How can I tell if my home is at risk for carpenter ants?

February 22, 2019


As a responsible homeowner, you do your best to keep your house in good condition. You complete yearly upkeep projects and make necessary repairs. Usually, the repairs that must be done are obvious. However, some damage can go unnoticed and create serious problems. Carpenter ants cause such damage. So how can you tell if your home is at risk for carpenter ants?

carpenter ant on wood

When are carpenter ants active?

Carpenter ants are insects that remain active throughout the year. They may slow down during the colder winter months if they live outside, but if they’ve already gotten into your home, they can be as active in the winter as they are in the summer. This means that once they’re in your home, they’ll do damage every single day.

How Carpenter Ants Get into Your Home

Although they will chew on any kind of wood, carpenter ants prefer to work in wood that is already damaged by water. If you have water-damaged or rotting wood around your home, they’ll be attracted to it.

Once they get close to your house, it’s only a matter of time before they make their way inside. Although carpenter ants are the largest ants, they’re still small enough to fit through cracks in your foundation or any other tiny holes they find.

How to Know if Carpenter Ants are in Your Home

If you see a few carpenter ants walking through your house, it’s not necessarily a sign that you have an infestation. They could be scout ants looking for food for a colony that is still outside.

Even so, if you see an ant in your home, you’ll want to start paying closer attention to any other signs:

  • Small holes in wooden structures in your home, especially when these holes have small piles of a sawdust material under them.
  • Hearing quiet rustling in your walls.
  • If you discover multiple winged carpenter ants appearing around your property, you should be concerned.
  • Similarly, finding discarded wings in your home is a sign that carpenter ants have already invaded.

How to Prevent Carpenter Ants

The best prevention against carpenter ants is to make sure you don’t have excess moisture or water-damaged wood on your property.

A few things that will help:

  • Install good drainage systems.
  • Make sure your gutters remain clean.
  • Check for leaky spigots and pipes.
  • Repair and replace damaged wood.
  • Trim tree branches and shrubbery away from your house.
  • Fill all cracks, crevices, and holes in your foundation.
  • Seal all gaps around your windows and doors.

What to do if Carpenter Ants Get Inside Your Home

If you notice any of the signs mentioned above, you’ll want to take immediate steps to eliminate your carpenter ant problem. However, trying to do it yourself will only lead to frustration and wasted time and resources. Because carpenter ants build deep within the wooden structures of your home, they are difficult to eliminate if you don’t have the necessary experience or equipment. Thankfully Spencer Pest Services has both. We can eliminate your current infestation and ensure that it doesn’t happen again. Give us a call to learn more about your options.


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