Markham Pest Removal: What Food Do Carpenter Ants Love?

Markham Pest Removal What Food Do Carpenter Ants Love

If you have an infestation of carpenter ants, you may literally see them coming out of the woodwork. This is bad news that could lead to extensive property damage unless you call for carpenter ant removal. Some people think that carpenter ants eat wood like termites, but that is not true. Carpenter ants merely dig tunnels through the wood in which to build nests. They chew up the wood with their strong mandibles, but they don’t ingest it. 

If carpenter ants don’t eat wood, what do they eat? Knowing the answer to that question can help you make your home less attractive to them. 

What Is a Carpenter Ants’ Favorite Food?

More than anything else, carpenter ants love sweet, sugary foods. In the wild, they eat honeydew, which is a byproduct secreted by aphids. When they get inside your house and have access to your food, they are particularly attracted to honey, jelly, sugar, and syrup. Any sweet material that gets spilled on the counter or the floor, the ants will go to it and start eating it up. If there is any residue left around the opening of a container, they may try to eat this as well, climbing right up the side of the jar or bottle to reach it, if necessary. 

If you keep some of these sweet foods in the refrigerator, it is harder for the ants to get to them. However, you should not refrigerate honey as this can cause it to crystallize. 

What Else Do Carpenter Ants Eat?

If there are sweet, sugary foods available, carpenter ants will seek them out first. If not, however, ants are omnivorous and will eat just about anything. While carpenter ants love sugar, they also need protein. They often feed on the bodies of other insects to get the protein they need. Often, the other insect is dead first, but ants may also eat an insect that is still alive. For example, it may be injured and unable to move very well, making it an easy target. 

Carpenter ants may target other sources of protein, especially if they are living inside a home. For example, they may feed on pet food if it is left out in a bowl for too long or stored in a container that is not sealed securely. 

Meat can be a source of protein for ants if they can get to it. Otherwise, they may feed on eggs if they get spilled or on grease that drains from the meat when it is cooked. 

How Can You Prevent Ant Infestations in Your Kitchen?

If you have an infestation of carpenter ants, you are likely to see them in the kitchen as they forage for food. You can help to prevent this by keeping your kitchen clean and wiping up spills with a detergent of some kind to clean up all the residue. You can also store food, including pet food and anything that contains sugar, in the refrigerator or in the pantry in containers that close completely and seal tightly. 

Carpenter ants are also attracted to moist wood in which to start building their nests. Moisture makes the wood softer, and it is believed that this makes it easier for the ants to excavate their tunnels. Therefore, you should check your kitchen plumbing for any leaks. If you find any, you need to repair the pipes as well as replace the damaged wood. 

If you see carpenter ants in the kitchen, it doesn’t necessarily mean that that is the location of their nest. Ants can travel relatively long distances to find food. They may forage up to 300 feet from the nest. 

Call Truly Nolen for Carpenter Ant Removal

Truly Nolen offers season-specific pest control in Markham. Call us for an evaluation of your home or business