Typically, when someone finds small, winged insects in their home, alarm bells start going off in their head, and rightfully so, but maybe not for the right reasons. Carpenter ants are commonly mistaken for termites, which can lead to time delays in professionals getting to the root of the problem.
What are they?
Let’s go ahead and clear up one thing: carpenter ants don’t eat wood. They use it to build their homes, like a carpenter would, by excavating the framing in your house and living in “galleries,” carved into the grain of the wood. You can differentiate between termites and carpenter ants in a few different ways. The biggest differences are their wings and antennae. Carpenter ants are larger than termites, and have antennae bent at a 90-degree angle, as opposed to termites’ straight antennae. Additionally, although both carpenter ants and termites have a 2nd pair of wings, they have a small difference. Both pairs of wings on a termite are the same size, however, on a carpenter ant, the second pair of wings are a smaller size.
If you don’t see many ants but are still worried about your home harboring these unwanted pests, then there are some signs you can look for. When carpenter ants are building their galleries, they kick out the wood shavings and sawdust from their new homes. An accumulation of sawdust near points of entry like windowsills, baseboards, and doorjambs can be an indication of carpenter ants at work. These areas are most attractive to them because of the likelihood of the wood there being damp.
What can I do?
If you’re thinking that your home could be host to a carpenter ant colony, it is almost always best to go ahead and call a professional. When eliminating a carpenter ant colony, it is important to kill all of them, as even just a few surviving ants can go on to rebuild and reproduce into a brand new colony.
Call Ideal Partners for a free estimate on extermination services and an inspection for a potential home hiding inside your home, or to set up an interval pest control program that will eliminate the insects before they ever have the chance to set up shop in your home.