If you were to make a list of all the things you need to do around your home, how long would that list be? Do you have holes that need to be repaired? Do you have trees that need to be trimmed? Do you have plants growing in your gutters because you just don't have the time or money to get them cleaned? Keeping on top of home maintenance can be a challenge. So, when carpenter ants start appearing, you may be tempted to put off doing anything about them—well, at least until they start becoming noticeable. Unfortunately, when carpenter ants start to become noticeable, it is often too late to repair extensive damage. Let's discuss the unique challenge carpenter ants present and what you can do about these ants when they start encroaching on your Lexington property.
Detecting One Ant
If you see one big, black ant crawling around, it is easy to think that it is no big deal. But that one ant could be telling you something. It could be warning you that a carpenter ant nest is inside your home. Carpenter ants can be sneaky.
- Carpenter ants are nocturnal by nature. They typically come out at night when you can't see them.
- Carpenter ants can easily find food in your landscaping, they don't need to raid your cabinets. You may never see lots of these ants inside your home.
- The warning signs left by carpenter ants can be subtle.
What should you do when you see one ant?
Seeing one ant does not mean you have an infestation. A carpenter ant can travel 300 feet from its nest as it searches for food. But, whether it is inside your home causing damage to your wood, or is in a nest nearby, it is a good idea to find out where the nest is located. Have a professional do an inspection and find the nest to ensure your home is protected. Carpenter ants aren't as destructive as termites but they can still do a lot of damage, especially when they go untreated.
Detecting Warning Signs
When these ants come into your yard or get into your home, they can leave clues to warn you of their presence. These signs are often subtle. Here's what you should know:
- Frass is a material that consists of wood shavings, insect parts, and feces. This material is pushed out of carpenter ant tunnels. If you see it in or around your home, you'll know that you have a problem. But frass can be pushed out inside wall voids and in secluded places that are hard to get into. This can make frass difficult or impossible to detect.
- Carpenter ants can cause visible damage. Unlike termites, these ants have no problem walking on the surface of the wood they are damaging. But it can be difficult to see this damage because it is often done in dark, damp locations.
- When a carpenter ant nest matures, swarmers are produced. It is hard to miss a few dozen carpenter ant swarmers. They can be as large as an inch long. But swarms only last for about 30 minutes. After they swarm, they shed their wings and begin to create new nests in hidden places.
What should you do about warning signs?
Do routine inspections of your property and make sure to look in places that are hard to get into or see into. If you're not able to do this, consider investing in a residential pest control program for the control of insect populations around your home.
Carpenter Ant Attractants
Carpenter ants are attracted to moist conditions, wood sources, and the presence of honeydew on plants. If your yard provides an ideal habitat, these ants can create a nest close to your home. This can ultimately lead to an infestation.
What should you do about attractants?
- Address conditions around your home that make your perimeter damp or humid.
- Remove stumps, logs, woodpiles, construction materials, stacks of cardboard, etc.
- Paint wooden decks and fences.
You Don't Have To Go It Alone
Remember that Action Pest Control can provide ongoing ant control services around your home to repel and reduce ants, reduce food sources for carpenter ants, and catch warning signs early. It pays to have a licensed and experienced professional doing routine inspections and treatments. Reach out to us today to get your pest control plan started.
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