If you own a home in Eagle, it is likely that you've heard of carpenter ants. But do you know everything you need to know to protect your property from being damaged? Most homeowners don't. Take a look below and see if you can answer the following questions about carpenter ants.
What do carpenter ants look like?
These are the largest ants that get into Colorado homes. Worker ants are between ¼ and ⅜ inches long, depending on the species. They are either entirely black or black with a reddish brown thorax. The thorax is the middle portion of the ant, just above the abdomen. If you look closely at the waist, between the thorax and abdomen, you will see one node. While other ants may have one node, they aren't nearly as large as carpenter ant workers. Winged carpenter ants are even larger. They can be as large as ⅝ of an inch long.
Do carpenter ants eat wood?
No. Carpenter ants subsist mostly on honeydew, which is produced by aphids and other plant-damaging insects. There are two reasons this is important to know. First, a carpenter ant infestation can go undetected because these ants can find all the food they need on the outside of your home. Second, you might be able to detect carpenter ants by the sawdust they push out of their tunnels. This sawdust is mixed with ant droppings and is called grass.
Where do carpenter ants leave grass?
It would be nice if carpenter ants pushed frass out in obvious places. Unfortunately, these ants are nocturnal and prefer to live in darkness. This leads them to push frass out in dark locations, such as a crawl space under your home, a cellar or basement, an attic space, or inside the wall voids of your home. The last one is the worst because few homes have access points that allow you to look inside the wall voids.
Do carpenter ants just attack dead, decaying wood?
Decaying wood and wood rot are certainly a preference for carpenter ants, but they are by no means limited to just tunneling in rotted wood. Carpenter ants have been observed moving from rotted wood to sound timbers. They've also been observed tunneling across the grain.
Do you know what it means when you see one black ant every once in a while?
While it is possible, it is unlikely that a carpenter ant is going to come into your home from an outside ground nest. If you see one worker every now and then, it is likely that you have an infestation inside the wood of your home. If you commonly see scout ants, you definitely have an infestation.
Do you know what it means when you see winged ants on your interior windows?
Winged carpenter ants are male and female reproductives. They are produced for the purpose of creating new nests. If you see them on your interior windows, there are two things you can know for sure. First, they didn't come into your home from the outside. Your home is dimmer than the brightly lit outdoors. Second, those ants came from a mature nest. That means you have had a nest in your home for a while, and you're about to have more.
Do you know how to get rid of carpenter ants in Eagle Colorado?
Carpenter ants cost U.S. property owners hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage annually. It is unwise to attempt to get rid of these ants on your own. The best solution is to reach out to the licensed pest professionals at RAM Wildlife & Pest Management. We'll make sure no ants remain active in your home. Get started by requesting a free inspection today.