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Carpenter Ants Vs. Termites

September 12, 2016 - Ants

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Carpenter ants are among the most common ant species found throughout Texas. They are an extremely adaptable species and have been known to thrive in outdoor and indoor environments. In broad terms, these ants prefer semi-moist and humid environments and usually nest in trees, tree stumps, fallen logs, fence posts, ceiling beams, roofing boards, and even inside attic insulation.

There are twenty-five different species of carpenter ants in the United States, each with slightly different behavior and appearance, which means that identifying these pests can be difficult. They can range anywhere from three to thirteen millimeters in length, and have been known to sport colors like black, brown, yellow, orange, and red.

Thanks to their tiny size, these ants can go undetected for long periods of time if they choose to nest inside your home. By the time their presence become apparent, extensive damage to your home may have already been done. Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not eat the wooden structures in which they nest. Rather, they break down and remove the wood in order to enlarge their nesting space. Depending on the size of the colony, the amount of wood that these ants are able to destroy over time can be extreme.

Although these pests have the ability to break down and remove cellulose material, they usually prefer to move into preexisting cavities like termite galleries, or areas that have been gradually worn down by rot. These areas prove especially attractive to carpenter ants as they search for a nest because of the naturally moist conditions. Keep an eye out for piles of sawdust-like material or similar wood shavings that may be collecting around suspicious holes. This removed wood material is one of the telltale signs that carpenter ants have been expanding their nest in the vicinity.

The appearance of worker ants will be the most obvious sign of an infestation in your home. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that carpenter ant workers can vary in size within the same species. Likewise, these pests have been known to traverse great distances as they forage for food, meaning that even if you spot some of these ants around your home, it shouldn’t be taken as conclusive evidence that they have decided to nest inside your walls.

When trying to determine the nesting place of a carpenter ant colony, check these kinds of areas first. Once you determine the nest’s exact location, it’s possible to treat the infestation with an insecticide dust or aerosol spray. However, attempting to administer these pesticides on your own is ill-advised, as the improper application of these toxins may inadvertently harm other residents or pets.

Baits have traditionally not been successful in dealing with carpenter ants, but your local pest control expert will be able to determine which extermination method will be the best fit for your home. If ants have made unwanted appearances around your home or business, call Cantu Pest & Termite and schedule an appointment today with one of our friendly, experienced pest control experts.