What Causes a Carpenter Ant Infestation?
Carpenter ants prefer to live in trees and stumps, but the potential for easy shelter and meals sometimes draws them indoors. Once inside, these pests can create unsightly holes in beams or trim and weaken key supports. When it comes to what attracts carpenter ants into buildings, two of the main factors are water-damaged wood and food sources.
Contrary to popular belief, carpenter ants don’t eat wood. Instead, they hollow out galleries inside timber to nest and raise their young. The insects often choose buildings with water-damaged or rotting wood since these soft materials take less effort to burrow through. Areas likely to attract carpenter ants include:
- Soggy porch pillars
- Moist support beams
- Wet window sills
- Saturated wall spaces
Since the pests have a strong sense of smell, food odors are enticing. Seeing these large black ants scurrying across your kitchen, pantry, or break room often indicates food is the primary draw. Knowing what carpenter ants eat may help you prevent or identify an infestation. Favorite meals include:
- Pet food
Carpenter ants in the house are a nuisance, especially when they get into your cupboards and pantry goods. Companies that handle large amounts of food are at high risk for ant issues. Ruined products can lead to loss of profit for grocery stores, warehouses, and restaurants.
How to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants
A few simple steps will make your house or business less appealing to carpenter ants. Caulk openings where wires and pipes enter walls to block entry points. Keep vents in attics and crawl spaces in good repair to decrease moisture, which rots wood. Finally, prevent rain damage to foundations by clearing gutters of debris.
Following a couple precautions for stored food will deter carpenter ants as well. Promptly refrigerate leftovers and clean up spills in home or commercial kitchens. Sealing sweets and proteins in plastic or glass storage containers may also help to avoid attracting carpenter ants.
If a carpenter ant colony is already indoors, home and business owners can attempt to take out infested wood and replace it with treated timber. However, it’s tough to determine problem areas without some expertise.