Carpenter Ants: Not Quite Termites

 In Blog, Pest Control, Pest Control Tips, Pest Prevention

Carpenter ants found in Illinois and Indiana - Anderson Pest Solutions

We deal with a variety of pests here in the upper Midwest, but most of them don’t have the ability to create long-term damage like the carpenter ant. If you suspect that you have a carpenter ant breach in your house, it’s crucial to take action promptly to prevent the issue from getting out of hand.

The Termite Alternative

Just like termites, carpenter ants cause serious disruption to a home’s wood structure. The main difference between the two insects is that carpenter ants don’t eat the wood that they destroy. Either way, you certainly wouldn’t want any critters compromising the structure of your home.

Carpenter ants burrow through damp or decaying wood to make their way into your house, where they continue to expand their tunnels. Soon enough, you might find a network of nests and paths that has taken over the entire building.

What Do Carpenter Ants Look Like?

Black carpenter ants are some of North America’s largest ants, usually measuring half an inch in length. Here are a few indicators that the ants in your home are carpenters: 

  • Large appearance in comparison to other ants
  • Black or red bodies with yellow hairs on their abdomen
  • Large mandibles (jaw-like mechanism used for burrowing and carrying materials)
  • Oval, patterned wings

You heard that right – when a carpenter ant colony has developed to the point where it must expand, the queen will start to produce winged ants called “swarmers,” whose mission it is to find a new place to establish another colony. If you notice winged carpenter ants in your house, it is a good sign that you have been hosting a sustained carpenter ant population for up to a few years.

Because they are nocturnal, you might not know that they are living in your walls until you spot the winged ants swarming. By then, the colony in your home is already supporting thousands of worker ants.

What Can You Do To Prevent Carpenter Ants?

Being on the lookout prior to a problem is the safest bet. It’s difficult to catch these pests before they start tearing their way through your house, but there are a few signs of their arrival that are important to know. If you see some ants in your garden, they might be carpenters tending to the aphids. They feed on the sweet honeydew that aphids produce, so if you have an aphid abundance already, it might be a catalyst for a carpenter ant infestation.

If you notice little trails of sawdust around your house or faint rustling noises from behind the walls, it also might be a sign of carpenter ants.

Get Rid of Carpenter Ants For Good

In this case, contact our ant extermination experts for a free quote. We offer environmentally responsible carpenter ant control services to Illinois and Indiana homes and business owners, and we back our work with The Anderson Guarantee. When you need eco-effective solutions for any type of pest problem, we’re always happy to help.

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