Carpenter ants are a particularly large type of ant that is common in moderate climates. Like termites, and as their name would suggest, carpenter ants have an appetite for wood, which means that an infestation of carpenter ants in your home can result in serious property damage.
Thankfully, there are a few different early warning signs of a carpenter ant infestation that you can keep an eye out for. Identifying the problem early lets you contact a pest control specialist before extensive and expensive damage can occur.
Carpenter ants are large, black ants that will chew their way through wet wood to build their nests. Due to the fact that carpenter ants are so large, a big enough infestation in your home will create some noise as the insects eat their way through wooden surfaces.
The noise can be hard to discern from normal sounds during the day, but if at night or during periods of calm, you notice a slight munching or clicking sound coming from your floor, walls or ceiling, then you may have a carpenter ant problem.
Unlike termites, which will eat wood, carpenter ants will simply break down the wood and move it out of the way. Since carpenter ants don’t eat the wood they destroy, you will likely see a pile of wood shavings or dust in the areas where carpenter ants have taken up residence.
Keep an eye out for actual tunnels and holes in wood surfaces as well. Carpenter ants will create a more polished, rectangular hole than termites will, and they will prioritize making their nests in rotting wood. So you should look for holes and wood debris in dark, damp areas.
3. Structural Damage
A well-established carpenter ant infestation can cause serious damage to the wooden structures that it is inhabiting. If you notice that a wooden surface in your home has warped, changed shape or otherwise experienced structural damage, you may have a carpenter ant problem.
Keep in mind that regular water damage can cause warping of wood without a carpenter ant infestation, so you'll want to look for other warning signs — especially the physical presence of ants or wood debris.
Carpenter ants can easily be distinguished from other types of ants due to their large size, distinctive black color and wings. Carpenter ants can even fly short distances. Try and get a closer look at the insects within your home to determine what they are. Carpenter ants will take up residence in wooden surfaces within your home, while other types of ants will find their way into your home from nests located outside.
5. Ants in the Food
If you find a large amount of ants swarming over your food, then you likely have an ant population living somewhere within your home. Pet food, due to its proximity to the ground, is particularly susceptible to being covered in ants.
Keep in mind that a single ant located in your home likely doesn't mean that you have an ant problem, but large amounts swarming in a single area is a cause for concern. If you've only noticed a handful of ants in your home, you'll want to implement measures to reduce the amount of food that is left out to help prevent an infestation from taking hold.
If you have any questions about ant control in your home, or any other pest control concerns, you can always contact Cliff's Pest Control, Inc. Our team of highly trained pest control specialists will be able to identify and eliminate any infestation that you may be suffering from.