In most parts of the country, the threat of pests has diminished thanks to frigid temperatures and inhospitable weather conditions. Yet carpenter ants, one of the most destructive pests, can still strike, especially in warmer parts of the country, so we thought we’d share some tips on how to protect your home.
Carpenter ants are dangerous because they nest in homes, thereby damaging the structure. They dig out tunnels in wood to establish room for their satellite colonies, which can grow to 20 or more.
If you collect firewood, be on the lookout for carpenter ants–and take care in how you store the wood. Keep it elevated and covered from the rain and moisture. Other tips include:
+ Proper ventilation. Without it, your home can be prone to mold and mildew growth, conditions that actually encourage infestations of carpenter ants.
+ Seal exterior holes. Monitor your home throughout the year and check for holes near wiring, doors, windows, trim, siding and your foundation. If you find any, seal with caulk to prevent points of entry for ants and other pests.
If you find yourself with a carpenter ant infestation, there are a couple of DIY options. If the nest is in your house, try to track it by listening for the ants (if the nest is large enough, you’ll hear a crinkling noise) or set out some sweet bait like sugar and track the ants back to the nest.
Once you’ve found it, you can spray pesticide into the entrance of the nest and place sweet bait like boric acid around it, so that the ants will carry it back into the colony. Or, depending on the nest’s location, you can drill a few holes into the wall surrounding the nest so that you can then spray with ant killer and reach the interior of the nest.
If you’ve dealt with carpenter ants and have additional tips, let us know!