In many cases, by the time you know they are in your home, they have already caused significant damage. If you own a home, you’d wonder “what do carpenter ants look like?” If so, you need to be aware of how to recognize them, what they can do to your home, and what steps you can take to exterminate them.
How to Recognize Them
They are generally larger than your typical odorous house ants. Odorous house ants are some of the most common ants that invade kitchens. The trail in your kitchen, find your dirty dishes, and basically try to take over your home.
If you are seeing hundreds or thousands of ants trailing into your kitchen, you are probably not dealing with carpenter ants.
They are not always huge, but some ants are big. If you are seeing large black ants crawling around your home, then you are dealing with carpenter ants. When I say large, I mean big! The largest ants are unmistakable for anything else.
They may be in any room in your house. You may see them in the living room and the bedroom. They could be in the garage or the shower. If the ants are slightly larger than most ants, and they aren’t just hanging out in the kitchen, then they could these dreaded wood destroying ants.
Do you have a woodpile near your house? Is it sitting against the house? You need to move it away immediately if it is sitting right next to your house.
This is a place where you will always find these huge ants because they like nesting in wood. If you don’t find ants in the woodpile, you may find termites. If you have a woodpile anywhere in the yard, go back to the pile and start pulling it apart.
There is a very good chance you will find ants that can damage your home within the woodpile.
How Carpenter Ants Damage Your Home
Carpenter ants damage your home differently than termites. Many people confuse carpenter ants and termites. Termites literally eat away your home. Carpenter ants damage structures by nesting in the structure.
They tunnel out the wood in your home so they can nest and reproduce. They prefer to nest in dead but damp wood. They may swarm in a crawl space and appear inside the home.
They can appear in any home, but they are more likely to build nests in a damp crawl space or in homes built deep in the woods.
How to Exterminate Carpenter Ants
Treat the perimeter of the home with bait or Termidor. Clean your gutters out so that water isn’t running against the side of the house during a major rainstorm. Try to find the nest.
If you can find the nest, the nest should be thoroughly treated with carpenter ant bait or some other approved bait or pesticide.
Make sure you complete a very thorough treatment to get rid of the carpenter ants completely.