Ants are insects with six legs that live in large colonies with thousands of members. Some of the common types found in this area of Maine include fire ants, pavement ants, and carpenter ants. While many types live in mounds or beneath the ground, carpenter ants prefer to locate sources of wood to tunnel into and form nests.
The Appearance Of Carpenter Ants
Maine is predominately home to the black carpenter ant; however, red carpenter ants also exist. Carpenter ants tend to be much larger than most other species, often reach up to growing 7/8ths of an inch long, and have a very distinctive “heart-shaped” style head. These pests are mainly nocturnal; therefore, you are more likely to notice the damage they cause than actually notice the ants themselves.
Do Carpenter Ants Eat Wood?
Unlike termites that eat cellulose materials found in wood, carpenter ants chew through the wood but do not eat these materials. They like to feed on fruits such as honeydew, pollen, nectar, and other insects. Water is a critical element for their survival.
The Indications Of A Potential Infestation
Like many other ant species, winged carpenter ants will emerge from the nest in groups and create mating swarms. This commonly occurs in the spring, and small collections of shed wings may be visible. Even if you don’t they the mating swarmers themselves, their remnants are a surefire sign of their presence.
Carpenter ants will create small round holes in wooden structures and generate dust-like frass as they burrow through. This burrowing activity may not be visible from the exterior in cases where the intrusion to the wood begins on the interior. Over time, the stability of these wooden structures is compromised as floors or walls become warped. Often, altered wood from infestations will result in doors and windows becoming more difficult to close.
Best Practices For Preventing Carpenter Ants
As with all ants, they will seek out locations where the environment provides them food, water, and shelter. In the case of carpenter ants, this also includes sources of wood that are accessible. Some of the best measure to take include:
- Removing fallen trees, stumps, or other similar debris from the area near the home and trimming back branches.
- Promptly repairing any water leaks that will create moisture and damage wooden structures.
- Walk around the exterior of the home to closely inspect the foundation for holes, and fill any openings with a resistant sealant.
- Inspect firewood for any evidence of carpenter ants before bringing it indoors.
Responding To Possible Intrusions By Carpenter Ants
Central Maine property owners must recognize that carpenter ants pose a much more significant risk of creating costly property damage compared to most other species of ants. It is best to identify and eliminate a potential infestation in the early stages before these problems expand.
Resist the temptation to try do-it-yourself products such as powders, aerosols, or bait stations, as they are generally ineffective and may pose health risks. You are strongly encouraged to promptly contact a licensed local professional that will thoroughly inspect the property and take the necessary action to eradicate the problem.
Premier Local Provider Of Pest Extermination Services In Augusta
The experienced team of technicians at Bug Busterzzz Pest Control has established a proven track record of success among our local customers. We stand behind the quality of our work and are committed to the safety of you and your family.
We have recently introduced a Green Advantage Plan, which provides year-round protection from ants, bees, rodents, and other troublesome pests. Aside from being a great value, this program is also eco-friendly. Contact our office today for a no-obligation in-home pest inspection.