January 15, 2019
When termites attack homes in Missouri, there isn't much fanfare. You're not going to wake up and find insects crawling all over the place. The… Continue
You've probably heard that carpenter ants are as bad as termites. You may have even had someone tell you that termites are a multi-billion dollar problem, but carpenter ant damage in the U.S. is only in the hundreds of millions. While this is true, this is an insect threat you should never shrug off. If left untreated, carpenter ants can do a significant amount of damage to a home. Here's what you need to know.
One of the biggest reasons carpenter ants don't do as much damage as subterranean termites is that they aren't as secretive. Since carpenter ants don't consume food, they have to do something with the wood waste they produce. This sawdust (frass) is pushed out of kickout holes and accumulates on floors and walls. When this occurs, it alerts a property owner to the potential threat, and a professional is often called, which arrests the damage. But what happens when frass is deposited in a location that isn't easy to see or where it can blend in? The result is ongoing damage that can begin to look a lot like termite damage.
Carpenter ants prefer to feed on soft wood or rotting timbers but they are known to move into sound wood. When they do, they can weaken support beams and cause a structure to warp, which is the same as termite damage.
Spotting carpenter ant damage is usually easier than spotting damage done by subterranean termites because...
Carpenter ant identification is key to preventing damage. Workers in a carpenter ant colony can be varied sizes. They are usually no more than ½ an inch. Swarmers can be a full inch in length. These are winged carpenter ants that are produced by a mature nest. Workers are black, dark red, yellowish, or a mixture. Their coloration is dependant on the species. If you see one of these ants crawling around inside your home, don't wait till you start seeing more. Call a professional immediately.
Since carpenter ants are drawn to rotting wood, controlling moisture in your yard will go a long way toward making your home less interesting to carpenter ants.
It is also important to remove food sources in your yard:
When left untreated, carpenter ant damage can be significant. It is never a good idea to let an infestation go untreated. If you're seeing worker ants or swarmers in or around your property, and you live in our Missouri service area, reach out to Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions to stop those wood-destroying pests in their tracks. Rottler has over 70 years of experience controlling invasive pests like the carpenter ant.