How To Prevent Ants

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What NOT to do if you have carpenter ants

Carpenter ants have become a widespread problem throughout the Eastern United States. They make their nests in damp, dead wood and create tunnels so they can easily navigate through the structure. Carpenter ants are small but the damage a colony can cause is not.

What happens if your home or business becomes infested with carpenter ants? You might be wondering, what should I do if I have carpenter ants? However, it’s also important to know what you shouldn’t do when it comes to carpenter ants.

Not properly identifying the type of ant infestation

Termites and carpenter ants cause similar damage to damp, dead wood. Oftentimes, you’ll see piles of wood shavings near wood that’s infested with either termites or carpenter ants. But in order to eradicate the infestation, you have to make sure you’re treating your property for the correct pest. Carpenter ants are black ants with segmented bodies that measure in at ¼-⅜ inches long. Termites or “white ants” don’t have segmented bodies and have a large head.

Ignore signs of carpenter ant damage

Carpenter ants are known to cause the most damage of all the different species of ants that commonly infest structures. Typically black in color, these relentless insects will threaten the structural stability of homes by digging into wood to build their nests. 

The amount of damage a carpenter ant infestation can inflict on a property can vary. If a colony has been actively infesting a property for a long period of time, the structural damage can be very extensive. That's why it's crucial to have infestations treated as quickly as possible by a licensed professional. 

Common carpenter ant infestation signs are:

  • Carpenter ants crawling in a building or home
  • Carpenter ants crawling out of holes or crevices in home
  • Piles of wood shavings
  • Faint rustling noise in walls

If you have spotted any of these signs, it’s important to not ignore them! Carpenter ant infestations only get worse as time goes on. Early detection is the best way to prevent further damage from carpenter ants.

Carpenter Ant Galleries

Carpenter Ant Wood Galleries

One sign of carpenter ant damage is the appearance of small, circular galleries on the surface of the wood. The worker carpenter ants will excavate sawdust-like debris around or below the exit holes. Inside the galleries will appear smooth and free of debris. 

Solely relying on DIY ant control methods

The first line of defense most people turn to when it comes to ant infestations are DIY ant control solutions. This often includes borax or natural remedies like cinnamon. At first, these remedies might be effective, but will they eradicate the entire colony? Not likely.

The only way to ensure carpenter ants won’t return is by eliminating the colony. It’s one thing to apply treatment to a couple ants you see scurrying across your kitchen counters, but it won’t do much unless you get the source of your ant infestation.

Not calling a pest control company

A pest control company is the best line of defense when it comes to eliminating carpenter ants and any pests for that matter. Unlike DIY ant control methods, the ant infestation removal services of a pest control company can ensure ants will be gone and won’t return. Pest specialists will also be able to provide you with ant prevention tips.

Not preventing carpenter ants from returning

Once a carpenter ant infestation has been removed, it’s important to take measures to protect your home from ants in the future.

  • Seal entrance points like doors, windows and building foundations
  • Keep food in airtight containers
  • Clean food and drink spills immediately
  • Trim trees and bushes to keep away from home

Drawn to moisture, colonies of carpenter ants will infiltrate homes and build nests in wood near windows, doorframes, attics, chimneys, bathtubs, and any other area in your home where water and wood interact to cause rotting. These areas can be identified by discolored, water-stained wood, paneling, drywall or ceiling tile.

Professional ant control services

Dust material application
In many situations the use a dust material will be used to find and eliminate nests of carpenter ants in the interior of a home.  A pesticidal dust bulb and extension can reach into void areas and, when properly applied, the dust will float and thoroughly cover the hidden areas where carpenter ants can hide within a structure.  

Dust material treatments will be applied from the inside and will be followed up by a treatment from the outside. The two-fold approach helps to ensure that no hidden areas where nests may exist are overlooked.  

Perimeter treatments
A treatment using non-repellent materials will be applied to the perimeter, focusing in on trails of carpenter ants that have been identified and problem areas where trails can potentially appear. The treatment can extend from the ground to any parts of the home’s exterior that the insects could use to enter the property.

The specialist will also apply the treatment to any cracks in the home’s foundation by which carpenter ants and many other insects frequently use to enter residences.

Carpenter ant nest treatments
Nest and barrier treatments are another component of Ehrlich’s carpenter ant control solutions. It is crucial that all nests are detected and treated in order to rid the home of all ongoing carpenter ant treatments. It can often be very difficult to spot carpenter ant nests without a trained eye and the right equipment. That’s why it is crucial to contact pest control professionals in the instance that your home faces a carpenter ant problem.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your carpenter ant infestation, your local Ehrlich Pest Control pest specialist is only a phone call away. Your dedicated pest specialist will devise a comprehensive ant control solution plan to remove ants and prevent them from returning in the future. Call us at 800-837-5520 or contact us online to find out how you can start benefiting from professional carpenter ant control.

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