While inspecting homes for wood destroying insects this past week, we were seeing elevated Carpenter Ant activity beginning to become more and more evident.
Carpenter Ants Similar to Termites
Carpenter ants are classified as a wood destroying insect just like termites. Unlike termites, however, they cause destruction to your home by removing wood to build their nest galleries, which in turn causes the wooden elements of your structure to fail. Carpenter ants do not eat the wood like subterranean termites do. Instead, carpenter ants remove small pieces of wood or insulation at a time usually and discarding that cellulose material away from the nesting site. If you are seeing piles of sawdust or drywall or insulation type material (in the pest control industry known as “frass material”) around windows, plumbing areas, weep holes, or outside in fencing, wood piles, etc. these are signs that carpenter ants are at work on your home. You have to hand it to these littler creatures, as they keep a really ”clean house”, so to speak by constantly removing this frass material as well as the carcasses of any dead carpenter ants from the active nesting site. While messing and somewhat a nuisance to constantly keep cleaning, it does give you as a homeowner, your first clue that something is amiss, and it is time to bring in a certified pest professional.
Treatment for carpenter ants usually consists of a topical termiticide and a wall/window void treatment. Doing a topical treatment alone may not be sufficient. The most efficient treatment for carpenter ants requires eliminating the nesting site. Otherwise they will be right back in a couple of months or sooner depending on the time of year. They are also prone to building secondary nest sites for survival purposes, so it’s imperative that the nest be located and eliminated to handle the infestation properly.
High soil/mulch (above the slab line), heavy foliage/trees (especially Red Tip Photinias, and Crepe Myrtles) and dead wood or leaf debris stacked around the house all are prime contributors to attracting carpenter ants and starting an infestation. All foliage and ground cover needs to be properly trimmed off and away from the house. Any tree limbs or shrub foliage growing onto or over or touching the house essentially creates a “highway” for this species to access your wall voids, window case, wood trim and attic. Our services will not only treat & correct the infestation but our licensed professionals will identify these conducive foliage conditions so that you can eliminate this bridge to your house. We also provide this tree/shrub trimming and grounds cleaning service should you be interested in that option.
As the heat from warmer months starts to climb, so does the activity level and nesting frequency of carpenter ants. They will begin moving from lower areas of windows and weep holes to the eaves and soffits of your home. They thrive in high humidity areas. The higher the outside temperature, the more these ants will become nocturnal, which makes it a little more difficult to detect that you have an infestation. But, make no mistake, they don’t need daylight to continue to trail into and damage your home.
A few preventative tips:
- Keep your soil/mulch line 2″-4″ below your slab line
- Keep trees trimmed at least 4 feet off of any structure
- Keep shrubs trimmed 10-12 inches off of any structure
- Keep ground cover 4-6 inches away from any structure
- Do not allow wood debris or excess leaves to stack or gather close to or on any structure
Being a proactive homeowner can eliminate the damage carpenter ants may cause or keep it to a minimum, so as soon as you suspect you have a problem (like discovering the frass piles around your home) give us a call today at 817-485-4712. We can help eliminate the situation quickly and effectively with our proven programs that carry up to a one year warranty.