What You May Not Know About Carpenter Ants In Elizabeth City

4/10/2020

What do you currently know about carpenter ants in Elizabeth City? Are you aware that they can damage your home? Do you know that carpenter ants cost U.S. property owners hundreds of millions in repairs each year? Do you know why they come into your yard, what they're looking for, or how they get into your home? If you don't understand the threat carpenter ants present to your home and to your equity, these ants may be allowed to eat away at your retirement savings. Here are five things every Elizabeth City property owner should know about carpenter ants.

carpenter ant up close

Quick Carpenter Ant Identification

Carpenter ants are large ants. You may be able to quickly identify them by their large size. They can range in size from ⅜ to ½ of an inch, depending on the species. They may be black, or dark red and black. The carpenter ants to be most concerned about are called black carpenter ants, and, as you can probably guess, they are entirely black. If you see an ant crawling in your home and you're able to catch it and take a closer look, examine its waist. A carpenter ant has one node between the thorax and the abdomen. It is the only large ant with one node that will get into your Elizabeth City home.

What It Means To See A Carpenter Ant

If you see one black carpenter ant crawling around in your home every once in a while, it is important that you understand what you're looking at. Carpenter ants are able to live inside the wood of your home. If that ant came from an indoor nest, it means your home is being damaged. More importantly, that one ant could have come from a nest of thousands.

Why You May Not See Carpenter Ants

You can have several nests and thousands of carpenter ants chewing on the wood of your home and not know it. There are a few reasons for this.

  • Carpenter ants can find abundant food sources outside of your home. They don't have to get into your kitchen or pantry foods.

  • Carpenter ants are nocturnal. If they get into food packages inside your home, you may not realize it. They can come and go before you wake up.

  • Carpenter ants prefer to be in dark locations, such as your wall voids, basement, or attic. They will generally be out in the open where you can easily see them.

Why Carpenter Ants Come Into Your Yard

There are several things that can attract carpenter ants to your yard. The number one attractant may surprise you. You are probably aware that stumps, logs, and trees with heart rot can make carpenter ants want to establish a nest in your yard. You may know that standing water and moisture will give them a drink and make them want to be in your yard. But what carpenter ants love most is honeydew. If you have lots of plants and lots of aphids, white flies, scales or some other honeydew-producing insect, carpenter ants will want to live near you. If they come to live near you, the next logical step is for them to move into your home.

Why Carpenter Ants Get Into Homes

If you have gaps or cracks, carpenter ants can walk right into your home. But they usually get into exterior structures first, structures such as decks, porches, patios, stairs, fences, sheds, etc. This is because these structures tend to be damaged by weather conditions faster than the wood of your home. Once inside the decaying wood of these structures, they can tunnel through and enter your home.

How Do You Protect Your Home?

If you see carpenter ants, you should immediately contact a licensed pest control provider. These ants can do quite a bit of damage over time and their secretive behavior can make it difficult to detect them if your ant control efforts fail. If you live in Elizabeth City, reach out to Albemarle Termite & Pest Control. We specialize in protecting homes from wood-destroying organisms. We'll help you get control of those pests and protect your equity. 

Tags: carpenter ant prevention | carpenter ants | home pest control |

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