How Moisture Attracts Carpenter Ants in the Winter

How Moisture Attracts Carpenter Ants in the Winter

In the wild, carpenter ants go dormant during the winter and emerge in spring. However, carpenter ants in homes do not go dormant because they are not exposed to frigid outdoor temperatures. As a result, an infestation can remain active during the winter and require carpenter ant pest control as soon as possible to avoid extensive structural damage.

Carpenter ants are famously attracted to moisture. Here are some reasons why this can be a problem during the winter and what you can do to prevent carpenter ant problems related to moisture.

Why Are Carpenter Ants Attracted to Moisture?

All living things, including carpenter ants, need to stay hydrated to stay alive. While this is part of the reason why carpenter ants seek out moisture, they also have another reason. Carpenter ants hollow out tunnels in wood in which to build nests. Moisture softens wood and makes it easier to chew through, meaning that the ants do not need to expend as much effort to start building their nests. When carpenter ants dig tunnels in wood, it compromises its structural integrity. Since most of the framework of your home is probably made of wood, prompt carpenter ant removal is required to prevent extensive property damage that is costly to repair, if it is possible to repair it at all.

How Can Moisture Become a Problem During the Winter?

There are several places where moisture can collect around your home in winter and early spring. Air generally holds a certain amount of water vapour, but as the temperature drops, its ability to retain moisture decreases. Therefore, the vapour can condense on surfaces such as windows. If enough moisture collects, it can run down the glass surface and be absorbed by wooden windowsills and frames.

Wooden decks and porches can collect snow during the winter. As the temperature rises with spring’s approach, the snow can form puddles as it melts. If you do not shovel snow off these surfaces during the winter, they can collect water due to snowmelt, which the wood may absorb.

A pattern of freezing and thawing can cause ice dams to form in your gutters. If the gutters are blocked by ice, water in the gutters has no way to drain away. Instead, it can back up under your shingles and get absorbed into your eaves.

What Can You Do To Prevent Excess Moisture in Your Home?

There are several things you can do around your house to prevent moisture from collecting. Ice dams are more likely to form in gutters that are clogged with debris. Keeping the gutters clean helps the water to flow freely, making ice dams less likely.

If there is moisture collecting on your windows, it may help to turn down the temperature on your thermostat. This can also help reduce your utility bills.

Moisture tends to collect in unused areas of your home that have little in the way of insulation or that aren’t climate controlled. Examples include attics as well as basements or crawlspaces. If you find that moisture tends to collect in one of these areas in your home, you can set up a dehumidifier to pull moisture out of the air. Moisture also tends to collect in stale air that is constantly recirculated, so you can help to prevent the excess from building up by making sure your home is well-ventilated.

Why Should You Contact Truly Nolen for Carpenter Ant Pest Control?

Because carpenter ants make nests in wood, it can be difficult to know if you have an infestation in the first place. Getting rid of them on your own can be even harder. Truly Nolen has been providing residential pest control services for decades. Learn more about our carpenter ant solution.