There are a lot of opinions about carpenter ants. Some of the opinions out there can set you up for serious hardship. If you've been told that carpenter ants aren't nearly as destructive as termites, you should learn the rest of the story. While it is true that carpenter ants are most often less destructive than termites, they can, under the right circumstances, be more destructive. As experts in pest control, we're here to tell you that you shouldn't take chances with carpenter ants. Here's what you need to know.

It Isn't Just One Ant

Have you seen a big black ant crawling around inside your Pittsburgh home? Does this happen every once in a while? If so, it is likely that you have an infestation. And that one little ant isn't giving you any idea how big your infestation is. You could have millions of carpenter ants in your home and only see one ant every once in a while.

They Don't Always Get Into Your Food

When carpenter ants get into a home, you'll know it, right? After all, don't carpenter ants get into pantry and kitchen foods? Yes. They can. But they don't always do this. Carpenter ants can find all the food they need on the outside of your home. A food source they are particularly fond of is honeydew. This is produced by insects that feed on the plants in your landscaping. You can have carpenter ants in your home and never have them raid your food cabinets.

Carpenter Ant Damage Takes Time

Doesn't carpenter ant damage happen over the course of years? Yes. But just because the damage happens slowly doesn't mean that you shouldn't be concerned about it. When carpenter ants get into a home, it can take years for serious damage to occur, but serious damage is serious damage, whether it happens in a week or over the course of several years. The worst part about carpenter ant damage is that it is difficult to track. And support beams that are weakened by carpenter ant damage can put stress on other structural timbers.

Carpenter Ant Warning Signs

Aren't there several warning signs that property owners can look for? Yes. This is one of the big reasons that carpenter ants usually don't do as much damage as termites, especially subterranean termites. Carpenter ants create sawdust and push the sawdust and their feces out of tiny kick-out holes. This material is called frass. When frass is seen, it inspires property owners to take action. But there are three common reasons property owners don't take action:

  • They mistake the frass for naturally occurring material.

  • They don't consider carpenter ants a serious threat.

  • They don't see it. Sometimes frass is kicked out in voids or crawl spaces where it can't be seen.

Another sign you may see is carpenter ant damage. But there are a few reasons you may not realize you're looking at carpenter ant damage.

  • Carpenter ants are nocturnal creatures that prefer darkness. The damage they do is often in hidden places.

  • Carpenter ants attack rotting wood. The damage they do can look like the wood is simply rotting away.

Last but certainly not least in importance is the fact that carpenter ant nests release winged ants. You would think that the appearance of a dozen or more winged ants inside a home or business would be enough for someone to call a licensed pest provider, but some people vacuum those winged ants up and move on with their day. Why? Because they think they came in from the outside. If you see winged ants in your home, be aware that, not only do you have a current and active infestation, it is a mature infestation. Those carpenter ants have been in your home for years!

The Bottom Line

Carpenter ants should be taken seriously. If you suspect that your home is being damaged by carpenter ants, reach out to Witt Pest Management for industry-leading ant control services. Don't take a chance with your equity. It's just not worth it.