Why Carpenter Ants Invade Washington D.C. Properties


This just in: we’ve got a group of undercover assailants infiltrating homes all across the Washington D.C. area, and they are showing no signs of stopping anytime soon. Worst of all, most people don’t even know they’re nearby!

Carpenter ants are perhaps the most destructive species of ant found in North America. Equipped with huge bodies, enormous mandibles, and an incurable desire for wood, these insects are perfectly capable of reducing your home into sawdust. 

a carpenter ant

What We Know About Carpenter Ants

Due to their black exoskeletons and largely unremarkable features, carpenter ants are more or less ignored in daily life. The only time they are truly given the spotlight is after a significant infestation, or right as one is beginning to take root. It’s important to be familiar with the taxonomy of a carpenter ant long before they ever make an appearance in your yard or garden.

Carpenter ants are usually:

  • 3/8 to 5/8 of an inch long
  • Sleek and shiny black
  • Winged during their alate reproductive perio
  • Highly non-aggressive
  • Unable to eat or digest actual wood

Since carpenter ants do not eat or digest the wood products in which they infest, other types of sustenance will be required. Carpenter ants love easily accessible human food that is high in protein or sugar, including:

  • Soda
  • Pizza
  • Barbecue leftovers
  • Chips
  • Candy
  • Meats and fish

When human food is not available, carpenter ants get creative. Pet foods and bird feeds are an ant favorite, as well as dead insects when available. If aphids are a problem in your yard, you can imagine that their honeydew secretions will be highly sought after by these sweet-toothed bugs. Having even a few of these food items in ant accessible locations could be the reason why carpenter ants came calling on your Washington D.C. home in the first place. But why else did these insects come crawling into your home? We have some ideas.

Reasons Carpenter Ants Come To Call (And Why That’s Bad)

Carpenter ants require many of the same things that humans do to survive. Both of us need food, water, and shelter from the elements. We also require the right tools and items to expand our family and ensure survival in the years to come.

Your Washington D.C. home may be offering all this and more. Ask yourself if your home has:

  • Water damaged or rotted wood
  • Large amounts of humidity or water puddles
  • Dirty counters, floors, or food prep areas

Any of these factors, no matter how slight, could be pulling carpenter ants into your walls and basements. If these pests have not yet established themselves around your property, count yourself lucky. If you think or know that they already have, you may need to prepare yourself for the storm that is coming.

Carpenter ants are known for chewing through large amounts of wood, including foundations, walls, and wooden support beams. The cost of this damage is increasingly high and is usually not covered by homeowner insurance plans. To make matters worse, carpenter ants are steadily becoming more and more difficult to remove from the local environment. This is partially due to pesticide resistance and the speed at which these insects reproduce.

Don’t Do It The Hard Way – Call Capitol Pest Today!

Pests aren’t always easy to handle, but you can bet that they’ll be properly addressed with some help from the crew at Capitol Pest. Contact the team right away to schedule an initial home inspection, or have your carpenter ant questions answered through a phone call as soon as possible. We're here to serve you at Capitol Pest. Find out for yourself!

Tags: carpenter ant control | washington dc carpenter ants | carpenter ant facts |

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