In case you’re not tired of hearing about ants yet, we’re back with another article on the most destructive ant we see, carpenter ants. These little pests are close to being as destructive as termites, especially if not taken care of in a timely manner. We’re seeing a big uptick in calls regarding carpenter ants in the tri-state area, so keep an eye out for wood shavings in and around your home.

Even though carpenter ants don’t cause as much damage quite as quickly as termites, that’s no reason to ignore the signs of an infestation. They may have been there for some time before discovery. As the colony expands throughout the wood, they cause more and more damage, to the point where severe structural damage can occur.

How to identify a carpenter ant infestation

The first sign of a carpenter ant infestation other than the presence of workers and/or swarmers is usually the appearance of small holes in wood. The accumulation of sawdust-like shavings near the holes is a good indication of an active infestation.

If you find an ant, take a closer look to identify the species. Carpenter ants have a waist with one node (petiole) and a round thorax (area behind the head). The head appears almost heart-shaped. Carpenter ants may be a combination of black and red, completely black, red, or brown. Workers usually range in size from 3/8 to 1/2 inch long.

If you find a swarmer, you can refer to our previous article titled, “Are Those Flying Ants or Termites?” to help tell the difference between a possible ant infestation and a termite infestation.

How to prevent carpenter ant infestations

Carpenter ants require a water source to survive. Eliminating sources of moisture or standing water is always a good first step in prevention. Seal any cracks or openings to your home with a silicone-based caulk. Carpenter ants like to build nests in stacks of wood, so keep firewood away from the outside of your home. And never store firewood indoors for a lengthy period. Only bring in small bundles that will be used quickly. It’s also a good idea to go around your home and make sure you don’t have any wood with existing moisture issues and take care of those before they rot and become infested.

How to stop an infestation

It’s not easy to get rid of carpenter ants completely. A queen typically lays around 20 eggs at a time. These take 6 to 12 weeks to mature. It takes 3 to 6 years to fully establish a colony. HOWEVER, the slow rate of maturity means that it’s less likely that you’ll see signs of a carpenter ant infestation until the colony is closer to being fully established. And by that time, significant damage has likely been done.

As soon as you start to see signs of carpenter ants, give us a call! At Romans Pest Management, we know that people tend to wait until they have exhausted all options before resorting to a professional. We get it! But, like most other professions, we’ll be the first to say, don’t wait! Instead of wasting time and money on over-the-counter products that are ineffective or wrong for the job, just give us a call to get it done right the first time. We’ll come out and do a FREE no-pressure inspection. If you’re not happy with the estimated amount, we’ll leave, no harm done.

Conveniently located in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, Romans Pest Management serves the whole Tri-State area, including Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, and Southeast Indiana. Give us a call today for your free inspection and a quote on an affordable treatment plan.