A carpenter is a person who builds and repairs wooden structures. Carpenter ants, on the other hand, do the exact opposite. A single carpenter ant is mostly harmless, but an entire colony of them can reduce a house or building to splinters if they are not taken care of. If you’re unsure of exactly how much damage a colony of carpenter ants can do to your house, then here are some of the problems they can cause and how to keep them away.
What Carpenter Ants can do to Your House
Unlike termites, carpenter ants don’t actually eat wood. They just tunnel through it. That being said, they can still cause massive harm to a building's structural integrity. With enough tunnels dug through floor boards, support beams and ceilings, the damage done to a building over a couple of months can mimic a natural disaster. What’s worse, the repair bills can go up to thousands of dollars.
Recognizing Infestation Signs
While hurricanes and earthquakes hit homes loudly and fast, carpenter ants work slowly and quietly. With the more stealthy tactics carpenter ants use, they can live in and destroy people’s houses for months without them even knowing. If you want to know if you have carpenter ants in your home, there are some telltale signs you should be looking for. One sign is small, inexplicable piles of sawdust in or around your house. Also, water stains on the wood throughout your house may mean that carpenter ants are hollowing out your walls, allowing water to seep through. Lastly, tap around your walls and listen for parts that seem hollow.
Carpenter Ant Prevention Tips
If you don’t currently have carpenter ants in your home, here is how you can keep it that way. First, use caulk to seal any cracks in your house’s foundations. Secondly, trim back any tree branches and bushes that touch the side of your house so that pests can’t use them as a bridge, and stack any firewood about 20 feet away from your home. Finally, try to have your home inspected at least once a year by professional pest control experts.
No type of ant is good to have inside your house, but carpenter ants are truly a nightmare. They destroy buildings, make homes dangerous to live in and can lead to a fortune in repairs. Luckly, with just a few simple steps, you can be confident that your house is secure. To see some more tips, or to receive quality pest control services, contact us today.