Carpenter Ants are one of the largest ants that are commonly found in the United States. The Carpenter Ant is known for invading and infesting homes. For this reason if you do not discover them early they can cause very serious damage to the building structure. The Carpenter Ants do not eat the wood in your home, they just tunnel into the wood carving out large cavities in which to use as a nesting chamber. There are two most commonly found species are the Pennsylvania Carpenter Ant and the Florida Carpenter Ant.
What They Eat
Carpenter Ants will eat a wide range of foods, depending on the location and areas where they nest. when the Carpenter Ants are found on the inside of homes, they will feed on sugars, jellies, meats, syrup, honey and sweets. This lets us know they will feed on any foods containing proteins and sugars. When they are in an outdoor environment, their normal food will be living and dead insects. One of the more confusing thing about Carpenter Ants to some is, thought they will tunnel very intensively into some woods, they do not eat the wood, only tunnel into it. In doing this they might leave the frass (saw dust)in small piles near the entrance of their galleries.
Where They Live
Carpenter Ants prefer to build their nests in a moist wood environment. When Carpenter Ants are found indoors, they are very likely nesting in moist or decayed wood, under and/or behind bathroom tiles, tubs, walls, behind siding, showers, and dishwashers. They may also be found in attics, insulation, attic beams, or hollow spaces such as wall voids, curtain rods and doors if there is moisture present. Outdoors, they will nest in rotting trees, tree roots, tree stumps and logs buried or lying on the ground. Think about the old big oak tree in the back yard, you might be seeing Carpenter Ants trailing up and down the tree. This may mean that they are nesting somewhere inside the tree. Most of the oak trees we have cut down for fire wood has had a hollow section on the inside and it is home to Carpenter Ants.
There can be some serious damage to the structure of your home if Carpenter Ants are present in large numbers. When you find small piles of sawdust (frass) this could mean you have a colony of Carpenter Ants creating large living galleries in the wood of your home.
Don't wait for the Carpenter Ants to invade your home. Using a preention program is the key for stopping the Carpenter Ant Invasion. Regular visual inspections are necessary. If any infestations are found, they you can take appropriate actions.
Check out some of these helpful hints:
Removing and/or reducing any possible entry points that Carpenter Ants may use to enter your home. If you have any bushes or trees touching your house roofing or siding, please trim it so the limbs are no longer touching the house. You really need a little room between the house and any growth; this will let the house breath. When your house breaths it will not retain as much moisture as it other wise would.
You will need to focus any openings where pipes, wires or anything else that enters into the house. Make sure that they are tightly sealed. Repair any plumbing or outdoor water taps leak as well as check out roof edges, attics, door, window frames.
Don't delay the repairing of any cracks to the foundations as somehow, these insects are able to found it faster than we do.
If you bring firewood into your home for storage before burning, please examine the firewood to make sure it is Carpenter ant free. Try to store your firewood up off of the ground and away from the side of your house.
The nature of carpenter ants is that they are very attracted to moist, soft or rotting wood. So, regular checking of your house surrounding is necessary. Removed any moist, soft or rotting wood, log stumps and waste wood will greatly help to minimize the risk factor. Check any oak trees in your landscape as they will be home to Carpenter Ants more than other species.