Do-It-Yourself Carpenter Ant Control
There are many types of ants, but two of the most destructive ones are the black carpenter ant and the Florida carpenter ant. While carpenter ant extermination may require the help of a professional in some cases, there are some things you can do on your own to get rid of these pesky insects.
This blog post will discuss the appearance and physical characteristics of black carpenter ants and Florida carpenter ants. Next, we will explain how to inspect for carpenter ants in your home. Then, we will teach you how to get rid of carpenter ants on your own.
Finally, we will discuss several ways you can prevent carpenter ants from returning to your home!
Appearance And Physical Characteristics Of Carpenter Ants
Carpenter ants are one of the most sizeable species of ants, with workers measuring 1-4-3/8 inches in length. They are black in color, although some varieties are more red or yellowish. Carpenter ants get their name from their habit of hollowing out wood to build their nests. The queens are noticeably larger than the workers, measuring up to 5/8 inches in length.
Carpenter ants have three main body segments: the head, thorax, and abdomen. Their abdomens are attached to their thoraxes by a thin tube-like structure called the petiole. In addition, carpenter ants have large mandibles that they use for chewing through wood.
They also have two compound eyes, consisting of many small individual lenses. Each carpenter ant has two antennae, which they use to smell and touch their surroundings.
Black carpenter ants are solid black and larger than Florida carpenter ants.
Black Carpenter Ants
Black carpenter ants are all black in color and range from 1/4 to 1/2 inches in length. The queen is usually slightly larger, over 1/2 inch. In most cases, the colony matures in 3-4 years.
Black carpenter ants are found in the midwest and the eastern United States. They are attracted to wood that is damp or has been damaged by Carpenter bees, termites, or other insects.
Florida carpenter ants are more colorful than their larger cousins and are typically only found in Florida and other southeastern states.
Florida Carpenter Ants
The physical appearance of the Florida carpenter ant consists of a red head, a black abdomen, and a yellowish thorax. Typically, the overall length is 3/16 to 3/8 inches, but the queen can reach over 1/2 inches.
These ants are found in Florida and the southeastern United States. Their colony size can reach up to 3,500 workers, and they prefer to excavate soft, rotten wood. You may also find them making their home in styrofoam or nesting in existing voids.
How To Inspect For Indoor Carpenter Ants
While they do not eat it, carpenter ants nest in wood. They are attracted to sweet scents and often follow scent trails left by other carpenter ants to find food sources. Carpenter ants damage wood by burrowing into it and hollowing it out to build their nests. This may cause serious structural damage to homes and other buildings.
To find the nest, look for signs of damage to wood, such as holes or sawdust. Carpenter ants may also leave behind visible trails of sawdust. These ants typically nest in wall voids, so check these areas for signs of damaged wood or nesting activity. If you find carpenter ants in your home, it is essential to begin taking action before the damage gets out of hand.
If you see damage like this on your woodwork, chances are you have a carpenter ant infestation that needs to be taken care of immediately.
Can I Get Rid Of Carpenter Ants On My Own?
Many people are surprised to learn that carpenter ants do not eat wood. Instead, they tunnel through it to create their nests. This can cause severe damage to your home if left unchecked.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways to get rid of carpenter ants on your own.
One of the most effective and long-lasting methods is insecticidal dust, such as D-Fense Dust. This type of dust kills the ants and discourages them from returning.
Another method for getting rid of carpenter ants is to bait them. This involves placing food laced with insecticide in areas where you have seen ant activity. The ants will carry the bait all the way back to their nest, ultimately killing the entire colony.
To ensure you're covering both types of food sources the ants like, we recommend a Carpenter Ant Bait Combo. This kit contains both Advance 275A ant bait and Maxforce Fleet ant bait, which are protein and sugar-based.
Non-repellent insecticides work great when used as a perimeter spray. We highly recommend Navigator SC or Termidor SC.
This is crucial because killing a few ants with a spray or repellent will likely cause them to scatter. Ultimately, they will return and build a new nest unless dealt with properly.
For treating voids (colonies inside a hollow area), we highly recommend Alpine PT, Spectre PS Aerosol, or Alpine Ant Foam. Foam is particularly excellent at treating hard-to-reach voids and galleries.
A few more natural options are boric acid and diatomaceous earth. These are two solutions that you can use to kill carpenter ants.
How To Prevent Carpenter Ants From Returning
While carpenter ants can be challenging to get rid of, there are a few things you can do to prevent them from re-entering once you've eliminated their nest indoors. Roof leaks and other moisture problems are a major attractant for carpenter ants, so it's important to seal or caulk up any cracks, crevices, or holes where moisture can enter.
In addition, tree limbs and branches that touch your home provide an easy way for carpenter ants to get inside, so trimming back any overhanging vegetation can help deter them.
Finally, storing firewood off the ground and away from your home will make carpenter ants less likely to reside near your house. Taking these simple precautions can dramatically reduce the chances of having another carpenter ant infestation.
You Can Get Rid Of Carpenter Ants On Your Own With Do-It-Yourself Pest Control
At Do-It-Yourself Pest Control, we believe that you should not have to live with carpenter ants or any other pests. We also believe you should not have to pay for an expensive exterminator to do something you are capable of with the right tools. That's why we offer a wide variety of products and solutions to help you get rid of ants for good.
Whether you need insecticidal dust, baits, or non-repellent insecticides, we have what you need to get the job done right. Contact our helpful pest control experts today to learn what products may best suit your home's needs!