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Keep Carpenter Ants from Destroying Your Building

carpenter ants

team of ants constructing wooden house with matches

For many, fighting carpenter ants is an annual affair. For others, it’s a new experience.

But either way, the devastation that these little creatures can cause to your summer cottage, primary home or commercial building can be unreal.

Knowing how to spot them, where to spot them; how to prevent and how to fight them will help you win this battle and the war.

Let’s look at how to keep them from destroying your building and yard.  On this page, see  videos of carpenter ant damage on a spa and a deck, for instance.


Know Your Ants

Carpenter ants are a large species of ant. While black and red are the most common in Canada, they can be dark brown, light brown, yellow, or orange as well.

You can clearly distinguish this ant from others by the smoothness of the second segment (thorax). Other ants have bumps and ridges or are too small to see that kind of detail.

Additionally, these ants have what looks like a waist. The thorax is broader near the front (like shoulders) and narrow toward the back like a human’s midsection.

Know Where to Look

These menaces gravitate toward damp or rotting wood. They can turn what may be a little moisture problem into a major structural issue.

Carpenter ants can often be found around dishwashers, the hose spigot, sinks, laundry rooms, bathrooms and other places where moisture commonly settles. You might also find them around sheds and decks that are getting older.

Know What to Look for

If you see ants carrying little white eggs toward your building, that means that they think they’ve just found their new home. If they’re carrying carcasses of insects then they’ve already settled in somewhere.

It’s time to evict them.

During mating season in late spring, you’ll probably see dozens of flying ants around your home or dying on the sidewalk.

Look for little piles of sawdust in and around your building. Since they don’t eat the wood, you should find lots of it.

And examine around water sources to find their location.

Make the Habitat Less Inviting

Follow these tips to reduce ant infestations.

  1. If you have a leaky pipe or roof, fix it.
  2. If water is pooling around your foundation when snow melts or after a big rain, redirect the runoff and maintain your gutters.
  3. Don’t keep firewood next to the cottage or commercial building. The lower wood can rot, luring the ants in and creating a way point on their trek to a full invasion.
  4. Check firewood before bringing it indoors.
  5. Seal cracks around the foundation.
  6. Don’t allow dead branches, trunks or rotting trees to stay near your building. Clear them out as soon as possible.

Treat Early

The damage of these little guys starts small but builds over time. A structure that has been infested can eventually collapse. So don’t wait to get a professional who can confirm an infestation if you suspect it.

If the infestation is in its early stages, you can try bait traps. Foraging worker ants will pick up the bait and carry it back to their nest. There, the queen will eat it and the colony will likely die.

A colony can live for several weeks after the queen dies so this isn’t an immediate fix.

Many find that DIY traps aren’t sufficient. If these don’t work or your infestation is advanced, contacting a professional can save you a lot of time and money in the form of damage repair.

Get Rid of Carpenter Ants Now

If you think you have carpenter ants, don’t wait. These little creatures can do a lot of damage.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment.