While there are many wood-destroying pests in Aiken, we're going to focus on just one of them today: The carpenter ant. Carpenter ants are somewhat unique among wood-destroying pests, and they are entirely unique when it comes to ant pests. As wood-destroying pests, carpenter ants can do damage to softwood and hardwood. So they present a wider threat than pests that target one or the other. When it comes to ant infestations, carpenter ants are a double threat. Other ant pests will get into your home and infest food packages, without doing any damage. Carpenter ants tunnel into wood and establish their nests inside. Then they venture out and contaminate food packages. It is not good to have these ants in your home. Here are four key things you should know about carpenter ants in Aiken.
1. Carpenter Ant Identification
We have a few carpenter ant species in Aiken. The worst, by far, is the black carpenter ant. This species is the largest and most destructive. Black carpenter ants are entirely black in color. Workers are between ½ and ⅝ of an inch long and they have a single node between the thorax and abdomen; that is the location of the ant that you might consider to be the waist. There is no other ant that competes with this ant in size. If you see a black ant that is more than ½ an inch long, it is most likely a black carpenter ant.
Some species of carpenter ant are a mixture of black and dark red. They are smaller than black carpenter ants, and vary in destructive capability. Some will not damage your home at all. They will create nests in the voids of your walls, ceilings, and floors. But they can be incredibly annoying because their presence in your home makes it easier for them to mobilize an army to get into your food.
2. Carpenter Ant Detection
There are a few ways you can detect carpenter ant activity. If you keep your eye out for these signs, you could save yourself a lot of money in frustrating repairs.
Workers. Obviously, the appearance of a hundred or more worker ants making a line to a food source in your home is the easiest way to tell you have a problem. But you're not likely to see this with carpenter ants. Carpenter ants are nocturnal. They'll come out, eat the food, and disappear back into the wood of your home while you sleep. What you may see is an individual scout ant crawling around. It is important that you recognize that ant as a warning sign of a potentially large infestation.
Frass. Carpenter ants don't eat wood. So they have to do something with it. As they create their tunnels, they push wood shaving and their feces out of tiny kickout holes. This material is called frass. If you find it clinging to walls or lying on a floor, you should contact a licensed pest professional to do an inspection and assess the level of the infestation.
Alates. If you see winged ants in your home, you should know that they are not an ant species. Carpenter ant colonies produce alates (winged ants) when they reach a certain size. These alates go forth from the nest and establish more nests. If you find winged ants on an interior window of your home, you have an infestation.
Damage. It is not natural for the wood of your home to have holes. If a hole begins to develop, you should find out what made that hole. It might be carpenter ants. The damage created by carpenter ants is likely to be in damp, dark locations.
3. How Much Damage Carpenter Ants Do
Carpenter ant damage in the United States is in the hundreds of millions, annually. While we can't tell you how much damage they can do to your Aiken home, we urge you to consider quickly responding to infestations when you notice these ants.
4. Carpenter Ant Control
When you detect carpenter ant activity in your home, we don't recommend DIY carpenter ant control. It just isn't worth the risk to your property. Reach out to Aiken Pest Control. We help property owners in Aiken prevent damage caused by carpenter ants and other wood-destroying pests. Our team of licensed pest professionals can let you know what pest is threatening your property, and guide you in selecting a treatment plan that is right for your specific needs and budget. Get started by requesting a free, no-obligation pest inspection and estimate. We'll do the rest.