Carpenter Ants Can Cause Serious Damage

Your home is likely your biggest investment. Many things can wreak havoc in your house, and carpenter ants can be near the top of the list. At Alexandria Pest Services, we can help protect your investment from these and many other destructive pests and rodents.

Carpenter ants are particularly harmful because they don’t just infest rotting wood — they can move from softwood to hardwood in a very short amount of time when they infest. These destructive pests weaken wall supports and can also cause expensive damage. Here’s what you should know about carpenter ants:

  • Carpenter ants are hard to detect because they don’t chew the outer portion of your wood. Instead, you’ll find them deep inside your wood, barely coming to the surface. They can live there for years, and you wouldn’t know until it’s too late.
  • They range in length from 1/8 – 1/2 inch, with the queens being slightly larger. They are most commonly black, although some species are red, red and black, or brown. They are big, so be sure not to confuse them with house ants. A distinguishing feature is that carpenter ants have two big antennas at the top of their heads.
  • When in need of food, these big black-red ants tend to send one or two worker ants outside their nests in search of food. Hence, if you notice them crawling close to your house or inside your house, don’t simply ignore them. Realize that you could have a big problem, and contact us to get rid of them.
  • Carpenter ants do not actually feed on the wood. They feed actively from sunset until the early morning hours on most human foods, particularly sweets and other insects.
  • When carpenter ants start to make their nests, they push the sawdust out as they crawl deeper into the wood. You can find the sawdust, also known as frass, underneath wooden areas such as baseboards, door jambs, garage spaces, window sills, and other isolated spots.
  • Carpenter ants normally feed in moist areas such as the base of doors close to the moist ground, railings in your garden that are exposed to water, wood decks that surround plant and flower beds, basement timbers, and other places that are sheltered, moist, and dark.
  • When carpenter ants scrape out wood particles, there is a distinct rustling noise that can be heard if you shut off all the fans and air conditioners in the room.
  • Doors or windows that get stuck, floors that look uneven, ceilings that seem to be sinking, and walls that show signs of apparent bulging are all signs of a carpenter ant infestation.

It is important not to confuse carpenter ants with termites, as termites are very different from carpenter ants. When termites build homes, the appearance of wood can seem somewhat gritty. However, the appearance of wood seems smooth when carpenter ants infest it. Wood infested by carpenter ants may be uneven and you may notice dots or tiny dashes running through the wood irregularly, making it look splintered. Don’t confuse this for wood rot either, as carpenter ants cause structural damage so this is them working their way into the intricacies of the wood.

Contact Alexandria Pest Services if Your Think You Have Carpenter Ants or Other Pests or Rodents

If left untreated, carpenter ants can weaken structures within your home. To prevent further damage, get in touch with the pest control experts at Alexandria Pest Services as soon as possible. At Alexandria Pest Services, we offer services to help treat carpenter ants and termite infestations in Northern Virginia. Our priority is for our customers to be comfortable inside their homes without any unwanted insects or rodents.

If you find that you are having a problem with carpenter ants, termites, bed bugs, rodents, or other pests and need an exterminator in Springfield, Burke, Alexandria, or other parts of Northern Virginia, call Alexandria Pest Services at 703-923-0925 to schedule a professional evaluation. We can help you get rid of these invaders in your home or office! Contact us today to learn more.


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