What Do Carpenter Ants Eat?

What Do Carpenter Ants Eat?

Spring isn’t too far away, and with spring comes ants. You might notice one crawling across your kitchen floor, or you’ll discover a small army invading your first spring picnic. In any case, where there are one or two carpenter ants, there are always a whole lot more. If you know what’s attracting the ants, you can take some measures to prevent an infestation. If you already have an infestation, you should call the carpenter ant Guelph professionals.

Carpenter Ants and Wood

Contrary to popular belief, carpenter ants don’t actually eat wood. They do burrow through it, however, so that’s most likely where the myth originated. It’s easier for these pests to dig through damp, rotting wood, so if your home has any water damage or particularly moist areas, you might attract carpenter ants without realizing it. They may burrow into the structure of your home, an old tree stump or a rotting tree. Outside the hole, there will typically be a small pile of sawdust building up as they make their way into the wood.

Is cedarwood any different? While some insects are repelled by cedar, carpenter ants are unfortunately not. They still won’t eat it, but they’re not afraid to use it to burrow and nest in.

A Source of Protein

Carpenter ants survive on protein sources. This includes both dead and living insects. If you have bug traps set around your house, the carpenter ants might be attracted to them for the dead bugs. If you have a mosquito zapper with a pile of dead mosquitoes beneath, the ants might head there for a series of meals. They might also eat termites, depending on the situation and their access to other protein sources. This is why it’s so important to always keep your yard and home free of bugs as best as you can.

Inside your home, carpenter ants will also eat pet food and meat. If you leave a piece of chicken sitting out because the toddler failed to finish his dinner, it might end up being taken over by ants. If you always keep your dog’s food bowl full, the ants might feast on it. Instead, clean up after every meal, taking wasted food to your outdoor garbage can. Only give your dog as much as he will eat at specific meal times during the day.

A Source of Sugar

Carpenter ants also feed on sources of sugar. This includes granulated sugar, syrup, honey, jelly and a variety of other sweets you might have in the home. It’s important you keep all of your sugars sealed in an airtight container, with spills and drips wiped up before storing your food items in the cupboard.

Aphids and scale insects secrete something called honeydew. This is a sugar that ants will eat as well. Aphids and scale insects are often found on shrubs, trees and other plants, so you’ll want to be proactive at controlling those pests in an effort to control the carpenter ants.

What You Can Do

As you can see, prevention is an important step in the process of keeping your home and property free of carpenter ants. Some things you can do include:

  • Immediately repairing leaks and drying out the wood that is damaged as a result
  • Keeping meat and dog food put away any time it’s not being prepared or eaten
  • Keeping your sugar sources sealed, put away or cleaned up
  • Staying on top of all pest control services
  • Contacting carpenter ant Guelph professionals at the first sign of a problem

Getting Started Today

At Truly Nolen Canada, we have years of experience helping the residents of Guelph get rid of their carpenter ants and other pests for good. Contact us today to schedule your inspection or to learn more about pest infestation prevention.