Carpenter Ants

Pest Guide for Carpenter Ants

There are more than 12,000 species of ants throughout the world, so it’s not uncommon to run into an ant infestation at least once in your lifetime. One of the most common type of ant found in South Carolina is the carpenter ant.

Carpenter ants are one of the largest ants, measuring 6-12mm in length (some even up to 18mm in length). Despite their name, black ants don’t actually eat wood. Instead, they feed on sources of protein and sugary foods like syrup, honey, jelly, and more. They also feed on other insects.

These ants prefer nests that are consistently damp, so they usually build their homes outdoors inside rotting trees, roots, stumps, and more. However, they can travel up to 100 yards in search of food. Once they find it, they’ll keep coming back for it, which is how an infestation begins. Though not as common, ants can choose to nest in moist indoor spots including behind dishwashers, underneath bathroom tiles, around bathtubs, and more.

Detection

Carpenter ants are most active at night, which means if you want to find out where your ants are coming from, it’s best to do it after the sun goes down. To find the ants’ nest, you can simply follow the ants themselves, or you can inspect the various areas where they may be.

Though carpenter ants don’t actually eat wood, they do chew through it in order to create a nest. If you think you have an infestation, one thing you can do for detection is to tap on various wood surfaces and listen for a hollow sound. You can also look for small piles of sawdust where the ants chewed through the wood.

Prevention

There are several easy ways to prevent a carpenter ant infestation. Since they feed mainly on sugary foods, keep things like cereal, candy, jellies, and other foods sealed well and on higher shelves. Also, don’t leave crumbs around the house and take your garbage out as soon as it’s full.

Because ants like moist places, be sure to eliminate any standing water in or around your home and fix any plumbing leaks you may have. Also, frequently inspect the corners of your bathroom, basement, attic, and other rooms that may hold moisture on a constant basis.

If you do find that you have a carpenter ant infestation, call our pest control office immediately to set up an inspection appointment. We’ll find where the ants are coming from and eliminate them once and for all.

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