Wood Destroying Insects

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter Ants
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Carpenter ants are large ants indigenous to many parts of the world. They prefer dead, damp wood in which to build nests. They do not eat it, however, unlike termites. Sometimes carpenter ants will hollow out sections of trees. The most likely species to be infesting a house in the United States is the Black carpenter ant.

Carpenter ants reside both outdoors and indoors in moist, decaying or hollow wood. They cut galleries into the wood grain to provide passageways for movement from section to section of the nest. Certain parts of a house, such as around and under windows, roof eaves, decks and porches are more likely to be infested by Carpenter Ants because these areas are most vulnerable to moisture.

They can damage wood used in the construction of buildings. They can leave a sawdust-like material behind called frass, that provides clues to nesting location. Carpenter ant galleries are smooth and very different from termite-damaged areas, which have mud packed into the hollowed-out areas.

Cultural practices such as trimming back tree limbs that overhang roofs, patching leaks in roofs, windows and plumbing, plus general cleanliness will help prevent infestations.

Perimeter treatments of grounds, foundations, and the treatment of wood piles also keep insects at bay.
Hint: Suspect these insects if you find holes in wood surfaces, sawdust or fine wood powder, structural weakness or tunneling in wood itself.

Complete control of carpenter ants and termites requires locating and treating the main nest area.