How well do you think you know the carpenter ant? Enough to protect your South Bend home from damage? We hope so. But just in case, we're going to take a few minutes to give you five facts that every South Bend property owner should know about these wood-destroying pests.
Fact 1: Carpenter Ants Do More Damage To Wood Than Termites
Does this surprise you? If it does, you probably know that termites are the most destructive wood-destroying organism in North America. But what you might not know is that subterranean termites tend to feed along the grain of wood, which is softer than the rest of the wood and easier to consume. Carpenter ants feed across the grain. So while termites might do more overall damage than carpenter ants, these ants do more damage to each piece of wood. This can cause significant problems in an isolated spot.
Fact 2: Carpenter Ants Can Be A Double Threat
While many species of ants can get into your pantry foods, they don't damage the wood of your home. Carpenter ants do both. If they find a particularly plentiful and accessible food source, they can grow their nest quickly.
Fact 3: Carpenter Ants Aren't As Sneaky As Termites
One of the reasons subterranean termites can do more damage than carpenter ants is that they leave few or no signs of their presence. Carpenter ants can reveal themselves in a few ways:
Frass: Carpenter ants don't eat wood. They shave it and push the tiny flecks of sawdust out of kickout holes. These flecks of sawdust are mixed with droppings from the ants. This is why it is called frass rather than just sawdust.
Alates: This is a fancy term for winged insects. After a few years of infestation, a nest will begin to produce winged ants. Termites do this as well. But the termites in our Indian service area create nests in the ground outside.
When they release winged termites (called swarmers) it is usually outside. Carpenter ants tend to release them inside because the nest is in the structure.
Damage: A termite has a thin skin and avoids being out in the air where it can dry out and die. Carpenter ant workers have no such aversion. Therefore, the damage done by carpenter ants can sometimes be seen.
Fact 4: Carpenter Ant Warning Signs Aren't Always Obvious
It might seem that ants invading your pantry, creating sawdust everywhere, producing winged ants inside your home, and eating holes in your wood will quickly alert you to the threat. Unfortunately, carpenter ant signs can be masked.
Carpenter ants can find all the food they need by foraging outside of your home. One source that is plentiful for carpenter ants is honeydew.
Carpenter ants can push frass out in hidden locations, such as inside wall voids, in crawl spaces, and in your attic. When this happens, you won't be able to easily see this sign.
Carpenter ants can release winged ants outside, especially if the carpenter ants have created a nest inside your deck, patio, porch, stairs, fence, or some other exterior structure.
Carpenter ants are nocturnal insects that gravitate to dark, secluded locations. This is where you're most likely to find damage.
Fact 5: Professional Ant Control Is The Best Way To Deal With These Ants
A licensed and experienced pest control professional uses well-established methods and products to locate and eliminate carpenter ants. If you want to know for sure that your carpenter ant infestation has been addressed, it is best to trust a pest professional.
Carpenter Ant Control In South Bend
Remember that the team at Termishield is always available to assist you with your pest control problems in South Bend and the region around South Bend. Contact us anytime for assistance. We're standing by to help.