Give Ants Their Marching Orders this Spring
(NC) Carpenter ants were a nationwide issue last spring and summer, and it looks like history is about to repeat itself.
Harsh winters tend to work in our favor when it comes to most pests, but carpenter ants generate a natural antifreeze that allows them to survive extreme conditions. As the weather continues to warm up, you'll likely see these resilient pests around your home, scouring for food and suitable locations to establish new colonies. Due to their nesting habits, infestations are often not discovered until significant damage to a home or building has already occurred.
“Carpenter ants use their strong jaws to chew through wood, where they will nest, lay eggs and create a network of tunnels for traveling,” says Alice Sinia, PhD, a resident entomologist with Orkin Canada. “Although they work slowly, if left alone or untreated they can cause severe structural damage requiring costly repairs. Early detection is key to minimizing the damage an infestation can cause.”
Though decks, windows, porches, roofs and other areas of homes that are exposed to weather are most vulnerable to carpenter ants, they will make themselves at home anywhere that provides protection and easy access to food, especially in moisture comprised wood structures. Red and black carpenter ants are most common in Canada. Depending on the species, they can be up to 25 mm long, or nearly five times the size of a typical pavement ant.
Carpenter ants are a particularly challenging pest to control because the location of their nest is hidden, and they can have several satellite nests in addition to the main nest.
Orkin offers the following tips to help protect your home:
• Trim back vegetation surrounding your home at least one metre.
• Move wood piles as far away from your home as possible.
• Remove any wood debris from around your home.
• Ensure gutters and downspouts are clean and free flowing.
• Eliminate food debris and crumbs inside your home.
If you suspect a carpenter ant infestation in your home, contact a reliable pest provider.