There’s nooo reason to cheer when you have Carpenter ants.
Carpenter ants are the monster trucks of the ant world in the Pacific Northwest. Big- (.25 to 1 inch long), black and noisy even. People have reported to hear them moving about in the walls at night.
Like a termite they can have wings. Swarming queens and kings have wings which they loose after mating. So they get mistaken as termites often, when winged queens are present. Remember, if its winged, black, and has a bent or “elbowed” antenna, its a Carpenter ant. Carpenter ants are know to swarm twice a year in the Northwest, so they will be seen all over outside, or crawling in your homes during these times.
Carpenter Ant Infestation?
Seeing them during a swarm does not mean that you have a infestation, but it is very important that you are taking steps to make sure your home is protected from them.
They have also been known to bite! Ouch!! Their powerful jaws can make quite a pinch and they release a formic acid into the bite which causes a burning sensation. But they are NOT venomous.
Carpenter ants do not eat wood, unlike termites, but they burrow and carve causing major damage to wood structures. Carpenter ants forage for food during the night and return to the colony in the early morning hours.
Carpenter ants will cut “galleries” out, which are like little roadways or tunnels for them to move about from one section to the other of the nest. Galleries are smooth and very different from their termite counterparts, which leave mud behind in the hollowed out areas. Carpenter ants leave a sawdust like material called frass which can help locate the nest area.
Moisture and Carpenter Ants
They are attracted to areas in or around a house that is susceptible to moisture, such as around window sills, roof eves, decks, porches, rail road ties used for landscaping, bathroom ceilings and walls. These are all areas that come in contact with moisture and often contain wood rot which is very attractive real-estate for Carpenter Ants.
Keeping your home protected from moisture damage and pests is a great way of detouring Carpenter ants from your home. Interstate Pest Management has several different programs that could be tailored to your needs, for protection and also eradication of any present Carpenter ant infestation that you may have.