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How To Identify A Carpenter Ant?
As a social insect, the carpenter ant lives and travels in colonies, ranging from small to large. Each colony is comprised of a queen, workers, swarmers, and soldiers, all of which have unique responsibilities. For example, the queen is responsible for expanding the colony by continuously reproducing. The worker, on the other hand, has many responsibilities, including building nests, erecting tunnels, and foraging for food. With every member of the colony working, carpenter ant colonies can survive in some tumultuous conditions. The most commonly utilized characteristics to identify the carpenter ant are the tri-segmented body, two antennas, three sets of legs, mandibles, and oddly-shaped head. The body coloration ranges between solid black, red, dark brown, and multi-colored reddish/black, brownish/black, and reddish/brown.
Carpenter ants are generally very easy to identify, but when they are placed next to another member of the ant species, this is when things get complicated. For example, the carpenter ant and regular ant side-by-side show one primary variance, which is no other than the size. The carpenter ant grows up to ½”, excluding the queen at 5/8”, in length. The adult regular ant, on the other hand, grows up to 1/5” in length. So, on a good day, anyone would be able to differentiate between the regular ant and carpenter, thanks to the moderate size variance.
What Signs Point A Residential Carpenter Ant Infestation?
Live Sightings – Live ants foraging for food in the kitchen, dining room, and pantry.
Visual Sightings – Trails of sawdust in areas where ants were once gnawing through wood sources, like downed trees, branches, firewood, and decaying lumber. Sawdust trails left behind by carpenter ants are known as “frass.”
Audible Noises – A colony of busy worker ants can be heard through walls and floors.
Swarming Ants – Swarmer ants flying above food sources around a trash bin, countertop, dining room table, and kitchen sink.
How Did My Home Get Infested With Carpenter Ants?
Carpenter ants are diligent when it comes to food, shelter, safety, and survival. These are some of the busiest insect species you will ever encounter. Each group has responsibilities that play major roles in maintaining and building the colony. If these duties are ignored, the colony will not survive. Fortunately, carpenter ants take their duties seriously, which is why they are continuously expanding in numbers indoors and outdoors. An infested home was initially a carpenter ant target because it had the essentials for living and open access points from the exterior to the interior.
Should I Be Worried About Carpenter Ant Diseases?
Carpenter ants, themselves do not transmit diseases or parasites to humans or animals. However, they have been linked to foodborne illnesses, such as salmonella, Shigella, and E. coli. Some victims are aware of their carpenter ant problem prior to the onset of symptoms, but simply tend to ignore it. Foodborne illnesses, in this case, are due to food contamination. Carpenter ants will eat just about anything edible, including honey, dry/wet pet food, crackers, cookies, raw meat, sugar, apples, carrots, jelly, and bread.
What Can I Do To Eradicate My Carpenter Ant Infestation?
The first thing you should do is consider your options. Basically, there are only two options when it comes to carpenter ant eradication. These include DIY and professional pest control services. Both options are diverse and can be customized to meet your carpenter ant infestation needs. Carpenter ant infestations are rated mild to severe, with the latter being the most difficult to eradicate. Mild infestations can sometimes be treated with a good cleaning schedule, regular trash removal, and a quality pest control solution.
We highly recommend an improved food storage system. If you are currently storing food in the original manufacturing packaging, this is a big no-no. Remove to glass or plastic containers with lids.
Can I Use DIY Pest Control Pesticides To Eradicate A Carpenter Ant Infestation?
This is a very good question for someone dealing with a first-time carpenter ant infestation. DIY pest control products are limited to standard and regular strength options, both of which are not nearly as strong as professional- and commercial-grade pest control pesticides. It may be possible to eradicate a minor carpenter ant problem, but DIY pest control will most likely not have much impact on a moderate or severe infestation.
When Will The Exterminator Conduct The Initial Carpenter Ant Inspection?
We believe the inspection is one of the most crucial components of a pest control strategy. It offers valuable information like the severity rating, the estimated number of carpenter ant involvement, and nest locations. Why is this data so important for pest control? First and foremost, it helps the inspector determine the best extermination course of action, pinpointing the most seriously impacted area. The data collected from a carpenter ant infestation could be the difference between a successful outcome and the need for additional in-home treatment visits.
Is Carpenter Ant Pest Control Harmful To The Environment?
It is a fact, pest control products that contain chemicals can pose some environmental risks. However, manufacturers have joined forces with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), environmentalists, and other government agencies to combat the harmful risks of chemical-based pesticides. Fortunately, this effort has shown promising results. To further minimize these risks, exterminators are required to heed the EPA pesticide regulations and guidelines. In other words, it is possible to minimize or eliminate pesticide-related environmental risks.
What Should I Do Protect My Home And Family Front Future Carpenter Ant Infestations?
While your home is deemed “pest-free” at the moment, it is still a target for carpenter ant infestations. Why is this the case? Well, it basically has to do with the home’s pest barrier, which has been infiltrated by the initial carpenter ant infestation. Your main goal should lean toward making repairs or improving your home’s pest barrier. You can do this by sealing off all potential access points from the exterior to the interior of your home. This is a vital step in the pest prevention management and prevention processes. As long as you and your family are willing to push forward, it could be possible to avoid future carpenter ant infestations.