Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Carpenter Ants: A Revisit

Because of the mild winter we had, carpenter ants are back sooner and stronger than ever. We've done posts on carpenter ants before, which you can read here and here, however given the number of people who are having issues with them now, I think it's time for a little revisit. I won't go into as much detail as the previous posts, but hopefully you can find out a bit of information. Carpenter ants are a large species of ants (not just in their numbers but in their actual size). They general range in size from .25 to 1 inch and can be found worldwide. They have two types of nests, however they can have multiple of the second type. The first is their main nest and the second is the satellite nest. The main nest has to be somewhere damp, preferably in a moist and decaying wood source as this is the best location for the eggs and young. A main nest will be located outside, while the satellite nest will usually but not always be found inside a home. This is because it will be drier which is best for the larvae and pupae. The best places to look for a main nest include rotting trees/stumps or decaying landscape timber while the best places to look for a satellite nest inside include wall voids, eaves, ceilings or under insulation such as in attics or crawl spaces and they can also be found in roof gutters and in downspouts. Carpenter ants, while building their nests do not eat the wood but rather tunnel through it, which is why when investigating to see whether or not you have carpenter ants, it's important to look for piles of a sawdust-like material called frass. Controlling and eliminating carpenter ants can be done and the best prevention is to maintain dry conditions, so that they are unable to find moist and decaying wood to nest in. Remember, anyplace that wood comes in contact with soil, could potentially become infested with carpenter ants. The key to controlling any infestation is to find where the queen is laying eggs (the main nest). This will require a thorough inspection and an effort to follow foraging ants back to their nest. It is recommended that if you see 10-12 ants (or more) in your home during the evening then it is worth investigating. If a carpenter ant infestation treated quickly, carpenter ants are rarely responsible for any serious structural damage to houses and buildings. However, these ants could cause serious damage if they continue undiscovered for an extended period. It is advisable to seek professional help in containing a carpenter ant infestations, as incorrect procedures may allow the colony to grow again when surviving members begin to nest again, which is where Cottage Country Pest Control comes in. If you know you have a carpenter ant problem, think you have an infestation or have any pest problems call us at 705-524-7863 or email us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com today.

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