Unlike many common pests, carpenter ants aren't just bad for homeowners because they can invade a living space and make people uncomfortable, but rather, they can cause damage to homes. When people find themselves with a serious carpenter ant infestation, damage to wood can be so severe that the structural integrity of the room or home is called into question.
This possibility of severe enough damage to require home repair or renovation underscores the importance of ant control. Pest control experts can come into your home and eliminate an ant infestation and prevent future problems, saving your home unnecessary damage.
Look out for the warning signs
Of course, pest management services can be called in to help you investigate your home for unwanted guests, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be vigilant at all times looking for possible problems. Unlike termites, carpenter ants don't eat the wood, they excavate it. This means that their tunnels are smooth and void of wood dust.
Carpenter ants can be found in old homes as well as newer ones. Sometimes the construction of new developments can make ants immigrate into the new homes and begin their nests. Other times, in older homes, ants are attracted to areas where wood may be damaged by water or time. In the wild, carpenter ants make their homes in tree stumps and similar wood structures.
Their nests are commonly found in hollow spaces near wood, including walls, doors and insulation. In addition to looking for their damage, it's important to be able to spot the ant itself. Carpenter ants have slender waists, bent antennae and two pairs of wings. They're sometimes confused with termites, which have longer equal wings and straight antennae.
Prevent an infestation in your home
Although pest control services may be the best at ridding a home of carpenter ants, there are preventative measures that homeowners can take to lessen the likelihood that ants will invade in the first place.
Keeping wood away from your home is imperative. This means that you should store your wood pile in a rack in the yard, rather than against the house. Trees and vegetation touching the house should also be avoided, as should rotting logs or stumps anywhere in the vicinity.
Treating moisture problems is also important. The water and water damage can attract carpenter ants. Cracks and openings in the house can also be cause for concern, including where pipes enter the house.