You just rented a house that sits directly on a lake for the summer, and you're ecstatic. However, within the first few weeks you notice several ants coming and going, especially on your porch. Through a little research, you come to learn that these are carpenter ants, which can be a major issue in a home, especially one that isn't yours. Consider these tips to keep carpenter ants away from your summer home.
Why carpenter ants are a problem
Carpenter ants are destructive beasts. They tend to gravitate toward areas of moisture, the University of Minnesota noted. They're most commonly found in wet woodlands, such as areas of New England. They will hibernate in the winter, becoming more active in the spring and summer, when it rains the most. However, sometimes these pests can even be found in dry wood.
Though the ants originate outside, they will infest homes. Some of their favorite spots within homes include damp sinks, bathroom cabinets, cracked roofs and even window sills.
How to address it to your landlord
Timing is everything with pest control issues. If you notice the ants immediately after moving in, it's your landlord's responsibility to take care of the problem. However, if you decide to wait to contact your landlord, or don't notice the ants until later in your stay, it's your responsibility. Exterminations can be costly, so if you notice ants marching around your house, it's crucial to contact your landlord right away, Do It Yourself stated. Document your communication in case he or she isn't compliant with your requests and the case needs to be taken to court.
How to prevent carpenter ants
Carpenter ants don't seek out food, which is why many tenants may initially be baffled by how to handle the problem. Yet this doesn't mean you can't take away their source of nourishment.
Replace the wood: If you notice that most of your porch or deck has been ruined by moisture, and subsequently ants, it's time to replace it. Depending on where you live, you may be able to get your landlord to replace it.
Hide other types of wood: If you have firewood around your home, it's important to either keep it nestled in your garage in a dry spot or away from the main part of the house. Having a woodpile next to your home is the perfect invite for ants to come crawling in.
Trim your trees: If you have trees located near your house, trim back the branches so ants can't use them as a bridge to your house.