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Friday, March 22, 2013
Carpenter Ants a Year Round Problem
Carpenter Ants are large ranging in size from .25 to 1 inch. The most likely species to be infesting a house in the United States is the Black Carpenter Ant (Camponotuspennsylvanicus).
They prefer to build their nests in dead, damp wood. Unlike Termites, they do not consume the wood but hollow out “Galleries” in the wood. Houses are vulnerable around and under windows, roof eaves, decks and porches, because these areas are most susceptible to moisture.
Carpenter Ants colonies expand by establishing satellite colonies. They are always looking for additional food sources and another home to habitat. Once found, a new queen will establish a new colony. The colonies usually spread from tree to tree but if your home is susceptible they will colonize it.
Evidence of an infestation include a constant sighting of 5 or more ants foraging within the home, a swarm of the winged reproductive ora sawdust like material called frass that is left behind during the nest building process. Also, if seen during the winter months the nest is most likely located within the home.
Control of Carpenter Ants must address excessive moisture within the home, replacement of damaged wood and the exterior condition of trees surrounding the home.
Treatments aim at targeting the nest directly. Due to the possibility of Satellite colonies the initial treatment area may have to be expanded or follow up treatments may be required to treat additional areas outside the scope of the initial treatment.