When it comes to pests, there are those that are simply nuisances, and there are those that pose threats to humans and our property. One such pest that poses threats to our property is the carpenter ant. Carpenter ants are a species of ant that build their nests inside of wood. As such, the longer a carpenter ant infestation is allowed to exist in a home, the larger the colony will grow, meaning the more damage inflicted upon your property. Therefore, it is important for you to know some signs that you can look for to know if carpenter ants have invaded your Houston property. That way you can act quickly and limit the damage caused.
Identifying Carpenter Ants
Carpenter ants, like all ants, have segmented bodies, six legs, and antennae. Additionally, they grow to be about 5/8th of an inch long and are usually red or black in color. Carpenter ants are often mistaken for termites given their many similarities. For instance, both live in colonies consisting of three castes — workers, soldiers, and reproductives; both prefer water-damaged or decaying wood, and both can cause incredible amounts of damage if left unchecked. However, unlike termites, carpenter ants do not actually eat wood, but rather build their nests inside of it. As such, they must still venture out and forage for food. Therefore, you are much more likely to see carpenter ants in your home than you are termites. Additionally, as carpenter ants are not eating the wood, they do not do quite as much damage as termites; however, they are still capable of causing costly destruction. As such, you need to know some signs to look for so that you can limit your exposure to these destructive pests.
Signs Of A Carpenter Ant Infestation
There are a number of signs that might indicate that you have carpenter ants living in your property. These include:
- Spotting the ants themselves.
- Seeing the shed wings of the reproductives.
- Noticing small holes in the wood around your property.
- Finding wood shavings beneath those small holes.
- Soft rustling noises coming from the walls.
Carpenter Ant Prevention Tips
The primary reasons that carpenter ants enter homes are: because there is easy access to food and water; there is an abundance of decaying wood in which they can build their colonies; or simply because there are entry points that provide them with access to the home. As such, preventing carpenter ants means removing factors that attract them inside and sealing off potential entry points. To accomplish this, you need to:
- Store all food in airtight containers or the refrigerator.
- Take out the trash regularly and store trash in bins with tight-fitting lids.
- Wipe up any spills from countertops or floors promptly.
- Fix any leaky pipes or fixtures in your home.
- Keep gutters free of debris to prevent pooling which can cause water damage.
- Use dehumidifiers to keep moisture levels low around your home.
- Remove or replace and rotting or moisture-damaged wood in your home.
- Seal up any cracks in the foundation of your home.
- Install door sweeps under exterior doors.
- Install weatherstripping around windows and exterior doors.
What To Do If Carpenter Ants Invade Your Property
Remember, the longer carpenter ants are allowed to infest a property, the more damage they can do. Therefore, at the first sign of carpenter ants around your property, call the professionals at GreenForce Pest Solutions. Not only will we effectively eliminate any carpenter ant infestation around your property, but we will also work with you to better protect your property from future infestations. Don’t get stuck holding the repair bills for these destructive pests. Give us a call today.