Carpenter Ants: Not Just A Little Ant

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You are in your kitchen making toast, minding your own business, and you see a big black ant walking across the counter. You squish him in a paper towel and think nothing more about it. Then you start to notice a few more of these big black or reddish colored ants walking across your kitchen floor, and you notice them on your walkway as you leave for the day. Then the last straw happens; you go to pour yourself some cereal and out comes an ant with your Wheaties! Where are these ants coming from? Why are they in my kitchen and what kind of ant is this? They are huge!


What Attracts carpenter Ants

Well, if you are seeing large black-or-reddish-colored ants in and around your home, you probably have a carpenter ant infestation. They look like this: 

Reddish-black carpenter ant, side view

Carpenter ants are a highly destructive species of ant that, if left untreated, can cause severe structural damages to your home that are similar to the damages that those other destructive pests, termites, cause!

Carpenter ants are the most destructive ant species and the largest ant found in New York, but why are they targeting your home, what have you ever done to them? Like other species of ants, carpenter ants are attracted to properties that offer them easy access to food; something as seemingly insignificant as an open garbage can or compost pile can initially attract them to your home. Once on your property, they will enter your home through cracks and crevices in the foundation and exterior walls, through the gaps and spaces around windows and doors, and through the spaces around utility lines or pipes. But, carpenter ants aren’t just attracted to homes that provide easy access to food sources; they are attracted to homes that have moisture problems.

Once they find their way into your home, they will look for dead, soft, and decaying wood to nest in. Moisture-damaged wood is often found in crawl spaces, under windows, and in roof eaves. As time passes, carpenter ants will create more tunnels and nesting areas in your home weakening the wood and leading to severe damage that could become quite costly to repair.


protecting your home from carpenter ants

Wood damage caused by Carpenter ants

So, how do you protect your home from these highly destructive big black ants? Well, we have put together a list of some things you can do around your home and property to make it less attractive to carpenter ants!

  • Remove piles of leaves, grass, and other organic debris that could cause carpenter ants to be attracted to your property.

  • Reduce water sources or areas of moisture inside and outside of your home, including leaky pipes and fixtures.

  • Replace any structural wood that has been damaged by water.

  • Utilize air conditioners and /or dehumidifiers to keep humidity levels low.

  • Place firewood piles off the ground and away from the exterior of your home.

  • Both indoor and outdoor trash cans should be emptied routinely and kept clean; outdoor trash cans should have tight-fitting lids on them.

  • Keep food items stored in tightly sealed containers and clean up food or drink spills immediately.

  • Seal up all entry points into your home including gaps, cracks, holes, and crevices.

  • Replace or repair any damaged screens, vents, and frames.

Get Professional Carpenter Ant Control 

If you ever find yourself with a carpenter ant infestation, the best solution is professional service. While tempting, those DIY sprays found at your local big box store are ineffective and can be dangerous for you, your family, and your pets to be around! Thomas Pest Services can provide an effective, ongoing solution that will completely eliminate the infestation and halt the damage carpenter ants are causing to your property. Our carpenter ant solution includes a thorough interior and exterior inspection to determine carpenter ant activity, followed by the design and implementation of a specialized treatment plan using the most advanced ant control technology and the most advanced products!

If you are seeing big black ants in your Albany, Capital District, or Adirondack region home or business, contact the carpenter ant control professionals at Thomas Pest Services!

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