Carpenter Ants Albany, NY◀ Back To Blog
May 14, 2012
Carpenter ants plague Albany homeowners along with many Capital Region homeowners this time of year. Carpenter ants are wood destroying insects that have the ability to damage your Saratoga home or property. Carpenter ants are not just an ordinary ant, so it is important to understand characteristics of the carpenter ant to be knowledgeable about them. PCT Magazine offers some tips and educational information on these destructive insects.
Nesting Behavior: Carpenter ants in the East generally have smaller parent nests in deciduous trees, while Western species prefer conifers and larger nests.
Satellites in Structures: Carpenter ants are attracted to the soft, easy-to-chew wood used to build most houses, making structures ideal for satellite colonies. These usually are found in the attic, crawl space or subfloor where ants have access to the outside. The presence of winged ants indoors in early spring is a good indication that the structure has a satellite colony.
Workers Move In: All workers come from the parent colony. They move into the satellite colony in summer and, once established, may stay there for a long period. The satellite colony must have worker reinforcements from the parent colony or it will die out.
Reproductives Move Out: Satellite colonies commonly contain winged male and female reproductives. These ants do not add to the satellite colony population; they will fly off to start the next colony. Satellite colonies usually do not contain a queen and do not reproduce unless workers are reproducing males.
Food Preferences: Carpenter ants don’t eat wood, they nest in it. They are omnivores, feasting on caterpillars, honeydew and their favorite — aphids and other hemopterans. Occasionally, warm indoor temperatures will interrupt the ants’ winter dormancy, and homeowners will find them seeking moisture in sinks or getting an early spring sugar fix on donuts or fruit.
Vegetation Must Go: Carpenter ants must go outside to feed. Vegetation and trees should not touch the structure. This includes branches that may scrape the roof during heavy snow or rain.
Check the Wires: The ants also will walk wires into structures, so carefully inspect cable/Internet lines. Some lines go through trees, making for a perfect way in and out.
Keep Wood Dry: Moisture weakens wood siding — which, in turn, attracts ants — so take steps to keep it dry. Grade the foundation so water runs away from the structure, and keep the area clear so snow build up and splashing rain won’t compromise the siding. Never let wood come in contact with the soil.
Pay Attention to Birds: Woodpeckers drum in the spring to call for mates, but they also peck holes in houses to get to carpenter ants — a chief food source. If a homeowner has woodpecker issues year round, consider removing the siding in key spots: You may uncover an ant problem.
Get the History: Buried wood is highly conducive to carpenter ants, so interview clients about their yards. Are stumps or timbers buried on the property? What’s under the bark and landscape plastic in the flower beds? They may not know but it’s worth asking.
With ant infestations on the rise throughout the country, including the northeast, it is important to resolve ant issues relatively quickly. Carpenter ants can contribute property and structural damage by chewing galleries in wood to create their nests. Contact your Albany ant removal specialists, whether it’s one ant, ten ants, piles of sawdust or other signs of ants. Do not let these insects continue to damage your structure, contact Thomas Pest Services for a free inspection.