It’s springtime, and along with it comes birds chirping in the trees, flowers budding in your garden and, unfortunately, carpenter ants nesting in your home!
I can’t think of anything less appetizing than finding a big black ant crawling across your counter top in the kitchen. My skin is crawling just thinking about it!
Local exterminator, Jason Sankey from Nature’s Way Pest Control, fills us in on these common pests and how to keep them from overrunning your home.
“The number-one pest we encounter throughout the Adirondack park are
Carpenter Ants. The main colonies live in the trees, usually pine trees.
Carpenter Ants produce satellite colonies, and these are what most
people find inside their homes. In fact, almost all homes will encounter a
problem with these wood destroying insects at one time or another.
Carpenter Ants can also create several satellite nests inside the home. The biggest problem for Pest Control professionals is that the main colonies outside and the satellite colonies inside communicate with one another. This is done by pheromone scents the ants leave behind.
After a Carpenter Ant colony is eliminated (which can take a year, for many reasons) the main colony outside still poses a threat to re-infest the structure. This usually does happen, and the nesting site won’t be in the same area but usually 3-5 feet away.
Once a problem inside a home is solved it doesn’t mean it is solved forever. If a property has a lot of Pine Trees or dead trees in conjunction with the home having a lot of conducive conditions (Ex. Moisture problems, roof leaks, overhanging trees, Shrubs touching the home, Etc.), then it may be a forever long battle with mothers Nature’s best of the best, the Carpenter Ant.
Carpenter Ants will “Swarm” in the Spring, usually in May. We have seen them swarm throughout the entire year. Swarming is basically a way for the colonies to expand. You will actually see Ants with wings on them. The males and females will mate, the males die off and the female will crawl into a crevice and start its first brood.
Depending on the time of year and environmental conditions, the nest can become quite large in a short period of time. If you do see “Swarmers” this is a sign you have a mature colony nearby or inside.
As the nest grows larger so does the damage to the wood they are chewing on. They don’t eat the wood but bore tunnels and chambers inside it to protect the nest. This can cause a tremendous amount of damage over time.
If you notice ants every year inside your home and they are larger than normal you should capture them and have a Pest Control company identify it. Usually homeowners will see ants in the spring for a few years, then the notice them lasting through the summer, then eventually throughout the year.
Another sign of Carpenter Ants is a snap-crackle-pop noise inside the walls and evidence of wood shavings. If you suspect you have Carpenter Ants call a professional immediately. They are hard enough for a trained pro to deal with. Over-the-counter spraying is the worst thing you can do because once you get close to a carpenter Ant nest or if they feel threatened, they will grab all of the eggs, larva, and pupa and start relocating. This turns into a nightmare for pest control companies to try and solve.
To solve a Carpenter Ant problem the correct way and to be sure they stay out, you need a program. Anything else is just putting a band-aide on it. Nature’s Way Pest Control has what I believe to be the most comprehensive program in the industry. The programs are designed to specifically go after Carpenter Ants, and with the use of Eco smart products.”
Thanks to Jason Sankey for his expert insight on one of the area’s most common household pests, the Carpenter Ant. Are you struggling with Carpenter Ants or another household pest? Learn more about Nature’s Way Pest Control >>