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Signs & Damage of Carpenter Ants in Fairfax, VA; How to Get Rid of Carpenter Ant Pests

Ants are a rather common pest that many people experience from time to time. They are a nuisance and some can deliver rather painful pinches when they feel threatened. As ants march throughout home pilfering what food they can, their numbers seem never ending. Carpenter ants are one of the worst ants because of their habits of excavating wood to build their nests. Unlike termites, they do not eat the wood, but are nearly as destructive. We at CSI Home and Commercial Services would like to share the fundamentals concerning carpenter ants.

Carpenter Ant Identification

Carpenter ants are one of the largest ants in the United States, ranging 1/8 – 33/64 inches long. They are commonly black but some species range in color from jet black, to dark brown and they can also be red, black, yellow, orange, yellowish tan or light brown. The worker carpenter ants feature large mandibles.

Damage Caused By Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are drawn to moist, decaying, or hollow wood, both outside and inside. Carpenter ants prefer to establish their colonies in galleries excavated from damp or damaged wood. To form their nests and provide passageways for movement from section to section of the nest, they cut galleries, or tunnels, into the grain of wood. Carpenter ants keep their nesting site clean, unlike subterranean termites that line their galleries with moist soil; carpenter ant galleries are smooth as if it were sandpapered.

Where Do Carpenter Ants Live & What Do They Eat?

These ants can be found in both dead and living trees, stumps and rotting logs. Carpenter ants will also nest inside homes or buildings where wood is found, especially if it has been exposed to extreme moisture. As mentioned, they do not eat wood; they simply remove it into small piles outside their nests. They typically eat human scraps, having a fondness especially for sweats and meats. Carpenter ants will also feed off other insects.

Signs of Carpenter Ants

You can spot the signs of carpenter ant infestations if you are aware of them. Below you will find some common red flags.
1) The most obvious is seeing carpenter ant swarmers that have wings and workers inside the home. Workers are foraging for food and the swarmers are the reproducers that leave a colony after it matures to begin a new one. Seeing the winged ants indicate a well established colony.
2) Debris is a sign of their activity that is produced as they carve their tunnels in the wood. You will find wood shavings that look like saw dust, parts of dead ants, and so on piled up.
3) Sometimes you can hear the rustling sounds of their day activities in the wood which suggests their presence.

Carpenter Ant Control

If you have carpenter ants in your home, or in close proximity, it is crucial you get them efficiently exterminated. Leaving these ants to flourish can result in heavily damaged structures or ruined furniture and repairs can be very costly. If you suspect carpenter ants, call the experts of CSI Home and Commercial Services and let our trained professionals put a plan in action to efficiently remove these ants from your home or business.