When it comes to wood destroying pests, both carpenter ants and termites come to mind. Both of these pests share a love for one thing...the wood structures in our home. With spring finally here and the weather finally getting warm again, both carpenter ants and termites will become more active in the Greater Pittsburgh area. For this reason, we want to make sure that you understand the behaviors and threats of carpenter ants to that of termites. Also, we want to share some tips on preventing carpenter ants and other wood destroying pests this spring and all year round!
Identify carpenter ants in Pittsburgh
Carpenter ants are typically the large black ants found foraging around inside and outside of homes. They favor areas of moist, decaying wood like tree limbs, around windows, and decks. They range in size from about 1/4 of an inch for worker ants to 3/4 of an inch for queens. They can be black, red and even a combination of both colors.
Habits of carpenter ants vs termites
While they are both responsible for destroying wood, carpenter ants and termites display very different behaviors. Carpenter ants are attracted to wood in order to build nests. They carve galleries into wood sources and usually prefer moist, decaying wood for these ant nests. Signs of carpenter ant damage include small piles of sawdust, little holes in wood structures, and damage to decks, windows and doors including the hollowing of wood work.
Termites on the other hand do not nest in wood. In fact, termite colonies in Pittsburgh are located underground and they use mud tunnels to travel to and from wood sources. Termites eat wood unlike carpenter ants who simply carve through it. To identify termites you will have to look for these mud tubes, discarded wings from a termite swarm or woodwork that appears warped, sagging or water damaged.
Prevent wood destroying pests
In order to avoid the costly and devastating damages that both carpenter ants and termites can cause, it is important to eliminate the opportunity for these pests to access your home.
Trim back bushes, shrubs and tree limbs so they do not touch the side of the home.
Replace any window screens that are broken or torn.
Seal off cracks and crevices along the foundation, windows and doors.
Repair and replace water damaged wood around the home and on the deck.
Fix leaky pipes both inside and outside of the home.
Keep firewood stored up off the ground and away from the exterior of the home.
And most importantly, make sure you sign up for our home round pest control services in Pittsburgh to maintain a pest free home and prevent pests before they have the opportunity to cause damage. To learn more about carpenter ant control in Pittsburgh and also about our termite control solutions, please contact us at Witt Pest Management today!