Catch of the Week: Local Carpenter Ants Infestation
May 14, 2020
Spring has sprung and the ants are really on the march, something these Des Moines homeowners found out the hard way. Our team at Preferred Pest Control recently received a call from Des Moines locals about a carpenter ant infestation in their home. The homeowners discovered they had a problem while taking off the siding of their house, exposing the carpenter ants nesting within. It’s important to remember that any home with wet, soggy siding or window or door trim is prone to carpenter ants. These moist environments create the perfect conditions for carpenter ants to build their nests and galleries that link them.
How Can You Tell If You Have Carpenter Ants?
Carpenter ants aren’t usually on our lists of insects to worry about, which is why they often go undetected. It’s important that you’re able to recognize the signs of their presence to identify an infestation as these wood-destroying pests can do significant damage to your home. Fortunately, there are a few dead giveaways to rely on. If you come across any of them, be sure to get professional help right away to avoid any further damage to your home.
How Can I Find Carpenter Ant Nests?
People often confuse these unwanted house guests with termites due to their wood destroying habits and swarming process. As spring rolls around, swarms of winged carpenter ants will leave their colonies to mate, starting their own colonies. Swarmers can be distinguished from flying termites by their significantly larger size, typically around ¾ of an inch. If you spot swarmers in or around your home, you can assume there’s colonies nearby.
Carpenter ants are found in heavily wooded areas as well as homes which provide ideal conditions for colonies to thrive, similar to the Des Moines house we visited. They will live in both moist and dry wood, however, it’s important to understand they greatly prefer moist environments and will seek them out. Moist and hollowed out wood makes the nesting process much easier for carpenter ants. They will excavate the wood, creating galleries (passageways) that connect multiple nests and colonies. Often, they leave sawdust-like shavings in their wake. This is something you can look for in your home when examining for an infestation. Finding small openings on the surface of wood with these sawdust-like shavings around them means that Workers are working and you’re dealing with an infestation. Carpenter ant galleries look similar to smooth sandpaper. If you happen to come across damaged wood from carpenter ants, you may notice other dead ants and insects within the cracks and crevices created from galleries, sure signs that carpenter ants have been feeding there and are in the area.
What Time of Year Are Carpenter Ants Most Common?
Carpenter ants are most common during the spring. The reason being because this is when they begin to restore their energy and reproduce after remaining fairly inactive all winter long. Late winter and early spring are these critters’ primary mating months. Queen carpenter ants will lay between 9 to 16 eggs in a year. The newborns are raised as worker carpenter ants that, once mature, gain the responsibility of gathering food to feed and raise the next generation. Fun fact: Queen carpenter ants can live up to 25 years!
What Do Carpenter Ants Look Like?
As one of the largest ants found in the United States, this species of ant can get pretty big. While they are typically black, some species have a red or yellow coloration. Worker ants will reach around ? to ½ inches in length, while the Queen can get up to ¾ of an inch.
How Can I Prevent A Carpenter Ant Infestation?
Taking care of the wood and preventing excess water in and around your home is the key component to keeping carpenter ants away! It is important homeowners remove any wood that might attract these pests from the yard, such as stumps, dead trees and any other rotting wood. It’s just as important, if not more, to check the wood within the home. Be sure to inspect wooden window and door frames and exterior doors. You can also check the floor in areas where water might be present, such as underneath your water heater, sink, toilet and dishwasher. Repairing any leaks in your home and keeping wood dry will turn away any carpenter ants marching by.
Des Moines Pest Control Service | Carpenter Ant Removal
If you notice a carpenter ant infestation in your home, we encourage you to call our team of specialists at Preferred Pest Control. Professional help is easily the most effective way of getting rid of your problem and ensuring it does not return. If you’re looking for carpenter ant services or you’d like an expert to perform an inspection on your property, call Preferred Pest Control at (515) 415-5550. Otherwise, schedule an appointment online with the best carpenter ant exterminators in Des Moines.
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