Have you been seeing ants around your house? Do any of them have wings? If you answered yes to either, or both of these questions, you could have a carpenter ant problem. Still not sure what you are seeing? Take a look at the picture above, and if the ants you are seeing looks like that, then you have carpenter ants. What exactly is a carpenter ant, and should you be concerned?
Carpenter ants are wood destroying insects that make their nest by excavating wood from trees, logs, or the wood frame in your home. They are attracted to a wet wood, so if you have ever had a leak in your house, this could lead to a carpenter ant problem. The fact that you are seeing carpenter ants however does not mean that there is a nest inside your home, so how do you know if you have more than just an annoyance?
There are two main things to look for to know if you are having an annoyance, or if you actually have a more serious problem. The first is simple, but not always accurate, the number of ants you are seeing is a good indicator. I you only see the occasional carpenter ant in your house, it is more likely that there is a carpenter ant nest nearby, and the ones you are seeing are just coming from the outside. As the number of ants you see increases, the chances of there being a nest inside one of your walls increases along with it. The second, and clearer sign that you have a carpenter ant problem is when you start seeing carpenter ant swarmers, or the ones with wings. These ants only appear when a nest has reached a mature state, which can take from 2-3 years to occur. If you think you have a carpenter ant problem, you should contact a professional, or just give us a call at 216-348-3379.
Yesterday morning we received a call from a customer who had been seeing some large black ants in her bathroom, and from her description we were able to determine she had carpenter ants. She was really concerned by this, as she had a severe carpenter ant problem in the past in her garage header. What happened was her garage door header was never sealed properly, so water was slowly leaking in making the wood wet, which is the perfect environment for carpenter ants. Because of the way the house was built, this turned into a very expensive problem. The header, which ended up needing replaced due to the fact that the problem went unnoticed for a long time, was the support for the whole roof. This carpenter ant problem ended up costing her more than $2,000!! So when she heard that the ants in her bathroom were carpenter ants, she wanted us out as quick as possible. We were fortunately going to have a technician near her Hudson Ohio home later that afternoon, and were able to get there that day. Our technicians arrived just a few short hours later, to discover it was indeed carpenter ants. When dealing with a carpenter ant problem, the hardest, and most important part is to determine where they are coming from. Through our investigation process we found that she had no known leaks, but the ants were concentrated around the sink, and bath tub. We also found out that just a few months ago she had a dead tree removed that was by the same corner of the house. This told us what the most likely cause of her current problem was, what often happens when a dead tree is removed, an existing carpenter ant nest is disturbed, and goes in search of a new home. Our technicians were able to take care of her issue before it became a major problem. If you start to see carpenter ants, the best thing to do is call us at 216-348-3379 before it becomes an infestation, this will keep the cost down, and reduce the chances of needing major repair work done.
When purchasing a new home many people choose to have a general home inspection, and a Wood Destroying Insect (WDI) Pest Inspection. Having these both done are very good ideas, the general home inspector will tell you what the house needs to be in good shape, and having the WDI Pest Inspection will tell you if there are any critters that are eating your potential new home. When it comes to wood destroying insects most people immediately think of termites, and yes they are the most destructive of the bunch, but they are not the only ones to worry about. Today we found one of the most common wood destroying insects out there, carpenter ants. While they are not as damaging, or as difficult to control as termites, they can cause major damage if the issue is not addressed. At an inspection today, we found them in a home in Beachwood Ohio, and you can see a picture of the evidence we found below. Carpenter ants do not actually eat the wood like termites, they hollow it out to create their nest, this hollowing will compromise the integrity of the wood they are in, and as a nest expands it can become a serious problem. Some of the tell tale signs of a carpenter ant issue comes from the nature of their behavior, as they hollow out their nest they will eject frass (sawdust), and dead carpenter ants. Carpenter ants are usually attracted to wet wood, however it is not required for them to be present. In most cases regular routine quarterly pest control service will take care of a carpenter ant issue. So if you are looking at buying a home, having a WDI Pest Inspection prior to the sale is always a good idea.