It may still be winter in North Texas but someone forgot to tell the ants! Due to all the up and down temps we have started receiving calls from clients desperately searching for ways to get ants out of their house. Keep reading to learn why it may be happening to you, why it could be more than just a nuisance, and what your next steps should be.
In our little corner of Texas we have many ant species to contend with… The hard to miss and painful Red Imported Fire Ant with their hills in the lawn. The tiny Pharaoh Ant which is often hard to even see crawling along light collared cabinets and counters. But one of the most concerning is a wood destroying variant known as the Carpenter Ant. No matter what variety you may be encountering one of the more frustrating things to come home to one day is a house full of ants. Our current winter weather reprieve has many species of ant enjoying the sun and becoming more active.
Several factors can play into an Carpenter Ant colony deciding to set up shop in your home. Trees and shrubs left overhanging or touching the house. Wood piles or other debris left too close to your home’s foundation. Even certain aspects of your home’s landscaping and design can play a part.
The concern many homeowners feel over the possibility of carpenter ants damaging their home is real. Left untreated over time that damage can get more severe. A common sign of infestation is the presence of wood shavings being kicked out of the area they are damaging. Carpenter ants do not actually feed on wood, they simply damage the material to build a nesting site. They damage the wood in the way fire ants nest in the soil and excavate tunnels.
Carpenter ants are most attracted to dead wood, such as that used to build our homes. They especially like wood which has already been damaged by water or other insects. Once established their numbers can expand quickly even though you may not be seeing huge numbers of them inside the house.
If you feel you may have a carpenter ant infestation this is a pest best left to the professional. Many ants such as the fire ants in the yard or even house ants on your kitchen counter can be successfully battled by the DIY’er, but when it comes to Carpenter Ants its best to call for help. Proper identification and treatment can be difficult without years of experience.