Carpenter Ants - does your home have them?



Carpenter ants reside both inside and outside in moist, decaying or hollow wood. We showed up for a job yesterday and, upon inspection, found evidence of carpenter ants. When we removed the fascia board, our customers' wood had become a playground for these ants. Not only does his wood need to be repaired before we can proceed, he also had to pay a hefty exterminator fee.

Carpenter nests have been found behind bathroom tiles; around tubs, sinks, showers, and dishwashers; under roofing, in attic beams, and under subfloor insulation; and in hollow spaces such as doors, curtain rods, and wall voids. Carpenter ants may also nest in foam insulation.

Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not eat wood. They do, however, create tunnels in the wood as they grow their colonies. Depending on the number of ants you have living in your wood, the damage is variable.

Prevention

An important method for preventing carpenter ant problems indoors is to eliminate high moisture conditions that are attractive to them. Also, replace any moisture-damaged wood. Be careful that wood or lumber that is stored in a garage or near the house is kept dry and, if possible, elevated to allow air circulation.

Store firewood as far away from buildings as possible. Remove tree and shrub stumps and roots. Trim branches that overhang the home.