There are many misconceptions about carpenter ants. Some people may think that they are relatively harmless. In fact, they can cause widespread destruction by making extensive tunnels in wood. People may think that they can get rid of carpenter ants themselves. In fact, because the stakes are so high and carpenter ants are so destructive, professional carpenter ant removal services in Guelph are a much better approach.
Another misconception is that you don’t have to worry about a carpenter ant infestation in the fall and winter because of the colder weather. The truth is a bit more complicated.
What Conditions Are Conducive to a Carpenter Ant Infestation in Fall?
As the weather starts to turn colder, insects typically go dormant to protect themselves until spring. However, until the temperature gets really cold, many insects are extra busy making preparations for winter, which includes finding or building a new den in which to stay warm while they wait for spring.
Carpenter ants in particular do not do well with temperature extremes of either hot or cold. However, cool weather is actually more beneficial to them than either extreme. Therefore, they may be more active in fall than in the summer, especially since they are probably looking for a site to build a new nest before cold weather sets in.
Fall is often a wetter and rainier season than summer. As a result, wood in and around your home can get wet. Wet wood attracts carpenter ants as a potential nesting site because it is soft and easier to chew through. Therefore, if carpenter ants are actively looking for a new site for a nest where they can spend the winter and find wet wood on your property, they are likely to start excavating it, which could be the beginning of an infestation.
Do Carpenter Ants Go Dormant in the Winter?
Exposure to cold temperatures triggers a response in carpenter ants to go dormant until the weather warms up again. That is what happens when the ants are outside in their natural habitat. However, when they are in your house, they do not receive exposure to cold temperatures because of the artificially warmed air circulating through your house via the HVAC system. When carpenter ants are inside a building rather than exposed to cold air, they don’t get the message to go dormant. Therefore, they can stay active all winter long. This allows them to do even more damage while building their nests.
What Should You Do if You Have a Carpenter Ant Infestation?
Identifying an infestation of carpenter ants can be tricky. Their nests are located inside walls and ceilings and therefore not readily visible. The exterior signs of a nest are subtle, and the insects themselves are most active at night, so you may not see them.
If you do see carpenter ants around your home, chances are good that you have an infestation. When active, carpenter ants are easy to recognize because they are significantly larger than most other ant species.
If you think the ants are present but haven’t seen them, you can draw them out of hiding by putting out some honey on a counter or a floor and turning out the lights to simulate nightfall. Carpenter ants forage for food after dark, and they are drawn to sweets. If you aren’t sure whether you have carpenter ants, this should confirm it, and if you follow them back to their nest, you can find out where they are hiding.
On the other hand, because carpenter ants can do a lot of damage, you may not want to wait to take action against them. You can call Truly Nolen for carpenter ant removal services in Guelph, and we can confirm that they are carpenter ants, locate the nest, and formulate a treatment plan.