Signs of Carpenter Ants
If you suspect Wood Destroying Insects, have your home inspected. Carpenter Ants damage a home by chewing out the wood and use the tunnels as shelters in which to breed and raise their colonies. Worker ants gnaw out tunnels to house the colony.
They don't use the wood as food, the way termites do. Sometimes homeowners will discover piles of coarse sawdust either inside or beside their house. The piles often look like a cone-shaped pile accumulating just below the nest entrance or hole. This pile may include, in addition to the wood fragments, other debris from the nest, including bits of soil, dead ants, parts of insects and remnants of eaten food.
But more often the carpenter ant does its damage without anyone noticing. That's because the "evidence" is often hidden in places such as: behind insulation in basements where there may be dampness from improper flashing of stairs or decks; around or in back of dishwashers that may be harboring moisture and behind siding that is hidden or covered by shrubs that are too close to the home.
Carpenter ants usually become pests when they come into houses because they are foraging there for food. If their "food" is available near or in your home (other living and dead insects, sweets, meats, and fats) then they may decide to stay, and build tunnels or "ant galleries" in the wood in your home. They also like damp or decayed areas that provide a water source and ease of entry.
Below are measures you can take to prevent Carpenter Ant infestation:
- Minimize moisture conditions
- Use construction techniques that permit wood to shed water quickly and dry easily
- Avoid wood in contact with the ground.
- Separate wood from concrete or masonry with a waterproofing compound.
- Provide adequate ventilation in damp areas
- Keep gutters and downspouts clear of debris
- Check behind insulation (especially around windows and doors)
- Inspect periodically to detect leaks in roofing and siding, and around chimneys and gables.
- Firewood should not be stored in the house or attached garage.
- Do not pile wood or firewood against the house.
- Inspect wood again before bringing it into the house, unless it is to be used immediately.
- Reduce or correct moisture problems around automatic dishwashers.
- Trim all trees and bushes so branches do not touch the house.
- Trim all shrubs so that they are not in contact with the home and so that you can periodically inspect behind them.
- Store firewood off the ground and away from the house. he longer wood remains undisturbed, the more likely it will become infested. Keep on hand only that supply that you plan to use during one heating season.
If your home is infested with carpenter ants you should: either call a pest control company, or, you could do it yourself. If you decide to treat the problem yourself, visit a hardware-type store and ask for a salesperson who is well versed in pesticides to make recommendations on what product(s) you should use for a carpenter ant infestation. Be sure to thoroughly read the instruction labels and properly protect yourself during the application process. If you decide to call a pest control company, the good news is, a carpenter ant treatment is usually much less expensive than a termite treatment.
Remember, a homeowner must follow up treatment with the elimination of moisture and food source, and implementation of preventative measures mentioned above.
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