Thursday, June 12, 2014
Carpenter ants feed primarily on insect honeydew, plant juices and insects. Nests are normally found in moist, decayed wood. Carpenter ants can also build satellite nests in structures of homes. They can enter buildings around doors, through eaves, plumbing, utility lines, or even branches hanging over trees. Telltale signs can be sawdust (frass) that the ants leave from chewing the wood that may contain insect body parts. These ants are polymorphic, which means they can range in size from ¼” to ½” long. Normally these ants are black, but other species of Carpenter Ants may be dark brown, dark red or any variation of these colors. It is best to find and directly treat as many carpenter ant nests as possible, focusing on the parent colony to all the satellite colonies to help eliminate the source. Some preventive measures homeowners can take is to make sure all tree branches are cut back from hanging over the structure, trim landscaping and foliage from the perimeter of the house, and correct any moisture problems such as leaky pipes or excess moisture in crawlspace that can attract the ants. It is important to treat entry points to the house, wall voids where evidence is found, exterior perimeter of home and around base of trees that are potential harborage nest areas.