If you see wood damage around your home, you will probably assume you have termites, but it might be a carpenter ant infestation. Carpenter ants also lead to structural damage because they build nests in the wood of your home.
Carpenter Ants Damage Your Home, What You Need to Know
How Serious Is Carpenter Ant Damage?
Carpenter ant damage is not as severe as termite damage, but the ants can cause extensive damage over a period of several years. The colony may go undetected, and as it grows over time, the ants expand through your wood, leading to a potentially dangerous and costly situation.
Where You Can Find Carpenter Ants
The ants damage any wood in which they nest, but usually they nest in wet wood. Look for nests around windows, sinks and bath traps. The ants always have a point of entry into your home—through the foundation or a crack in the home. They can enter along electrical wires, telephone lines and water pipes. To find them, try to follow their trail into your home.
Once inside your home, they prefer to build nests in structural lumber areas like hollow walls or doors and around windows. If you see piles of wood shavings around your home, you very likely have an infestation. The ants create the shavings as they burrow into the wood to make nests. The shavings actually look like pencil shavings you’d see after sharpening a pencil. You also might hear them at work—a faint rustling sound inside the walls. Finally, if you see large ants with wings coming out of ceilings, walls or crevices, your home is almost certainly infested.
Carpenter ants can also build their nests outdoors in trees that have moist or rotting wood. If you see them outside, be particularly proactive about checking for carpenter ants inside.
Carpenter Ants Versus Termites
Many people mistake carpenter ants for a termite infestation. Carpenter ants have winged ants called swarmers that reproduce in warmer months, usually March to June. While termites actually eat the wood, the ants do not. Instead, they just damage the wood as they make their nests. The U.S. has 24 species of carpenter ant, and because the ants have wings, they are often mistaken for termites.
Carpenter ant nests are very difficult to find. They can go undetected in your home for years. A large colony can grow to 2,000 worker ants in a few years time. If you suspect an infestation, call a professional pest control company. When they’re done, call us to repair carpenter ants damage.