Carpenter ants are the most common wood destroying insect that we have here in the Vancouver and Portland area. Although termites account for more damage nationally, carpenter ants are far more destructive in the Pacific Northwest. It has been estimated that a fully developed nest can do up to $15 in damage to a home per day. So, obviously it is very important to eliminate these insects quickly before they do too much harm to your home.
It is important to know what they look like because carpenter ants are often mistaken for just a typical black ant. But, the truth is that if you are seeing any ant larger than about a 1/4 inch, then it is probably a carpenter ant that you are looking at. You may also be seeing large black ants with wings. These are called “swarmer ants” and are a developed, reproductive carpenter ant that is capable of mating and creating new nests.
Although carpenter ants can destroy wood in your home, they do not actually eat the wood like a termite does. Instead, they chew their way through it, excavating out galleries to nest in and spitting out the debris. Since they do not ingest the wood shavings that they chew through, they carry them to a refuse hole and dump them out. This wood shavings debris is called “frass” and will be in a pile underneath areas where the colony is excavating. If you are seeing frass, it is recommended to have treatment right away.
What You Can Do:
There are a few things that you can do to help. First, walk around your home and look for conducive conditions. Carpenter ants are looking for softer wood, so remove any firewood piles, tree stumps, etc. Also, if you have shrubs touching the house, you should trim them back so that they do not come in contact with the structure.
What We Can Do:
As a professional pest control company, we carry the products and experience needed to get these destructive guys under control. Our process is pretty simple. We identify the source of your infestation and create a custom plan to protect your home. We use a combination of green pest control sprays and baits that are safe for the entire family and clearly explain what your expectations should be after your treatment is completed.
If you would like some assistance in getting a carpenter ant infestation under control, we would love to help you. Please contact us to schedule a free inspection or to just ask a few questions.