Carpenter Ant Identification & Prevention

What are carpenter ants?

In nature, carpenter ants are a beneficial species. As these ants tunnel through and make their nests inside dead or decaying wood, they help speed up the decomposition process. The warm, humid weather in Florida provides carpenter ants with plenty of water-damaged and decaying wood. Unfortunately, these ants often enter into homes and other structures too, and when they do, they wreak havoc.

carpenter ants on dirt

Carpenter ants are often confused with termites because they tunnel through the structural wood of the homes they have invaded. But, carpenter ants are not termites, they do not eat the wood they are tunneling through, are much larger, and their behaviors are much different. As one of the largest ants living in the United States, carpenter ants are hard to miss. If you ever see large black ants wandering around your home or yards, they are likely carpenter ants.

Workers grow to about a half an inch long with queens growing larger, up to an inch and a half. Most carpenter ants you come across are solid black or black and red. Carpenter ants do not have stingers, but they do have large, strong mandibles that they use for feeding, creating nesting sites, and as a means of defense.

Are carpenter ants dangerous?

Like with most wood-eating pests, carpenter ants are more dangerous to our properties than they are to us. If carpenter ants have decided to nest within your home's structural wood, you should seek immediate help. Over time carpenter ant damage can become extensive and expensive to repair. Like other species of ants, carpenter ants will spread bacteria throughout your home as they forage for food to feed their massive colonies.

If you ever see large black ants wandering around your Florida yard or home, please give the professional at Green Flag Services a call, we can help!

Why do I have a carpenter ant problem?

Carpenter ants find their way onto your property while searching for food, water, and shelter. However, when these ants decide to nest within your home's walls, the consequences are much higher than having a few common house ants wandering around your kitchen.

Carpenter ants live throughout the United States, primarily in wooded areas or on properties near wooded areas. They are most attracted to properties that offer easy access to food that they can gather for their colony. They are omnivores and feed on a variety of foods that they discover in our trash cans, recycling bins, gardens, pet food bowls, and outdoor eating areas.

Once they discover food sources in your yard, it is only a matter of time before they'll find their way into your home. They will travel throughout your home, and if they discover moist or decaying wood, carpenter ants won't hesitate to build a nest behind its walls, above its ceilings, or below its floors.

Where will I find carpenter ants?

Carpenter ants do prefer to live outside but, unfortunately, find their way into homes and other structures to nest. They move inside through spaces they find under doors, through damaged vents, areas around utilities, broken screens, and spaces in the foundation and exterior walls.

Carpenter ants typically create their central nest outside and several satellite nests both outside and inside of structures, which is why these ants are so difficult to control and eliminate. Finding and treating all the ants and their nesting sites is critical for the complete elimination of any infestation.

Outside, carpenter ants nest in things like fallen trees, tree stumps, logs, and woodpiles. Inside, their constant need for moisture means they prefer to invade structural wood damaged by water, but they do sometimes invade sound wood. You'll most often find them nesting behind basement walls, kitchen walls, or bathroom walls.

How do I get rid of carpenter ants?

At Green Flag Services, we understand that carpenter ants are a nuisance and difficult to control and eliminate. If you are having problems with carpenter ants on your property, reach out to us today. We can provide you with the carpenter ant control services needed to eliminate carpenter ants and prevent them from returning.

If you need help removing carpenter ants or other pests from your DeLand, Daytona Beach, Port Orange, Baldwin Park, Lake Nona, or Lake Mary, FL, residential or commercial property, call Green Flag Services today!

How can I prevent carpenter ants in the future?

Don't allow carpenter ants to take over your home and yard. Partner with the professionals at Green Flag Services and put into place the following easy to implement prevention tips:

  • Leave a barrier between any mulch and your home's foundation. Wood mulch retains moisture that attracts carpenter ants.
  • Trim trees and bushes back to avoid direct contact with the house.
  • Remove tree stumps or fallen trees from your yard.
  • Get rid of food sources in your kitchen and pantry by storing leftover food in tightly sealed containers. Regularly vacuum floors and wipe down counters.
  • Clean up food spills, and messes both inside and outside of your home.
  • Place locking lids on trash cans and recycling bins.
  • Regularly empty and wash trash bins.
  • Seal off all entry points into your home by replacing missing or damaged screens and vents. Repair holes in your foundation. Seal openings around vents, pipes, and cables as well.
  • Use dehumidifiers and air conditioners to control humidity levels in your home.
  • Replace any structural water-damaged wood in your house.
 

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