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How To Identify If You Have A Carpenter Ant Infestation?

If you hear some rustling noises in the middle of the night in your house, don’t call an exorcist – you probably just need a pest control expert. The rustling noise might be caused by a carpenter ants infestation, that is heard through the woodwork and the walls of the house they inhabit.

What are carpenter ants?

Carpenter ants get their name from their fondness for nesting in wood, whether in a home setting or outside. In order to get rid of carpenter ants, it is best to enlist a professional exterminator. These ants are found in damp wood or wood that has been damaged by other pests, and can cause wide-scale structural damage to your home.

Carpenter ants

But how did carpenter ants get inside my house?

Here are the several entry points that carpenter ants might use to get inside your house:

  • These insects look at key entry points – like kitchens – so that the worker ants can scavenge for food.
  • Bathrooms, roofs, or basements where leaky pipes soften baseboards are other access points for ants to come in.
  • These pests can also gain entry by crawling through utility lines or tree branches touching the house, provided there is a carpenter ant infestation in your yard.
carpenter ants get inside my house

What sort of damage do carpenter ants cause?

Once they’ve used your kitchen or bathrooms as points of entry, they can be found throughout the house. Here is the sort of damage they can cause:

  • They can crawl through the internal foundation of a home if the wood has been damaged by water. The tunneling through wood can weaken it, resulting in structural and cosmetic damage to your home.
  • An infestation can double in a short period of time if it is unnoticed.
  • Carpenter ants are known to bite — they don’t cause diseases, but the bites are painful.
sort-of-damage-do-carpenter-ants

How can you spot a carpenter ant infestation?

It’s imperative to catch a carpenter ant infestation in its early stage to avoid damage to your home. Regular pest inspection is necessary to avoid infestation and damage to the property. Here are a few signs you should look out for:

  • Worker ants will leave the nest to forage for food, so you might find them in the kitchen.
  • You might find discarded ant wings near doors or windows.
  • As carpenter ants tunnel through wood, they leave behind wood shavings called frass, which can be found near doors and windows.
  • You might find small, round holes in your wood that might indicate a carpenter ant infestation. If the infestation goes unnoticed, they might even completely damage the structural design of your house and leave your walls hollow.
  • You might be able to hear carpenter ants rustling through your woodwork or walls when they’re tunneling through wood or trying to communicate with other pests in the colony. Tap any areas where you think there’s an infestation, and then listen.
  • A carpenter ant infestation can be mistaken for a mice infestation. Mice are much bigger and make much more noise and also leave small black rice sized droppings. If you see these droppings you may want to consider hiring a mice control company.
Carpenter ant infestation

How can you prevent a carpenter ant infestation?

Prevention is better than cure when it comes to dealing with pests. Here are a few things you can do to keep the carpenter ants away:

  • Use a dehumidifier if you live in an area where there is a lot of moisture in the air.
  • Keep checking your home for leaky pipes and see if the gutters work properly.
  • Make sure you do regular yard work if you have a big lawn or a yard, so that tree branches or plants are not touching the side of your home – carpenter ants use them as entry points.
can you spot a carpenter ant infestation

How can you deal with a carpenter ant infestation?

The first step of dealing with a carpenter ant infestation is to spot the nest. If you think the infestation hasn’t grown yet, or you are waiting for a pest control professional to deal with it, you can take the following steps:

  • You can use an insecticide to eliminate the infestation by spraying it on the colony.
  • You can use insect bait as a solution. A worker ant will consume the bait and take it back to the colony to share it with the other ants, thereby killing the whole colony.
  • You can use special insect dust: cover the carpenter ant colony with dust and repeat for a few days to see if there is any activity.

If you think you have a carpenter ant infestation that is getting out of hand, or has grown beyond control, it’s best to let professional pest control experts take care of it instead of trying to eradicate it yourself. Carpenter ant colonies can grow exponentially in a short amount of time, causing structural and cosmetic damage to your house.