Carpenter ants are a large sized ant and are usually black in color, although, they can be red, yellow, or even a combination of colors. Queens grow up to 1 inch in length. The worker ants are smaller and generally range in length from 5/8th to ½ of an inch. Carpenter ants have an oval segmented body with a 1 node waist.
Workers have strong mandibles (lower jaw bones) that they use to excavate tunnels in wood. Carpenter ants use these tunnels for travel and to nest in. Contrary to popular belief, they don’t eat wood. They actually remove it as they tunnel and then deposit it in piles outside of the nest. Carpenter ants feed on sweets, meats and other insects. Their tunnels are very smooth and tidy.
The one sure sign of a carpenter ant presence in homes is an actual sighting of them. Carpenter ants are usually sighted while traveling through the kitchen and pantry areas searching for food to bring back to the colony. Another common sign is seeing winged reproductive members swarm from the colony. They swarm in order to find a mate and form a new colony. Finding piles of wood shavings on the floor of your home can also indicate a problem with carpenter ants.
Mitchell Pest Services is here to help property owners in the Virginia Beach and Richmond metro resolve carpenter ant infestations. Our pest control services for carpenter ants include a thorough inspection and treatment as necessary. Our quarterly pest control program targets carpenter ants AND other common household pests. Best of all, this is a long term solution that provides lasting protection from these wood destroying ants and other pests that cause problems in and around homes in our region.
Carpenter ants are drawn to wood that has been previously damaged by water. Reducing moisture in and around your home will help to prevent carpenter ants. Carpenter ant prevention tips include:
Repair any outdoor faucets that are leaking.
Maintain gutters and all watershed systems to keep them working properly.
Replace any water damaged wood in or around your home.
Use de-humidifiers in humid areas like bathrooms, basements, and attics.
Seal cracks in your home's foundation.
Caulk gaps around exterior windows and doors and install door sweeps.
Seal openings around pipes and utility lines entrances.
Make sure that screens found in windows and doors are completely intact.
Store food in sealed containers or in the refrigerator.
Be sure to routinely wash dirty dishes and immediately clean up spills and crumbs.