Carpenter ants are one of the most common household pests throughout the United States. Several species are found throughout the country, the average worker is around ½-inch long and may be black or red in color. The queens have wings and may be 1-inch long. However, pest control experts do not rely on size alone to make a positive identification. Carpenter ants are distinguishable by several features: their immense size compared to other species in the ant world, are just one Identifying characteristic. Another feature is their notably large head with prominent mandibles.
Carpenter ants have the same biology as any other ant, and rely on similar food sources. The difference between this specie and all other ants is, they destroy wood when making their nesting sites. Queens, males and workers are all found in most large colonies, with various sized carpenter ants existing in all of the different biological castes. Carpenter ants are easily distinguished from other species because they have one node in their body and an evenly-rounded thorax. The thorax is the section next to the head, and the top is smooth and rounded.
The damage caused by carpenter ants is often confused with the damage caused by termites. Moist wood and humidity are two of the preferred habitats of carpenter ants. They usually look for rotting wood to make their colony and may infest areas in our homes where these conditions exist. They will damage the structure during the nesting process, which is why it is imperative to have any infestation treated promptly. Carpenter ants do not eat wood, but rather they galley out the wood softened from decay to lay their eggs. Moisture is your enemy in this case – any water penetration behind a window or door frame, around a garage door or chimney, can lead to decay and become favorable places for carpenter ant colonization. Carpenter ant nests have been located in hollow doors, subfloor insulation, curtain rods, wall voids, behind bathroom tiles, showers and in attic beams.
Preventing or eliminating an infestation often depends on several measures. Removing the humid conditions that attract ants is the first step in the process. Damaged wood should also be replaced to prevent carpenter ants from making it their home. Any lumber outside should also be stored off the ground and kept as dry as possible.
How do you detect a carpenter ant infestation? The carpenter ants are most active between sunset and midnight. This is a great time to watch the workers and find out where their nest is. A flashlight with a red cover can be used to watch the workers because they cannot see the red light. Setting out sweets as bait makes it easy to track the ants back to their colony too.
Professional assistance is often required to get rid of a carpenter ant colony. There are several procedures that a great exterminator will perform, using powerful baits and insecticides to eliminate infestations are just a few.
Call St. Louis pest control company Bugs by Brian today at (636) 394-0101 to exterminate a carpenter ant infestation in your home or business.