Carpenter Ants: America’s #1 Pest

Carpenter Ants: America's #1 PestDid you know that the third week in June is Carpenter Ant Awareness Week? These troublesome insects have been declared the number one pest in the United States – and for good reason! If your house is home to a nest of carpenter ants, they can cause huge amounts of structural damage before you even realize that they’re there!

Prevent an ant infestation:

Carpenter ants make their nests by burrowing into wood. When wood is moist, it is easier for the ants to make a home in your territory. If you want to deter ants, make sure that you use the following tips:

  • Repair roof and plumbing leaks in a timely manner.
  • Clean gutters regularly to ensure that water does not infiltrate your walls.
  • Tightly seal areas where pipes and wires enter your home, and regularly check your home’s foundation for cracks.
  • Eliminate wood to soil contact in and around your home.
  • If you use firewood, don’t store it directly on dirt (raise it with a nonorganic material like bricks), and always examine it before bringing it indoors.
  • Trim trees and bushes so that they do not touch your home’s roof or siding. Branches can easily serve as an ant’s bridge into your home.

By performing this maintenance around your home on a regular basis, you can help yourself avoid a huge headache in the future. Chores like these can be a little time consuming, but it’s only a fraction of the time that you would spend trying to get rid of a nest of ants that have burrowed into your home!

Keep an eye out for these signs:

Even if you follow all of our preventative tips, there’s a chance that a stubborn bunch of ants may make it into your home. They can hide out in your walls and ceilings for years without being noticed, so keep your eyes peeled for these warning signs:

  • Rustling or crunching sounds in your walls: These sounds are often made when carpenter ants are excavating, and can sometimes be heard through walls and ceilings.
  • Damaged wood in your home: If you find any wood in your home that looks like it has been tunneled by some pests, there’s a good chance that you have a problem.
  • Inexplicable sawdust: Carpenter ants often leave little piles of frass (a material similar to sawdust) around as they burrow into your wood. If you find any frass around, look for the tunnels they may have come from.
  • Winged carpenter ants in your home: The ant’s colonies typically live within your wooden structures, but they will sometimes send out scouts to look for new places to nest.

If you see signs of a possible infestation:

Have you seen any of the warning signs from the list above? If you have, it’s time to consult a professional. Call a local pest control company, and see what they say. They have the experience needed to evaluate your home’s pest situation, and will be able to offer you potential solutions if you do indeed have a problem.

Remember – a carpenter ant problem is not something that you should ignore. They will eat away at your home, and will cause more and more structural damage the longer you allow them to exist, so nip your dilemma in the bud!

Make sure that your home is protected:

Don’t wait until it is too late – make sure that you’re insured in case your home suffers structural damage. Make sure that your home insurance covers these (and other) vermin by calling Vargas and Vargas Insurance at 877-550-0025. We’ll review your policy and ensure that you have the right coverage for life’s potential troubles.

Photo credit: sanchom / / CC BY