Termites might be the most likely insects to do damage to your home, but not far behind are carpenter ants. And while nearly everyone protects their home against termites, the same might not be true of these wood-destroying ants.
Carpenter Ant Identification
Carpenter ants come in a variety of colors and sizes, so making an accurate identification might be hard for homeowners. They are typically black, dark brown, or orangish-brown in color with 6 legs and 2 antennae. Like other ants, they have three body segments that feature a pinched waist. The size of carpenter ants varies even within the colony, ranging from 3-12 mm, with the major workers typically the largest. You may not be able to accurately tell if it is a carpenter ant just by looking, but if you find ants and tunnels in wood, chances are good they are carpenter ants.
Carpenter Ant Damage
Carpenter ants are some of the most aggressive creatures that destroy wood, but unlike termites, they do not eat the wood. Instead they excavate tunnels in it to build their nests. Once they bore through the wood, they will clean and polish their tunnels (galleries) so they have a smooth appearance. As the ants tunnel through the wood, the structural integrity is weakened, and it may become unstable and dangerous. This damage can occur in decaying stumps, stacks of firewood, framing of homes, and even in wood furniture. Carpenter ants are attracted to moisture and decay, so window areas, under eaves, and around decks and porches are prime spots for carpenter ant infestations.
Signs of Carpenter Ants
Identifying the infestation and getting it taken care of quickly is essential. Look for these signs:
- Small piles of wood shavings. These piles are also called frass and may contain sawdust- looking particles, dead ants, or pieces of other insects. The ants will push the debris out through small holes to open up space in their tunnels. Frass is most often found below window sills, baseboards, and other areas of wood.
- Winged ants known as alates. These reproductive ants will swarm during certain times of the year to find a mate and start a new colony.
- Shed wings from swarmers. Once the alates have mated and found an area to nest, they will twist off their wings and leave them in piles. This is a sure sign that there is a nest close by.
- Hollow sounding wood due to damage
- Faint noises coming from inside walls.
Sunshine Coast Ant Control
If you see carpenter ants or notice the signs of an infestation, contact a professional to get the problem taken care of. For Sunshine coast pest control, you won’t find better than Radar Pest Control. We can get rid of carpenter ants, as well as roaches, spiders, termites, wasps, silverfish, and more. Contact us today!