The reason carpenter ants are considered pests is because they will build their colonies inside the wood of a building. As the colony grows, so does the damage caused to the home, and eventually, homeowners can be left footing the bill for hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
How carpenter ant infestations start
Every carpenter ant colony starts with a winged ant. Winged ants are more than just the flying caste of a colony – they are new kings and queens that set out to start their own nest. A winged ant will find a suitable piece of wood and start to dig into it. Then, once the initial nest is built, it will lay the first set of eggs, and then it will tend to them until they reach maturity. These are the first workers of the colony, and they will take over all the tasks related to maintenance, tunneling and foraging, while the young queen focuses on spawning new workers.
Growth and detection
As the infestation grows, more and more workers will go out to forage for food. Soon enough, you will start to notice them around the home, and they are really not hard to notice. Carpenter ants tend to be much larger than other ant species, with the workers reaching lengths of up to half an inch. It is at this point when these infestations are usually detected.
However, the workers may not come indoors to forage for food, and you have no way of spotting the workers. In this situation, the infestation will just keep growing, and the damage in the wood will become apparent. You might start to see galleries on the surface, or the wood could start to warp and buckle because its structural integrity has been compromised.
To prevent much of the damage that can be done by carpenter ants, it’s important to detect their presence early. In order to do this, you can hire a pest control pro to perform regular inspections on a yearly basis. These inspections will not only detect carpenter ant infestations, but the presence of other pests as well, and potentially save you a lot of money and headache. If an infestation is detected, the pro will then move onto control and remove the colony from your home.
For more information on carpenter ant infestations and how they are removed, or if you require pest control services, contact us today.