Summer is the time when pest pressures increase in Nixa, Missouri. There is an increase in all sorts of pests both outside and inside our homes. More flies and mosquitoes are buzzing around our yards. More spiders and beetles are invading our gardens. And more ants are appearing everywhere, on sidewalks, in driveways, on decks and porches, even inside our homes. And while all ants can cause problems, and possibly bring health issues with them, there is one type of ant that is head and shoulders above the rest (quite literally) when it comes to damaging homes. We are talking about those destructive carpenter ants.
Carpenter ants are usually all black and they have a single, pointed node between the thorax and abdomen. While most common ants in our area measure between 1 and 5 mm in length, carpenter ant workers can grow to be as large as 13 mm in length, truly "head and shoulders above the rest." So it should be relatively easy to distinguish them from other ants. Typically, these ants will only be seen one, or perhaps a few, at a time inside a home.
Carpenter Ant Damage
If you have carpenter ants, you may see evidence on wood that is outside your home. This external damage will look like shallow trenches running along the surface of the wood. It may also be noticeable around nails that stick out from a board. This damage always looks smooth, as though sandpaper was used on it. This kind of outside wood damage is likely to be found in moist ground, or in a moist and shaded location above ground.
In the wood of a home, carpenter ants will carve tunnels and galleries. If these tunnels reach the surface, they may appear as dashes and dots running in a straight line. But, most of the time, this kind of evidence will be hidden inside walls voids. However, what you might be able to detect is what is called "frass." This is a type of fine sawdust that carpenter ants push out of "kickout holes" as they are carving tunnels. These ants do not eat wood, the way termites do, so they have to push the wood shavings out.
Sometimes you may be able to see carpenter ant damage at the bottom of a door or window frame. It will appear as though some of the wood has been chipped away. If this activity is allowed to go on for long periods of time, eventually structural damage can occur, similar to that caused by termites.
What To Do When You See The Signs
When you notice these large black ants in your home or see evidence of their destruction in wood outside or inside your home, it is imperative to call upon the assistance of a professional pest control company like Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions to come and do an inspection to assess the extent of the damage done. It may be nothing to worry about, but catching a serious problem early may save you from costly repairs down the road. A carpenter ant infestation is something that should never be taken lightly. Call us today for professional carpenter ant control in Nixa, Missouri.