Carpenter ants are one of the natural destructive forces against wood. They destroy wood similar to how termites do, and cause a lot of damage to wood structures. Carpenter ants destroy the wood when they are building or expanding their nest. They do not eat the wood, unlike termites do, and instead eats the honeydew derived from aphids.
Most people believe that by getting rid of the aphids, one can eliminate the problem of carpenter ants. But simply spraying on your yard plants to get rid of the aphids won’t stop the carpenter ants. They can go several hundred yards just to forage for aphids, and ultimately, it won’t solve your problem at all.
Signs to Watch For
Before you decide to get rid of the wood destroyers in your home, it’s best to make sure that what is destroying your wood are indeed carpenter ants. After all, you don’t want to be spraying solutions to kill carpenter ants, when in fact you have a termite problem. Below you can find some signs to watch for.
Frass – This is the “trash” that carpenter ants encounter during their construction, and throw away. This is composed of dead ants, wood shavings, insect wings, etc, and is not to be confused with termite fecal pellets. It is finely shredded, and can be found in piles or caught in spider webs.
Sounds – When you hear crunching or rustling sounds when you put your ear or stethoscope on the wall, then this could be a tell tale sign that carpenter ants are destroying your wood.
Existence of Ants – If you notice several ants in trails all over your house, then an entire colony could be living behind your walls.
Get Rid of Carpenter Ants
Now that you’ve made sure that carpenter ants are indeed invading your wood structures, the next step is to eradicate them completely. There are several solutions available today, and some people go for spraying. However, this is ineffective as it could only kill the worker ants in the surface, and not the queen. If this happens, the queen continues to lay down more eggs to replace the lost worker ants, and you haven’t solved your problem at all. Also, it can be harmful to the environment, and could harm the pets and children in your household.
The most effective way in getting rid of outdoor carpenter ants is using baits. Just apply the bait around the opening of the nest, or anywhere the worker ants can pick them. A tablespoon size should be enough for your initial try. If you notice the bait has been picked up by the ants already, continue to reapply.
For carpenter ants on the inside, getting rid of them might be tough. Put a stethoscope or ear to your wall and spot the place that shows the most scrunching and rustling sounds. Drill a hole to your wall, and apply non-repellent dust products inside. Also dust these products unto wall voids, attics, hollow doors, and electrical and plumbing lines that ants usually use to travel from one place to another. Indoor baiting is also something you can try.