Have you noticed swarms of ants in old tree trunks or brush piles? Are there collections of insect wings or wood dust near wooden doors and windows? If so, you may have carpenter ants.
Carpenter ants are a common pest in the United States. Damp, decayed or damaged wood, whether outside in trees or inside in building materials and furniture, provides a perfect place for carpenter ants to nest and breed. Unlike termites, carpenter ants don’t eat wood. Instead, they chew through wood to build nests or to connect nests to food sources.
There are more than 1,000 species of carpenter ants in the U.S. However, only 24 are considered pest species. Because of the number of species, identification of the type of carpenter ant causing the problem can be challenging. Many are black, but they can also be red, brown, yellow, tan or orange. Some are both black and reddish brown. Their size varies from about ¼-inch to as large as 1 inch in length.
Signs of a Carpenter Ant Infestation
Signs of infestation include piles of wood dust or pellets near wooden items. You may see winged insects coming out from behind walls, window sills or ceilings. These ants chew through wood, creating lattice-like channels that are smoothed on the inside. These channels are used as nests. These channels may not be obvious from the outside but weaken the wood.
Habits and Habitats of Carpenter Ants
Carpenter ants eat substances that contain protein and sugar. Foods include other insects, nectar created by aphids, pet food and foods that humans eat. Carpenter ants are active at night, foraging for food several hundred yards from their nests. They prefer the outdoors, seeking rotted tree limbs, tree stumps or wood piles that are on the ground. However, they will move indoors to nest in wood that has been damaged by water, such as behind plumbing, behind bathroom tiling or in subfloors.
How to Treat a Carpenter Ant Infestation
The first step in treating any pest infestation is proper identification. It may be difficult for a homeowner to determine whether wood damage from insects is caused by termites or ants. A professional pest control specialist is trained to identify the pest causing the problem. Treatment is specific to the type of pest.
Lethal Pest Solutions has served businesses and residences in Pennsylvania and New Jersey for 52 years. Our licensed technicians are trained in eliminating infestations from carpenter ants and other pests. We thoroughly examine your property to look for nesting places, damaged areas that require repair to prevent new nests being built and sources of food. We make recommendations for treatment and suggest methods that will prevent re-infestations.
If you think you have a carpenter ant infestation, don’t wait. The longer you wait, the more extensive the damage can be. We provide free estimates and guarantee our work. We are licensed in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania.