Do you know? There are about 12000 ant species around the world. They range from 2mm to 40 mm ants. Carpenter ants settle in properties. These ants are dangerous varieties that dig tunnels through hardwood, where they may lay eggs, and raise families. The ants cut across the wood to enter your homes, thereby, affecting its structure. However, carpenter ants never eat wood, unlike some termites. They only chew it to discard it finally. If you saw deposits in your homes it is a sign of carpenter ants infestation in your house. These ants cause expensive damages to house owners, by making colonies that run deep into their walls, floorboards, and attics. The size of these ants is typically 4mm to 12mm in length. They are red, black, or a combination of both.
What Attracts Carpenter Ants?
Carpenter ants need a high source of protein so they eat dead and living insects. They like to taste sugar such as honeydew, which is a sweet liquid made out of scale insects, and aphids. They only make tunnels and galleries, by eliminating wood, but never eat wood. Moreover, these ants need proper living conditions and food to survive to make a home in any place.
These ants consume both natural and processed or prepared food. They can eat all food that contains proteins and sugar. You may even see them feeding on pet food left in containers with open lids. They love honeydew, which is made from aphids. If you have an aphid population in your yard then the area is likely to attract these carpenter ants.
These creatures hunt and gather food both during the day and night. Sweet, sticky, and meaty food attracts them the most. Your garbage, which is left open with leftover food can attract a large number of these ants.
Moist, Damp Spaces
Moist and damp areas are the best breeding grounds for these ants, where they largely have their colonies. Moist wood is easier to chew for them to build tunnels. Soft and damp wood caused due to water leakage in your home creates a mold, which serves as the best diet for these ants. In cold weather conditions, you will find carpenter ants around doors and windows that are subject to condensation. You may also find them in your bathrooms, kitchens, drains, roof vents, laundry areas, and pipe fixtures. Therefore, keep these places moisture-free to prevent these pests from entering your homes.
Debris Piles and Trash
Never leave stacks of firewood outside your home or in the shed because you will soon encounter large quantities of carpenter ants gathering around it. Logs and firewood left in the open can get wet due to rain and attract lots of insects. Many of these ants ride into your homes along with the firewood that you purchase. They can be already present in the logs, which you purchase. Ants may also enter your residence from the firewood in your next-door neighbor’s home.
When Do Carpenter Ants Breed?
Carpenter ants enter your property when the weather gets colder. They breed in early summer or spring. Female queen ant lays eggs, which hatch and grow into workers within 2 or 3 months. By fall, these ants need to prepare for food shortages in winter. Many worker ants die due to food shortages. They find suitable locations with enough food to dig in during winters. During these times these ants enter dormancy period and go slow. By doing so, they can conserve heat and energy to survive the cold. If the temperature is warmer they choose, not to hibernate, and rather expand their colonies. Sometimes it could get hard to get rid of these ants.
Signs of Carpenter Ants in your House
You will see worker ants, appearing, or a swarm in response to an attack on their colonies.
A hole-like opening appearing on the wood surface is another sign of carpenter ants in your home.
Debris of sawdust and other insect body parts fragments found around these holes means an active infestation by carpenter ants.
Do Carpenter Ants Bite?
These ants have strong jaws that can cut across the wood and they defend their colonies with it. Their bites lead to pain and irritation. They inject formic acid that causes a burning sensation. Usually, this pain subsides soon and causes no significant health risk.
Also Read: How To Get Rid Of Carpenter Ants In Ceiling
How to Eliminate Carpenter Ants Naturally?
- Keep your home clean
- Seal all food and close all containers
- Avoid leaving food remains or unclean dishes by the sink
- Regularly, take out the trash
- Clean up spilled food
- Seal cracks, holes, and crevices
- Remove sources of unnecessary moisture inside your home
- Remove places where they can build their nests in your yard
- Eliminate tree limbs and branches close by your wall
- Avoid storing lumber and firewood outside your home
- You can use essential oils, sugar and baking soda, soap and water, boiling water, diatomaceous earth, vinegar, and cinnamon or cinnamon oil as natural pesticides to prevent these ants from building nests in your home.