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Carpenter Ants

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Carpenter ants are well known for causing damage to wooden structures. When looking for food insides homes, they can become disruptive. Carpenter ants eat plants and animal food. Insects, other small invertebrates as well as honeydew produced by aphids and other insects are their main sources of food. Protein and sweet food in and around houses will attract worker ants searching for food.

Carpenter ants build their nests inside any wood surface. They dig galleries, but they do not eat the wood. They reject it outside their nest as wood chips which look like sawdust.

Carpenter ants create large colonies made up of hundreds of worker ants, many reproducing males and females with one or more queens. Quite often, some ants leave their nest and migrate to a nearby structure to create a smaller satellite nest. Some specialists claim that this would explain why carpenter ants invade our homes.

How to detect the problem?

When outside, carpenter ants hide inside dead trees that are still standing tall, inside stumps or under rocks. They might even hide inside live trees, but they prefer to dig inside rotten trees.

When inside, carpenter ants reveal that you have high humidity in your walls or that your walls are starting to decompose. Carpenter ants dig tunnels inside your mouldings, stairs or window frames. They can also live inside your attic or empty spaces between walls.

  • In your house, inspect every single place that have high humidity levels or that are not well-ventilated. Also, you should inspect wood structures that are in contact with the ground.
  • Observe how they move into your house, where the ants are going. It is possible that you might follow a couple of ants that are living in a colony outside of your house. (Carpenter ants are usually more active at night).
  • Be aware of winged ants trying to escape outside, especially in spring.
  • Look for an accumulation of wood dust near the hole of an ant gallery.
  • Try to recognise the sound of a community of carpenter ants. It is easy to hear them at night, when they are more active and when there is less noise around your house. Use a wine glass or a stethoscope close to a wall to hear them.