Winter is often the time we want to hibernate in our cozy houses, but when carpenter ants decide to make our home their home, we need them gone — and fast. Even in winter, carpenter ant control is a necessity for all homeowners. While other ants can only survive on the sweet foods of spring, summer, and fall, carpenter ants are essentially weather-proof and may pose a significant risk to your wooden structures. You’ll want to consult an expert who can take quick action before your wood is permanently damaged and needing an expensive repair.
Why Would I See Carpenter Ants in My Home in Winter?
It’s a common misconception that all insects die or go into dormancy during the cold winter months. Though the air temperature can fall below freezing and many vermin cannot survive, carpenter ants have adapted to the relatively warm, moist habitats of firewood, leaf mulch and decaying tree stumps to create a liveable habitat when it’s cold. If these habitats are near your home, the ants will eventually migrate inside, looking for food and more warmth. Wet, damaged wood inside the home creates a great spot for them to shelter as well.
Where in My Home Can They Hide?
True to their name, carpenter ants establish their nests in all manner of wooden hideaways. Inside the home, your door and window frames, eaves, water-damaged floor joists, siding and particle board underpinning may all welcome carpenter ant colonies. Deck boards with mold or mildew are also a prime culprit. If there is water dripping within your walls that is not immediately obvious, such as behind a showerhead, underneath a kitchen or utility sink and in the laundry room, carpenter ants love these dark, warm, moist wooden refuges.
How Do I Know If I Have Carpenter Ants?
Not every bug you spot indoors, even in winter, maybe a carpenter ant. Double-check your insect invaders to know what you’re dealing with:
- Identify the approximate size and color of the ants you’ve recently seen. The typical length of a carpenter ant is 1/8 of an inch or less, though some are up to 1/2 an inch. Their typical colors are yellowish-brown, dark brown or black.
- Find and investigate the structures on and around your property where you’ve seen these ants.
- Check any exposed wood frames for the tell-tale rivulets and tunnels carved through the face of the wood.
- Look at additional facts, photo galleries and videos of carpenter ants, to compare and contrast what you’ve seen in person.
How Serious of a Problem Are They?
When carpenter ants have taken up residence in your home, this should be cause for alarm. Even though carpenter ants do not actually eat wood like termites do, they burrow and excavate straight through the wood to create space for their nests. This can significantly weaken the structural integrity of your home’s structure, leaving it more vulnerable to adverse events and strain. Winter snow, ice, and wind can create extra pressures. Wood that has been excavated by carpenter ants is significantly less able to bear weight and hold up against the elements.
Expert Prevention Strategies for Carpenter Ants
Truly Nolen adopts several proven methods for successful carpenter ant control and prevention, year-round:
- Track the ant colony to its original source using specialized detection methods.
- Spray a uniquely formulated dust insecticide into wall voids with a hand duster and tubes.
- Identify wood rot that needs to be replaced, to prevent recolonization/reinfestation.
- Assess your home and property for any ongoing pest risk factors such as entry points, growth trajectories, and moisture pools.
Carpenter Ant Control You Can Rely On
Save yourself time and energy this winter by trusting our experienced technicians. Your beautiful home is worth it. Schedule your no-obligation inspection today.