This Wood destroying ant damages wood by hollowing it out for nesting. They excavate galleries in wood which have a smooth, sandpapered appearance. Wood damaged by this wood destroying ant contains no mud-like material, as is the case with termites. See pictures of carpenter ants!
Mike Potter, Extension Entomologist University of Kentucky College of Agriculture also says, “The Carpenter ant sets up nests in various locations. It is important to realize that these locations can be either inside or outside the structure. Carpenter ants actually construct two different kinds of nests: parent colonies which, when mature, contain an egg-laying queen, brood and 2000 or more worker ants, and satellite colonies which may have large numbers of worker ants but no queen, eggs or young larvae.” “Carpenter ants nest in both moist and dry wood, but prefer wood which is moist. Consequently, the nests are more likely to be found in wood dampened by water leaks, such as around sinks, bathtubs, poorly sealed windows/ door frames, roof leaks and poorly flashed chimneys. Nests are especially common in moist, hollow spaces such as the wall void behind a dishwasher, or in a hollow porch column.”
Carpenter Ant Control
The best way to control the wood destroying ants is to find and kill the nests.The best time to do this is late at night since this is when carpenter ants are most active.Don’t spray carpenter ants when initially observed; instead, feed the ants small dabs of diluted honey placed on the non-sticky side of pieces of masking tape. The best time to do this is late at night since this is when the carpenter ant is most active. After the ants have fed on the honey, follow them on their journey back to their nest. Eventually the ants will disappear behind a baseboard, cabinet, or into some other concealed location such as the hollow space (void) within a wall, door casing, or porch column.
Using a puffer duster to apply insecticide dust into the void where the ants disappeared. Sprinkle some carpenter ant granules in the area outside where you saw them. You may also want to place some dabs of Carpenter Ant gel bait at the entrances of nest to further ensure total population elimination.
Can’t Find the Carpenter Ants nest?
Carpenter Ant control is best handled by baits when the primary nest site cannot be found, or where location limits the use of other insecticides.
Carpenter Ant Prevention
A number of steps can be taken by homeowners to reduce the potential for future carpenter ant problems.
- Correct roof leaks, plumbing leaks and other moisture problems which will attract carpenter ants.
- Eliminate wood-to-ground contact such as where landscaping has moved soil or mulch up against the wood siding of a home.
- Clip back tree limbs and vegetation touching the roof or siding of the house. Limbs and branches serve as “bridges” between carpenter ants nesting in a dead tree limb and the structure.
- Seal cracks and openings in the foundation, especially where utility pipes and wires enter from the outside.
- Stack firewood away from the foundation and elevate it off the ground. Never store firewood in the garage or other areas of the home, as firewood is a prime nesting area for the carpenter ant.