Carpenter Ants are Chewing Up Hamilton Homes

carpenter ant

As the weather begins to warm up in Hamilton, it is important to prepare for the pests that will inevitably be trying to find refuge in your home. Carpenter ants are one of the pests that Hamilton residents  should be on the lookout for.

Carpenter ants are considered destructive pests in Canada. They are typically brownish black in colour and can range in length of ¼” to ½” in size. Their bodies are divided into three segments with their abdomen area bulbous in shape. Most carpenter ants do not have wings, but during late spring, “reproductives” or winged carpenter ants can be seen.

Though they seldom bite humans, carpenter ants have powerful jaws that are used to chew and tunnel their way through wood. Unlike termites who actually consume the wood, carpenter ants remove the wood that is blocking their way and leave it behind as they move through. It is this characteristic that will give homeowners clues as trails of sawdust can often be spotted in areas that the carpenter ants are present.

Carpenter ants also live in any wooden structure that connects to the ground, such as telephone poles.

How to tell if you have carpenter ants:

A possible sign of a carpenter ant infestation is sawdust on the ground nearby burrow openings in the wood.

Carpenter ants establish their nest in decaying wood, but once established the ants extend their tunneling into sound wood, causing considerable damage to the structure. When colonies grow larger and need room to expand, satellite colonies are established. These satellite colonies are often found in nearby structures that offer warm protection.

From a pest control perspective, moisture areas in walls, ceilings, attics and crawlspaces are magnets for a variety of structure infesting pests. A bug’s small body size makes it especially vulnerable to dehydration. They combat this continual threat by gravitating toward moisture areas within the home.

Leaking pipes, damp rags and sponges under sinks, condensation on windows, damp soil in houseplant pots, and of course open drains of all kinds provide enough moisture for a bugs needs.

Sometimes the signs of a carpenter ant nest are subtle.

This small pile of debris (called frass) beside a garden tie is all that was discovered during a property assessment in Hamilton. Not a single ant in sight.

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Carpenter ants are nocturnal, and are rarely seen outdoors during the day. A detailed inspection, combined with intimate knowledge of pest biology is something Truly Nolen utilizes to solve Hamilton residents ant problems!

How to protect your home from carpenter ants:

  1. Correct moisture problems, roof leaks, and plumbing leaks.
  2. Cut back tree limbs or branches that could serve as a bridge to your structure
  3. Seal cracks and openings around the foundation, especially where utility pipes and wires enter from the outside.
  4. Store firewood away from your home on an elevated platform not touching the ground
  5. Limit the the of mulch around the home
  6. Call A Truly Nolen pest control professional to find the satellite nest in the home and to try and locate the ‘mother nest and queens. Have the nests removed.
  7. Have the satellite nests treated
Carpenters on a honeysuckle in Hamilton.  This customer has had two carpenter ant nests in her home.
Carpenters on a honeysuckle in Hamilton. This customer has had two carpenter ant nests in her home.

How Truly Nolen treats a carpenter ant problem:

Truly Nolen tackles carpenter ant problems by placing an “Antopia” station .

Ants navigate by following geometric patterns within their field of view. They will go out of their way, often times tripling the walking distance between two locations, just so they can follow straight lines, and 90 degree corners. Using this knowledge to our advantage, we can more accurately place our bait stations. The intersection of this garden tie with the deck is such a location.

The opening has been lined up with the corner edge of the tie itself, another geometric form.

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Our pest control specialist will also find the location of the ants nest. Once the location of the nest is discovered, the pest problem can be removed with a dust insecticide treatment sprayed into the wall voids with a hand duster and tubes. After eliminating the colony, be sure to replace any damaged wood.

If treated early, carpenter ants can be stopped from causing serious structural damage to houses and buildings. These ants could cause extreme damage if they continue undiscovered for an extended period. Therefore, it is important to contact a pest control professional in the event of an infestation. It is recommended to seek professional help in containing carpenter ant infestations, as incorrect procedures may allow the colony to rebound when surviving members resume their burrowing and foraging.

Carpenter ant nest removal from a Hamilton home
Carpenter ant nest removal from a Hamilton home

If you think you have a carpenter ant problem in your Hamilton home, call 905-548-7679, for your free inspection!