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Carpenter ants cost U.S. property owners hundreds of millions of dollars each and every year. Why? Because we let them. Often the signs of carpenter ant activity are misunderstood or completely ignored. Let's take a look at a few ways you can tell if these ants are presenting a threat to your New Jersey property, and more importantly, let's discuss some practical ways you can protect your property from these wood-destroying pests.

carpenter ants on wood
carpenter ant eating wood

It's Just One Ant

Do you see a big black ant crawling around inside your home every once in a while? You would be wise to take a closer look at that ant. If it is a carpenter ant, there could be thousands of ants tunneling in the wood of your home. There are a few reasons you aren't likely to see lots of carpenter ants when your home is filled with them.

  • Carpenter ants are nocturnal. They come out at night while you're sleeping.

  • Carpenter ants prefer dark voids inside your home and will prefer to stay hidden.

  • Carpenter ants can find lots of food outside. They don't need to get into your pantry foods.

Yuck, Winged Ants!

When you find a dozen or more winged ants on an interior window pane, you may be tempted to suck them up with your vacuum cleaner and quickly forget you ever saw them. You would be wise to not do this—well, wise to not do the latter. When a carpenter ant nest matures, which can take three or four years, it begins to produce winged reproductives for the purpose of creating new nests. Those winged ants are telling you that you have a mature nest in your home that is about to replicate.

Look At All Those Ants On That Tree

If you're in your yard and you notice lots of black ants crawling on a tree, you may want to find out if they're carpenter ants. A carpenter ant worker will go as far as 100 yards from its nests in search of food. If that tree is close to your home, you can bet that carpenter ants have been exploring your exterior in search of a way to get in. If they find an entry point, they can get in and establish a satellite colony inside your home, or exploit rotting wood on exterior structures, such as your deck or patio.

Is That Sawdust?

If you're in your basement, cellar, crawl space, or underneath an exterior structure, and you see sawdust, you should know that sawdust doesn't form by itself. This might sound foolish but it is surprisingly easy to see dust and just think that it is like any other dust or dirt that can collect on surfaces in secluded locations. But that sawdust is warning you that something is excavating tunnels in the wood of your home. It can be any number of pests. If carpenter ants are to blame, they can be a threat to softwood and hardwood. This makes them a double threat.

Carpenter Ant Prevention

The first step in protecting your home from carpenter ants is to keep an eye out for the warning signs, and recognize them when you see them. But these signs can be hidden from view and difficult to detect. An ounce of prevention can go a long way toward safeguarding the investment you've made in your home.

  • Address moisture problems around the exterior of your home. Moisture problems can lead to wood rot, and wood rot can lead to carpenter ant damage.

  • Remove leaf piles, grass clippings, and other organic debris that sit near your exterior walls.

  • These increase moisture near your home and promote mold, algae, and wood rot.

  • Trim branches away from your exterior walls. Carpenter ants can use these as bridges to get to higher points on your home.

  • Do a detailed inspection of your exterior and seal any entry points you find.

Address areas of humidity within your home. When carpenter ants get into your home, they'll be drawn to humid points. Fans and dehumidifiers can help you get control of humidity. Also, be sure to use the fan when taking a shower or bath. This will vent humid air out.

Carpenter Ant Control

If you see carpenter ants near your home or inside your home, remember that AMCO Pest Solutions provides industry-leading pest control for New Jersey homes. We can track your carpenter ant problem and eliminate the threat to your property. Reach out to us today for immediate assistance. We're always standing by to help.


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