Carpenter ants get their name from their methods of nesting. They dig out wood to create smooth tunnels inside the timber. They do not eat the wood, they simply tunnel their way through.
_YOU WILL BE ABLE TO SPOT AN INFESTATION BY THE HOLES THAT THEY CREATE IN THE SURFACE OF WOOD, AND OF COURSE WHEN YOU SEE THE ANTS BUSY ON YOUR PROPERTY. THE ANTS PUSH OUT THE DEBRIS AND THIS CREATES TINY PILES OF SAWDUST-LIKE MATERIAL UNDER THE HOLES. IF YOU SEE THESE PILES OF SAWDUST THEN YOU CAN BE SURE YOU HAVE AN INFESTATION._
You should be aware that carpenter ants can bite. They have powerful jaws and may also inject a nasty dose of formic acid into the wound, which will burn. Whilst this is very unpleasant, the wound will heal and they do not present a major health issue.
Carpenter ants have a preferred type of wood. Typically they like wood that has been softened by fungs and moisture issues. Keeping an eye out for wood in this condition and replacing it before you get an infestation is a wise prevention.
Carpenter ants will not confine themselves to this already damaged wood and will infest all timber in your home if given the opportunity
Carpenter ants need water to survive. Another preventative measure is to remove any pools of standing water or other moisture.
Something often overlooked is keeping branches from nearby trees away from the house. Failure to do so allows the ants to swarm from the branch into your property..
Other prevention includes keeping piles of firewood away from your house, filling in cracks and gaps under doors. A favorite place for carpenter ants to build their nest is in your woodpile.
Carpenter ants can be a huge problem and cause substantial damage. A fully mature colony may well contain between 10,000 and 20,000 workers. Typically there is just one queen in a colony, with the total population of the colony well in excess of 50,000 ants. The ants can vary in size but 5/8ths of an inch would not be uncommon. They are red or black in color (sometimes a mix), and they have six legs. They also have antennae.
These ants can severely undermine your property and if you believe that you have an infestation then it is wise to call in a professional pest controller, who will have the expertise to tackle the problem effectively.
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