Protecting Your Home From Ants
Carpenter ants and structural damage go hand in hand. If you've seen ants around your property, it's possible that damage has already occurred. Diligence is the best way to protect your home from carpenter ants and other wood-destroying insects. These pests are easy to spot if you familiarize yourself with these three warning signs.
Common Signs of Carpenter Ant Damage
1. If you've seen large ants parading around your home, you might have a problem. According to Rutgers University, New Jersey is home to eight species. The most common type is the black carpenter ant, which can be five-eighths of an inch long. These ants may crawl across your porch or siding. You're probably concerned about carpenter ants damaging your home, but they can also weaken trees and leave them vulnerable to pests and diseases. One study found that 75 percent of urban shade trees were infested.
2. Wood shavings are a telltale sign of carpenter ant infestations. Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not eat wood. They bore out nests. You may notice sawdust-like particles around woodpiles. The shavings may also spill out from behind your home's siding or the bark on dead tree limbs. Wood shavings show that damage has already occurred. In central New Jersey, most carpenter ant activity occurs between May and October, so you may notice the symptoms worsening during this time.
3. Structural damage is a strong sign of carpenter ant activity. However, damage caused by termites looks similar. Galleries created by carpenter ants are often stocked with dead insects. The edges are usually rough and shredded rather than smooth. Accurate identification is important so that the problem can be addressed quickly and properly. Carpenter ant colonies expand rapidly. They may establish multiple satellite communities around your property if they aren't controlled.
Detecting and Preventing Damage
Carpenter ants seek out high-moisture wood. Walls with a northern exposure are prone to mildew growth, mold and ant damage. Infestations frequently occur in homes that have a moisture problem in at least one area. Repairing damaged wood won't protect your home unless the underlying cause is corrected too. This may include repairing plumbing leaks and trimming vegetation to increase air circulation around the building.
If you've seen carpenter ants around your home or if you're concerned about other pests, call 866-926-4675. A-Academy Termite & Pest Control has kept local homes free from pests for the past 40 years. We're proud to serve customers in Monmouth, Ocean and Mercer counties.