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Carpenter Ants

What are carpenter ants?

Carpenter ants are a large species of ant. They can be black, red, yellowish, or a combination of those colors. Carpenter ants received their name because of the way they build their nests. They excavate and tunnel through wood, forming smooth tunnels and nesting galleries. Carpenter ants are common home invaders, and are found living throughout many parts of the United States, including throughout Illinois. Outside in their natural habitat, carpenter ants help to speed up the decomposition of decaying trees. However, when carpenter ants find their way inside homes and other buildings, they become less than helpful.

a colony of carpenter ants on damaged wood in illinois

Are carpenter ants dangerous?

Carpenter ants are considered to be dangerous ants. They don’t cause harm to people, but they do have the potential to cause significant damage to structural wood found in homes and other buildings. Carpenter ants, like other species of ants, typically find their way inside homes while foraging for food for their colony. Carpenter ants do not feed on wood, like termites. Instead, they feed on a variety of meats, sweets, and fatty foods. Once inside, they are attracted to wood that is wet or that has been damaged by mold. They invade structural wood in order to create a satellite nest for their colony that is close to their new-found food source. If the infestation is allowed to continue, they will eventually attack sound wood and may cause significant and costly structural damage.

Why do I have a carpenter ant problem?

Carpenter ants prefer to attack wood that has been softened by fungus. Often associated with moisture problems, carpenter ants may have chosen your home to invade due to water damage in or around your home. Another reason carpenter ants invade properties and homes is because they offer easy access to food, water, and shelter. Fallen trees, tree stumps, wood piles, decaying fence posts, mulch, open trash cans, gardens, pet food, and compost piles can attract carpenter ants.

Where will I find carpenter ants?

Carpenter ants are moisture-seeking pests, and normally live outside in damp or rotting pieces of wood. Carpenter ants that find their way inside to nest, do so inside pieces of structural wood located behind walls, above ceilings, below flooring, or behind wooden trim. If an infestation is allowed to continue, these ants will eventually attack sound wood.

How do I get rid of carpenter ants?

To control and prevent carpenter ant infestations the easy way, partner with an experienced professional. At Pest Control Consultants, our certified service technicians provide outstanding pest control solutions to eliminate current pest problems, and prevent future pest problems.
 
The experts at Pest Control Consultants are dedicated to using the latest scientific techniques and up-to-date products, practices, and procedures to get rid of and control carpenter ants and other household-invading pests. To learn more about ridding carpenter ants from your Sauk Valley or Northern Illinois home, or to schedule a free inspection, call Pest Control Consultants.

How can I prevent carpenter ants in the future?

Keeping carpenter ants off your Illinois property and out of your home can be difficult.
 
There are a few things you can do to help to deter them:

  • Caulk cracks and crevices in the foundation and exterior walls of your home.

  • Make sure all screens are intact.

  • Place weather stripping around windows and doors.

  • Place mesh covers over all vents.

  • Repair holes along your home's roofline.

  • Fill in spaces around wires and utilities entering your home from its exterior.

  • Create a stone barrier (12-18 inches) between your home's foundation and any grass or mulch.

  • Make sure trash cans have tight-fitting lids on them.

  • Locate gardens a distance away from the outside of your home.

  • Secure compost piles.

  • Pick up pet food between feedings.

  • Place wood piles a distance away from the outside of your home.

  • Get rid of tree stumps and fallen trees.

  • Remove piles of debris from your property. 

  • Repair any leaks, and remove and replace water-damaged wood.

 

 

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