What Every Elk Grove Homeowner Ought To Know About Carpenter Ants

a carpenter ant crawling on a wood nest

Ants can be some of the most annoying pests to deal with because they can become overwhelming and seem to be everywhere in your home. They also tend to congregate in areas like kitchens, where they can contaminate food. 

While many species of ants do not pose serious health concerns or property damage risks, there is one notable exception that Elk Grove homeowners may encounter. Carpenter ants are ants that can cause a great deal of property damage. They are also common year-round as opposed to just the warm months like many other ant species. Since carpenter ants can damage wood and other structures in your home, knowing what they look like is the first step to protecting your home.

Here are the identifying characteristics of the carpenter ant:

  • They are the largest ants you will see in your home.
  • They are usually black, dark brown, or yellow.
  • They have a rounded thorax and a single node that connects the thorax and abdomen.

Carpenter Ants Are A Double Threat

When thinking of pests that damage wood, you’ll probably think of termites first. While termites are destructive, carpenter ants pose two main threats. First, they use wood to create tunnels for their nests. This means they can ruin things like walls and floorboards as they run through the wood. Second, they don’t eat wood as termites do. This means that they are also in search of food sources while in your home tunneling through your wooden structures. So, they also can contaminate food sources. They are especially attracted to sweet foods such as syrups and jellies. They also are drawn to pet food. 
The one positive thing is that carpenter ants are usually a bit easier to identify than termites. You’re more likely to notice them moving about your house, so you can possibly address the infestation before they do too much damage.

How To Prevent Carpenter Ants

The main reason carpenter ants come into an Elk Grove home is to find food as well as shelter. They often look for places to survive harsh weather, and residential homes offer a great food supply. But, there are some things you can do to prevent carpenter ant infestations such as :

  • Get rid of decaying wood on your property and in your house. This is important if the wood has water damage.
  • Make sure to keep firewood and lumber at least 30 feet away from the exterior of your home.
  • Make sure to fix leaky pipes or faucets. Carpenter ants are attracted to moisture.

Getting Rid Of An Infestation

If you’ve noticed signs of carpenter ants, the best thing to do is to get in contact with Neighborly Pest Management right away. Since carpenter ants can end up costing a lot of money in home repairs, getting rid of them before the problem worsens is essential. With over 40 years of experience in the Elk Grove area, you can trust we will eliminate the infestation quickly and safely. We also provide free estimates. Give us a call today to learn more.