Although many homeowners are more concerned about termites, carpenter ants are still capable of causing extensive structural and cosmetic damage. Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not use wood as a food source. Instead, they remove the wood to build their nests. Carpenter ants are especially fond of wood that has become damp or started to decay. Early detection is critical to minimize the structural damage that carpenter ants can inflict. The following five signs can help you determine whether carpenter ants have infested your home.
1. You See Them in Your Home
Adult carpenter ants are typically black in color and approximately half an inch in length. Although it is possible that a single ant may simply be foraging, if there are several ants, you probably have an infestation. Seeing carpenter ants in more than one area or finding winged ants usually indicates a problem. Since carpenter ants hibernate during the winter, finding them in your home during cold weather can indicate an established colony that is not hibernating due to the warmth provided by your home's heating system.
2. You Hear a Rustling Sound in Your Walls
Carpenter ants make noise when they are burrowing through wood. Most people describe the noise as the sound of crinkling cellophane. The rustling normally appears to be coming from inside the walls and may be more noticeable at night. Rustling noises emanating from the walls typically indicate that a large colony of carpenter ants has gained a significant foothold in your home.
3. You Find Unexplained Piles of Sawdust
Since carpenter ants do not eat wood, they must find some way to dispose of the wood that they remove. The removed wood is typically deposited in small piles of shavings that resemble sawdust. These tiny piles may be on the ground near exterior walls, but if there is a large indoor colony, the piles may be found around wood trim or furniture.
4. You Notice Small Holes in the Surface of Wood
Carpenter ants typically leave tiny holes or pits on the surface of wood that they have attacked. It is usually easier to locate these holes by examining the wood near the tiny piles of sawdust. However, the holes may also be found independent of the sawdust piles.
5. You Find Damaged Wood
You may find soft, collapsed or damaged wood on the exterior or interior of your home. When tapping on a wall stud, you may hear a hollow sound that is similar to the sound you hear when tapping between the studs. If you have access to the wood, you may notice hollowed-out areas that are unusually smooth and clean.
If You Suspect an Infestation
If you believe that carpenter ants have invaded your home, you should contact a reputable pest control company as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that the damage will be more extensive and more expensive to repair.
At ABC Exterminating, we have been providing safe, effective treatment plans since 1966. We can help you solve your problems with carpenter ants or other pests. Be sure to check out our service area to see if we can help cure your pest problems!