Yes, there are some types of ants that actually establish a nest inside your home instead of merely entering to forage for food and returning outdoors which includes carpenter ants. Unlike other home-inhabiting ants, carpenter ants cause structural damage to wood by tunneling and nesting inside wood structures. |
Ant species that may live in homes include crazy ants, odorous house ants, pavement ants, pharaoh ants, thief ants, and carpenter ants. Ant baits be a useful tool in eradicating inside-the-home ant nests, although baits may not work as well with carpenter ants as the other species mentioned.
The most likely places to find carpenter ant nests are where wood has been wet and weathered, such as rotting timbers about the foundation, window sills, porches, around leaky plumbing, and in rafters under a leaky roof.
The best way to control carpenter ants that inhabit a dwelling is to find the nest and destroy it. Insecticide sprays inside the home will kill some of the worker ants, but unless the entire nest is treated, the queen will continue to produce additional members of the colony. Locating a nest can be difficult because nests may be in locations within the walls or roof rafters. At this point, some homeowners may prefer to work with a professional pest control company. Despite popular belief, carpenter ants don't eat wood. However, they do chew tunnels to nest and travel through though.
Carpenter ants are most active in the evening hours foraging for all kinds of food, both inside the house and outside. By following ants, you may be able to tell where the nest is. Because carpenter ants keep the tunnelled galleries very clean and push the sawdust and dead insect parts out small holes in the wood, a small, fresh pile of sawdust under the nest timber is the usual sign of an active carpenter ant nest. Once a nest is found, treatment is usually easy with either an insecticide dust or spray. Injection of insecticide into wall voids or the nest itself may be necessary to insure complete control.
To prevent further carpenter ant infestations, trim all trees and bushes so branches do not touch the house and correct moisture problems such as leaky roofs and plumbing. Paint and/or seal exposed wood construction before it becomes wet. Replace previously ant-infested wood, rotted, or water-damaged wooden parts of the structure and eliminate wood/soil contacts. Remove dead stumps on the property and store firewood off the ground and away from the structure.
The best way to take care of an existing problem is to locate and destroy the nest. Since locating a carpenter ant is difficult for the average homeowner to do, you may want to contact an exterminator. To solve your pest issue, an exterminator may drill small holes into the walls and apply an insecticidal dust into the nest. If the nest is exposed, insecticides can be sprayed directly on the nest.
Regardless of whether you're dealing with carpenter ants, common ants or flying ants, professional pest control is usually necessary. This is because a professional possesses the know-how and equipment needed to eliminate these critters.
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