How to Tell if You Have Carpenter Ants

Have you seen big, black ants roaming around your house? Perhaps on your counters or across your floors? If so, you are likely looking at a carpenter ant. Although carpenter ants are a nuisance, they are also a cause for concern. The carpenter ant can create damage to wood objects and structures as they build tunnels for their nests. A carpenter ant invasion is a big deal because of the damages they can cause. You want to identify an invasion and call ant control as soon as possible. Knowing how to tell if you have carpenter ants in or around your home can help save you from unnecessary damages and costly expenses.

Seeing the Ants

Seeing the ants moving around both outside and inside your home is just one sign that you may have a problem. Carpenter ants are one of the largest ant species and workers range in size between a quarter of an inch a half-inch in length. It is the workers you likely see moving about. Although carpenter ants vary in color, most are black or reddish colored.

During the spring or earlier part of the summer, you may see a carpenter ant that appears to have wings. Although the queen is the only one in the colony to have wings, she will sometimes give birth to winged males and females who leave the nest in swarms so they may start their own colonies.

Seeing the ant is not enough to determine if you have an invasion of carpenter ants. Some people often mistake termites for carpenter ants or vice versa. You need to be sure that you are looking at a carpenter ant rather than a termite. Of course, if you do not want to get close enough to find out, you can always call a professional to assist you.

Wood Debris

When carpenter ants dig through wood to create tunnels, they often create piles of wood debris that look similar to sawdust. Once they finish digging their tunnels, they will often push the debris outside the opening or exit to their nest. If you find sawdust like material near corner or by ant holes, it is likely that you have a carpenter an invasion.

Damage to Wood

If you locate piles of sawdust created by carpenter ants, it is likely that they have caused wood damage. Look for signs of wood damage near the pile of saw dust. In particular, you are looking for the opening or exit to their tunnels, which may look rectangular in shape rather than round. There is likely more destruction deeper than you can see, too, unfortunately.

Hearing Rustling

Finally, another sign that you have a carpenter ant problem is hearing sounds of rustling, perhaps coming from behind the walls of your home. As the ants chew through the wood, they create a sound. If you have a large enough invasion of ants working together to clean our tunnels, you might be able to hear them chewing through it.

The sight of an ant is bad enough but hearing them chew through wood behind your walls is worse. Make sure you contact a pest control professional as soon as you suspect a carpenter ant problem. The longer you wait, the larger the colony will grow. The larger the colony, the more expensive damages they can create.