How to get rid of carpenter ants in your home

Abell Pest Control

Carpenter ants are a mean pest. Many homeowners may be under the impression that these insects love to eat wood, but they would be wrong. The ants don't eat the wood, they just chew at it in order to burrow into the wood and create a shelter for themselves. Once a colony is created, ants will develop connecting tunnels throughout the wood and may begin to venture into any other untouched wood nearby. Consider these tips to keep carpenter ants out.

Where carpenter ants can be found

Carpenter ants are often located in wooded areas, as their colonies begin in a rotted stump or fallen tree, the University of Minnesota noted. They will build a colony here, which is usually known as the parent colony. Then, parts of the colony will decide to explore and create satellite colonies, which is when they may venture over to your house. If you have a wooden deck that gets damp from the rain or another wooden structure in the yard, this is a great place for ants to start. Normally carpenter ants come out in the spring, after resting inside a rotted piece of wood where they've established tunnels and galleries. This is also time of the year that gets the most rain, which makes for an ideal environment for carpenter ants. If ants appear in your home in the late winter, they may have already established a colony somewhere inside your house. As a homeowner, it's important to be aware of the carpenter ant schedule so you can be prepared for a possible infestation and protect yourself.

Common places inside the home

Carpenter ants can also be found inside the home. They may be located within the wood of a cabinet sink that's dealing with a water leak or windows that aren't properly sealed and have cracks that let moisture in. These spots are an ideal place to establish a satellite colony and possibly another parent colony.

Pest control tips

If you're fearful these pests may crawl into your home, follow these suggestions.

  • Check in
    If you're concerned ants may crawl into your home, do regular maintenance on it, Planet Nature advised. Look around areas that may be vulnerable to a carpenter ant infestation, such as a sink or bathtub. Make sure there are no leaks and all the wood is dry. If it isn't, remove it right away before it becomes vulnerable to hungry ants.
  • Remove rotting wood
    Look around your yard for any rotting trees or any tree stumps that may have carpenter ants crawling around it. Even if they don't, they may soon. Remove these from the yard.
  • Cut back trees
    If any tree branches come close to your house, trim them back to keep carpenter ants away from jumping onto your home.

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