A carpenter ant is not a friendly face you can call to help you create a new piece of furniture; although they do like working with wood.
You may be surprised to know that they do not actually eat wood. Instead a carpenter ant will chew wood in order to create tunnels and larger spaces to live in. The wood itself is simply discarded! Unfortunately this will have the same effect as termites; all the wooden structures in your hoe will be undermined and if you have a really serious issue they can destroy the structural integrity of your home.
It is worth noting that these ants are more of a risk in Northern America as they prefer cool and damp climates. They measure between ¼ to ½ inch; big enough to be seen but perhaps not big enough to feel too threatening.
Identifying A Carpenter Ant
The first thing you need to do if you think you have an infestation is to identify the issue. This is where you may find it advantageous to use a professional pest control firm. You don’t want to be wasting time treating termites when you have a carpenter ant issue.
Carpenter ants actually work a little like ranchers. They are all there to protect the leader; they will create one colony and separate colonies will branch out from the original. Each of the colonies will move to find the best wood for their leader. This is why they can do a significant amount of damage over time.
They never stop creating tunnels; destroying the strength of your wood in the process.
A carpenter ant is usually black but can look red or even yellow. They have just one single small segment between their thorax and abdomen and the upper side of the thorax is round and smooth. Unfortunately you’re probably not going to notice all of this when you first see them. IN many ways they look just like any other ant.
You may notice the tunnels or sawdust in the wood of your home first. At this point call the exterminators; you need professional assistance.
Despite looking like regular ants the carpenter ant is not affected by traditional ant treatment poisons and other chemicals you can purchase at your local store.
The professionals will use dry pesticides and bait in order to coax out the carpenter ants and make sure the colony is targeted not just the worker ants looking for food.
However, if you have one carpenter ant then there is an excellent chance you have more than one colony of them. They will spread across your house, garage and even fences and trees nearby. If you find one then you need to be ready to treat everywhere. If left your home can literally be eaten from under you.
This may take a longer time with carpenter ants than it would with termites but the result is the same; you need to act today!