Carpenter ant damage causes serious problems for homeowners. These petite pests turn wood into a fine sawdust. This is great outdoors in their natural environment, where the rotting sawdust creates compost for nature’s new growth. Indoors, however, is a different story. The industrious insects easily chew through wooden structures, causing major issues. Here’s how to tell if you have carpenter ant damage in your house.
Why Worry about These Petite Pests?
Carpenter ants make nests in woody places. Despite popular belief, they do not eat wood like termites do. Rather, they chew through it to make nests that potentially hold thousands of colony members. As the colony grows, and the nests expand as well, so does the integrity of the wood structure they choose to make their home. Damage often goes unnoticed for years, so it’s important to know the signs before it’s too late.
Signs and Symptoms of Carpenter Ant Damage
Of course, the ants themselves are a tell-tale sign of the potential damage occurring inside walls or window frames. Colonies of ants nesting remain out of site, while a worker ant is sent out to locate food sources. That is the one spotted crawling in the kitchen or bathroom. Otherwise, these pests stay hidden.
Another sign to look for is the sawdust-like material (excavated wood) these destructive insects leave behind, called frass. Frass resembles fine pencil sharpener shavings usually piled in a cone shape. Look in crawl spaces, basements, garages, or around baseboards for it. If there’s a tunnel to the nest nearby, frass may lead you to it.
Lastly, check the structure of your home for warping. Windows and doors that stick or sloping ceilings and floors suggest damage to a home’s frame. Unfortunately, at this point, your home has been compromised. Call in a professional right away to find and treat for pests, and to repair damage.
Once carpenter ants get inside, it’s hard to get rid of them, and even more difficult to detect them in the first place. Prevention is key. Take precautions to pest proof your home and keep out these destructive ants. Here are some things to do to prevent carpenter ant damage.
- Seal up cracks and crevices around your home’s foundation, chimney, windows, doors, and pipes.
- Correct moisture issues immediately and replace any damp or rotting wood.
- Keep firewood piles away from the house and cut back any branches that touch the roof or outer walls.
- Clean out clogged gutters and repair roof leaks.
- Remove any rotting wood outside like old tree stumps or dilapidated sheds.
Carpenter ants slowly destroy wood structures to make nests, eventually making them unsafe for residents. If you suspect carpenter ant damage in your home or wish to take preventative measures, call Free Spray Lawn Care today at [phone]. We’ll put pest problems to rest once and for all.