They’re big, black, and look like something out of an Alfred Hitchcock movie. Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but let’s be honest. Carpenter ants are gross! If you’ve spotted a few of these guys around your home, or even worse, in your home, you probably have a few questions about what their presence means for you. Need a quick update? Check out our answers to some of the most frequently asked carpenter ant questions.
Are Carpenter Ants Dangerous to Humans?
In spite of their man-eating size—only kidding of course—carpenter ants are not out to attack you or your family. That being said, they do have rather large jaws that they use to chew through wood. Those same jaws can be used to bite any potential threats to the ant, including you, your family, or your pets. Carpenter ant bites aren’t common and are essentially harmless. The pain caused by a carpenter ant bite is similar to that of a bee sting. While it's important to protect yourself and your family from carpenter ants, your home is at greater risk of harm from their presence.
Can Carpenter Ants Damage My Home?
The answer to this question is a resounding yes. Carpenter ants chew away at the wood in and around your home. This includes but is not limited to trees, sheds, siding, and furniture as well as the structure of your home (support beams, roofing, etc.). Carpenter ants do not work as quickly as termites, but if you believe you may have an infestation, it’s important to address it as soon as possible. The longer the problem goes unaddressed, the more damage your home is likely to suffer.
How Can I Tell If I Have Carpenter Ants?
Ants are fairly common throughout the United States, so don’t be alarmed if you spot one or two throughout the spring and summer. You could potentially have a carpenter ant problem if you struggle with them in your home during the fall and winter months. Winged ants should also be considered a red flag as these are a sign of “swarmer” carpenter ants. Winged carpenter ants often resemble termites, so if you are unsure of what pest you are facing, it’s best to call a professional pest control company.
How Can I Get Rid of Carpenter Ants?
You can address your carpenter ant problem with baits, traps, and pesticides; however, these treatments will not attack the root of the issue. To completely remove carpenter ants from your property, you'll need to find the nest. This may be inside your home or outside in your yard—typically in damp, rotting wood. Once you’ve located the nest, you’ll want to exterminate the entire colony. If you are unable to locate the nest, you may want to contact a pest control company for a thorough inspection of your home and yard.
After you’ve alleviated your carpenter ant problem, be sure to actively prevent another infestation. Here are a few ways you can do so:
- Eliminate any contact between your home and soil or mulch.
- Trim trees and shrubbery around your home.
- Seal cracks in your siding, foundation, and roofing.
- Store firewood in an elevated area away from your home.
- Properly dispose of yard waste.
If you’re struggling with a carpenter ant infestation, contact Springer for residential pest control services. Springer has been a leading pest control agency in the Des Moines area for decades. Our trained technicians will be able to evaluate your situation and provide treatment to rid you of those ants forever!