What To Do If You Have Spotted Carpenter Ants
Charlotte's Unwanted Guests: Understanding and Combatting Carpenter Ant Infestations
If Mother Nature was Working on the Railroad...
Most ants are harmless. If anything, ants are necessary: though they might be small, ants have a huge impact on the environment, including right here in Charlotte, NC. But North Carolina residents should worry about one ant in particular: the carpenter ant.
Charlotte homeowners should be wary of any ant that’s crawling around the house, but if there are carpenter ants roaming about your Charlotte home, these pests require immediate attention. Let’s discuss how to identify these pests and what Charlotte residents should do about them.
Carpenter Ant Identification Tips
Carpenter ants share many characteristics with other ants. These pests have segmented bodies with a head, a thorax (midsection), and an enlarged abdomen (rear end). Six legs grow from the thorax, two short antennae sit on top of the head, and if you look close enough, you can see two tiny pincers near the mouth.
There are a few things that make carpenter ants distinct from other ant species. Most are black, but some carpenter ants have a dark brown head and abdomen, but a lighter red thorax. Second, carpenter ants are relatively large ants, growing over ¼ of an inch.
Why Carpenter Ants Are Bad For Charlotte Properties
As their name implies, carpenter ants love wood. These hungry insects tunnel and build colonies in wood that is soft or decaying, developing nests that can span throughout a building’s foundation. Over time, carpenter ants weaken the foundation of your home or business, resulting in costly property damage.
Further, carpenter ants will also feed on whatever food you have in your house. These ants merely tunnel through wood to build nests, but they still need to eat, and your pantry offers snacks for these pests. Whether they feed on scraps in your trash can or the food in your pantry, this foraging can spread diseases and make their presence in your house dangerous.
Seeing one carpenter could mean that there are hundreds more hiding inside your walls. Check for the signs of a carpenter ant colony if you see one. These signs include wood damage, discolorations along the walls, creaky floorboards, and scattered ant wings.
Although carpenter ants aren’t nearly as destructive as termites, the damage will increase over time. Carpenter ants make Charlotte properties much more difficult to live in, and by contaminating your food and weakening your property, a prolonged infestation could cause serious consequences.
Carpenter Ant-Prevention Tips
How do you keep carpenter ants out of your Charlotte household? There are a few things that draw these damaging pests towards your property, so getting rid of these attractions makes it much harder for carpenter ants to find you. Consider the following:
- Keep woodpiles away from your home. The closer a pile of wood is to your house, the easier it is for carpenter ants to move from one wood source to the next.
- Moisture control. Moisture makes wood weak and soft, which is perfect for carpenter ants to build their colonies in. By clearing standing water around your property, repairing any leaks, ventilating your home, and replacing damaged wood in your attic or crawl space, carpenter ants will have a harder time building a colony.
- Seal cracks and gaps around the house. Carpenter ants build their nests from the inside out, but by updating your caulking and closing any entry points, you can prevent ants from getting in.
- Lock up your food and trash. The less there is to feed carpenter ants, the less likely they will settle in your property.
- Trim foliage around the yard. Overgrown bushes, hedges, and large leaf piles can provide ample food for ants, drawing them closer to your property.
If carpenter ants have found a way into your Charlotte home, don’t take matters into your own hands. Trying to get rid of an infestation will surely result in more house damage, as the only way to clear an infestation is to remove the colony entirely and prevent the queen from hatching new eggs.
When carpenter ants get in, contact Charlotte’s pest professionals at Aruza Pest Control to push them out. Don’t let carpenter ants damage your home or risk the spread of illness – call us today!