Carpenter ants are dispersed throughout the country. They make smooth, distinctive-looking nests outside in decaying, damp wood. They cut wood to establish tunnels through the natural wood that lead to different nesting areas known as galleries.
Carpenter ants build their nests indoors in every natural cavity, like hollow-core frames, window frames, and wall cavities. Carpenter ants do not consume wood; but they do cause harm to wood, from hollowing out trees to destroying building supplies. Occasionally, you will determine their breeding spot by looking for debris in the form of extremely fine sawdust they drop behind while building tunnels.
Carpenter Ant Colony
Carpenter ants earn their identity from the way they construct their nest. The ants generally excavate the wood and build sleek tunnels within it. Carpenter ants do not consume wood; they crawl and grind their way through it to build nests.
When mature, the western black carpenter ant colony contains between 10,000 and 20,000 workers, with large colonies containing more than 50,000 individuals. Typically, each colony has only one working, wingless queen. Swarmers are not developed until the colony reaches a minimum age of two years. They are born the previous year and are kept in the nest over the fall in preparation for release the subsequent year.
Do Carpenter Ants Bite People?
Yes, they do! Although the carpenter ants only bite in defense, their bite can be potentially painful. Carpenter ants have strong jaws and can inflict intense bites. Additionally, they can inject formic acid into the wound, causing it to sting and further increase the pain. Not only do the carpenter ants use them against humans, but they usually use the formic acid spray to fight off other ant species as well. However, this discomfort will return to normal and causes no real health risk.
If you are suffering from the infestation to the extent that you are unable to control them, the best bet is to contact a pest control company who will do the extermination for you!
What do the Carpenter Ants look like?
They can be variable in size and range from ½ inches to ¼ inches in length. Commonly, you might have heard or seen black carpenter ants only. However, they are a combination of black and red, or even red and brown sometimes.
Queen carpenter ants have forewings larger than their hindwings. In this way, you recognize them quite easily. The wings are usually transparent or translucent light brown that usually appears in spring or fall.
After the fertilization, the carpenter ants can finally make their nest to give rise to a fully developed colony.
How to identify a Carpenter Ant infestation?
Carpenter Ant infestation is very common in many parts of Canada. Many households fail to recognize and identify an infestation until things go out of their hands. Although professional exterminators are available in different states and towns, you must be careful on your part as well.
If you get to see small openings on the surface of the wood at your home, it is time that you be careful.
Externally, you might see some workers or swarmers around the openings in the wood. The ants chew off the wood, and the debris accumulates on the floor or flat surfaces around. The carpenter ants mostly attack fungus-afflicted wood as it is soft. Moreover, moisture problems can give rise to increased fungus, and thereby the carpenter infestation.
How to get rid of carpenter ants?
Getting rid of carpenter ants after they have fully infested your place can be difficult. However, if you take precautionary measures regularly, there is very little chance of them afflicting you in any way. Therefore, take the following precautionary steps to exterminate the ants.
- Decrease the Water Sources
Eradicate sources of moisture or stagnant water to deter brown, red, or black carpenter ants in the building. Carpenter ants cannot live without access to water. So, in order to avoid them, you have to make sure that you do not allow water puddles to be around your house.
- Organize the tree branches
Maintain a clear line of sight between tree branches, limbs, and other plants to avoid the nestling of carpenter ants. Occasionally, rodents enter your home through the divisions between your trees and other plants. So, make sure that you do not leave any spaces in between.
- Make sure no holes are present.
Ascertain that no gaps or small holes exist along the bottoms of doors or frames. If they are present, use silicone-based caulk to seal the cracks and openings. Make sure that your doors and windows fit in properly.
- Do not stack firewood near your residence.
Store firewood and construction materials away from the residence to avoid carpenter ants to make their nests and colonies. Carpenter ants like nesting in woodpiles, so eradicating them would be helpful.
- Use Boric Acid to eradicate carpenter ants.
Many preparations or products that control or exterminate carpenter ants and their colonies contain boric acid. Speaking of the physical properties of boric acid, it is an odorless powder that effectively kills insects and pests. Boric acid has some exceptional herbicidal, fungicidal, and insecticidal properties.
How Does Boric Acid Work?
There are generally two ways in which you can use boric acid: in the form of a dry powder or as a liquid insect bait solution. Boric acid acts as a food attractant that the carpenter ants feed upon. It then goes into their stomach and acts as poison.
The dry powder of boric acid is usually sprayed in cracks and openings. It usually feels like dust to the carpenter’s ants, so they walk through it. As the ants walk through the boric acid powder, it sticks to their legs. When they groom their legs to clean the powder, it gets ingested, which ultimately causes them to die.
Boric acid bait solutions must be carefully formulated, and over-the-counter solutions do not guarantee colony eradication. Consult a pest management specialist prior to treatment with Boric Acid to avoid any potential risk or chance of property loss.