How Carpenter Ants Damage Florida Homes


The state of Florida is home to many species of ants. Due to the humidity that is prevalent this far south, many of these ants are still very active and have the potential to remain active for some time to come. Among these species is the carpenter ant. Carpenter ants get their name because they build their nests inside wooden structures. Their tunneling and nest-building can take place right in the wooden structures of your home. 

carpenter ant on a rock

A common misconception is that carpenter ants eat wood, but this isn’t true. They simply chew it as they bore holes through whatever structure through which they are creating a path. Because they aren’t eating the wood, it’s common to see small piles of sawdust from their nest-building activity. Carpenter ants prefer damp, soft wood. However, they will move on to undamaged wood if it’s nearby. Carpenter ant colonies expand quickly and can number tens of thousands of workers. These worker ants are constantly at work, drilling holes through the wood to create tunnels all hours of the day and night. If carpenter ants are inside, this means all this tunnel-making and these nests are throughout the wooden structures of your home, causing costly damage. Carpenter ants can ruin walls, ceilings, floors, and more. 
How do you know if the ants in your home are carpenter ants? It can certainly be hard to tell when there are so many different species of ants. If your trim or other wooden structures crumble or begin to break apart, it’s worth further investigation. In fact, any ant you see in your home warrants further investigation. The swarmer ants of the colony have wings. Seeing ants with wings is a sure sign that you have carpenter ants. Since these ants don’t eat wood, they will find other items to snack on in your kitchen. Any crumbs, spills, or food with easy access is sure to be found by these swarmer ants. Once you have an invasion, the colony will not go away easily with ant traps or DIY treatments. Most cases will require professional pest control. 
Prevention is important with carpenter ants, even after the extermination of a colony. To prevent them, it’s important to address any moisture problems and leaks within the home or building. As mentioned before, carpenter ants enjoy soft, damp wood over dry, healthy wood. Replacing damaged wood and repairing any leaks is a great step to making your home less appealing for these ants. It doesn’t take a large opening for a carpenter ant to gain entry. It’s important to find and seal any entry holes or cracks to the inside of your home. Since carpenter ants usually find their way in from your yard, it’s helpful to clean up any decaying wood around your property and stack your firewood a safe distance away from your home. 
Carpenter ants can prove to be a severe threat to your home, so it’s important to contact a professional pest control company to eliminate them as soon as you notice their presence. At Keller’s Pest Control, we’ve been treating homes in the area for more than twenty years. Keller’s uses Integrated Pest Management or IPM, which is a customized plan to provide the best services to meet your pest control needs in an environmentally friendly manner. Contact Keller's Pest Control today to learn more about our residential pest control services!

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