What You Should Do If You Are Seeing Carpenter Ants Around Your Chevy Chase Property

10/7/2020

Let’s be honest, seeing any ants around your Chevy Chase property is never a good sign. However, if the ants you see are carpenter ants, it could be even worse than you initially thought. That’s because, while many ant species may spread contaminants throughout a house, carpenter ants can cause destructive and costly damage to the wood inside of homes. That’s why you need to be able to identify both carpenter ants themselves and other indications that they have infested your home. That way you can react promptly and keep any damage from these destructive pests to a minimum.

a carpenter ant on wood

Identifying Carpenter Ants From Other Ant Species

Carpenter ants are one of the largest home-invading ant species in the United States. They grow to be about 5/8th of an inch long and are red, black, or a combination of the two in color. Carpenter ants have segmented bodies, six legs, antennae, and strong mandibles which they use to chew through wood.

Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not eat the wood that they are destroying, but rather build their colonies inside of it. Because they are not eating it, carpenter ants are not considered to be as destructive to wood as termites. Still, over time they can do quite a bit of damage if left unchecked in your home.

Damage Caused By Carpenter Ants

As stated, the main threat from carpenter ants is the damage that they do to wood as they build their colonies inside of it. While they prefer softer, decaying, or moisture-damaged wood, if carpenter ants get into your home, no wood is safe from their destructive tendencies. Structural wood, flooring, windows and door frames, wooden antiques, and wood furniture could all be targets for carpenter ants.

In addition to causing costly damage to wood, carpenter ants, like other ants, also spread contaminants throughout homes. This is because carpenter ants do not eat the wood in which they are living. As such, they must venture out of their colonies in search of food. When they do this, they can contaminate countertops, dishes, and even food if it has been left out or stored improperly.

Signs Of A Carpenter Ant Infestation

As carpenter ants will venture out of their colonies, spotting one or two could be a sign that there is a greater infestation in your home. While it is not a guarantee, it is definitely a reason to start looking for other signs of a carpenter ant infestation. These include:

  • Small openings on the surface of the wood in your home.

  • The appearance of frass (wood dust) on the ground under these small openings.

  • The shed wings of swarmers (reproductive ants) around the home.

If you notice any of these signs, contact the professionals here Capitol Pest right away. Additionally, even if you don’t notice any of these signs, there are some measures you can take to protect your home from future infestations such as replacing any rotting, decaying, or moisture-damaged wood; practicing proper food storage techniques; and keeping your trash stored in containers with tight-fitting lids. You should also seal any cracks or holes in the foundation of your home as well as around windows and doors to help keep ants out.

What To Do If Carpenter Ants Infest Your Home

If you do find yourself dealing with a carpenter ant infestation, limit the damage as much as possible by calling the trained pest technicians here at Capitol Pest. Any time wasted in addressing the problem only means more damage for you. So, don’t delay; give us a call now!

Tags: carpenter ants | carpenter ant control | carpenter ant prevention |

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