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Carpenter Ants – Pests That Cause Structural Weakness in Buildings

Ant Control | March 23, 2018

Carpenter Ants – Pests That Cause Structural Weakness in Buildings

Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not eat wood. They simply chew it up to make galleries in which to live. The larger the colony the more damage they do. The problem with carpenter ants is that their colonies are large. They generally have a main colony and then begin to build separate colonies in buildings. This is one of the reasons why traditional DIY ant products do not work on carpenter ants. To successfully destroy a colony, you have to find all of it and they spread them out between indoor and outdoor locations.

Carpenter Ants are Ranchers – of sorts

Since they do not eat wood, like termites, these destructive pests ranch. Yes, ranch. Not like raising cattle, but in gathering and protecting insects that make honeydew. One of those groups of insects is the aphid. Carpenter ants will protect aphids and move them around to the choicest part of the plant. The reason for this is that the healthier the plant on which an aphid feeds, the more honeydew they produce. It is odd to think of carpenter ants as ranchers, but that is just what they do. They will go so far to protect their herd of aphids as to take on predatory wasps.

They Don’t Make Good Housemates

Even though they do not eat wood, they do damage buildings. It is their constant canvassing and excavations within wood that causes damage. In many ways, they are similar to termites. Over time, carpenter ants can cause significant damage to buildings even making those buildings structurally unfit.

Controlling Carpenter Ants

Most people spray ants using pesticides. The problem is that unless you take down all of the satellite colonies, you are not solving the problem. This also means that you have to know how to find all the satellite colonies. As a colony gets larger, it begins to branch out or break away to form a new colony. Ants, however, are highly social organisms. They understand much about their environment, such as how many ants an area can support.

Generally speaking if there are carpenter ants in your garage, they are in your home and outbuildings too. This is one reason that it is important to take care of carpenter ants as soon as you discover them. They may also be nesting in larger trees and even wooden fences. Pesticide sprays do not tend to work well unless the ants come into contact with the toxin. For many households, pesticide sprays present a risk either to pest or kids. At Roberts Termite & Pest Control, we prefer to use a mixture of baits and dust (dry pesticides) specifically around satellite colonies and the main colony too. Both baits and dust are easier to manage, and the work in two ways. One kills on contact and the other, the ants bring back to their colony so that soldiers and queen are all destroyed too.

For more information about how to handle carpenter ants or to schedule an inspection just reach out to our professionals. We provide quality and affordable pest control services throughout the greater Austin, Texas area.

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