Despite what their name suggests, you won’t see a carpenter ant working hard on a construction site. They won’t help build the foundation of your home either. While they won’t aid in your next woodworking project, they could take up residence on your property!
Spotting carpenter ants in your home can leave you with some worries. Do carpenter ants bite, or will they snack on the wood inside my home? This article will answer pressing questions about carpenter ants and dispel common misconceptions.
Do Carpenter Ants Eat Wood?
Carpenter ants don’t actually consume wood, even if their tunneled-out nests suggest otherwise. These ants prefer to burrow through wooden structures to establish their nests. The ants won’t ingest any of the wood they damage, unlike termites which can feast on the wood inside your home.
Instead, carpenter ants share a similar diet to most ant species. They enjoy eating sugary substances and proteins. Try cleaning up leftover food and crumbs to avoid enticing them.
These ants will prey on other insects or consume dead bugs for nourishment. When foraging outdoors, the ants will gravitate toward the sweet nectar in plants and fruits.
Will Carpenter Ants Damage my Home?
Carpenter ants prefer to build in wooden structures; however, they primarily prefer wood with water damage. They tend to lay their eggs in moist areas and prefer rotted pieces of wood or trees.
Unless you have water damage, it’s unlikely that you’ll find a colony living inside your home. If you have any leaking roofs or flood damage, carpenter ants could take up residence in these areas. These tiny pests could even make a home within your walls.
You can also occasionally find carpenter ants indoors in frequently damp areas. These ants will nest in areas in your bathroom like under cabinets, showers, and sinks.
While it isn’t common, carpenter ants may cause damage to your home if an infestation is unchecked. Even if your home appears undamaged, carpenter ants can create satellite nests colonies apart from the original nest.
Homeowners typically find these satellite nests inside their homes while the larger nest remains in their yards. If carpenter ants are foraging inside your home, they could assemble these nests to store food or house others in the colony.
Keep in mind that an average infestation won’t harm your home like termites, but you should still try to remove them from your home promptly. These ants can impact your home if left untreated for a long period of time.
Will Carpenter Ants Bite Me?
It’s stressful to have any insect in your home, and having a carpenter ant infestation could leave you worried about getting bitten. Carpenter ants bite when they feel threatened, but they will only attack when defending their nest.
A carpenter ant’s bite can be quite painful, depending on its size. You may experience a slight pinching and burning sensation, and some ants can even leave behind a mark on your skin.
Don’t stick around if you accidentally stumble across a carpenter ant nest. The ants could continue attacking if they sense a threat, and carpenter ants bite more than once.
To treat a carpenter ant’s bite, clean the bitten area with soap and water. If the bites are itchy, apply an ointment and cover it with a bandage to avoid irritation. It can be tempting to scratch the bites but avoid irritating the area by scratching it.
These small red bites aren’t likely to cause a bad reaction, and you shouldn’t have symptoms after two or three days. Contact a doctor if any of your symptoms are long-lasting or if you start experiencing any signs of an allergic reaction.
Do I have an Infestation?
The strongest indication of a nearby nest is in the presence of the ants themselves. While a few ants around your home may not seem like a concern, they could be foraging to bring food back to the main nest.
Carpenter ants are typically bigger than most ants you would see in your home, so they will be relatively easy to identify. Compared to odorous house ants, carpenter ants are almost twice their size. While smaller than the rocks, the carpenter ant is one of the largest ants found in the United States.
Hans Braxmeier on Pixabay
If you notice an increase in ants, you could potentially have a nest somewhere in your home. Look around for ants in commonly damp areas. Significant cracks or openings in your walls or ceiling could also house these pests, especially when caused by water damage.
You may spot dusty wood shavings around your home if the ants have begun burrowing in areas in your home. If you notice any of these signs, contact a pest control agency that specializes in ant control.
Check out this video for more signs of a carpenter ant infestation.
What Should I do if I have Carpenter Ants?
If you have carpenter ants in your home, the best thing to do is try to get rid of them quickly. Even if you only spot a few ants in your home, there could be a nest nearby.
While they may not cause extensive damage if you catch them early, having ants in your home is not ideal. Because carpenter ants bite, they can be a painful nuisance to deal with. Here are a few options to help you handle a carpenter ant infestation.
Getting Rid of Carpenter Ants on Your Own
If you want to kill carpenter ants invading your kitchen, try mixing some sugar with baking soda or borax. Ants will flock to the area and die soon after eating the mixture. While this may not eliminate the entire nest, it can help contain any ants inside your home. Look at this article for more information on creating a DIY ant solution.
Some sprays can help prevent carpenter ants from entering your home and even kill current ants on contact. With gel baits, the ants will eat the toxin and return to the colony with the poison, destroying large quantities of the insects.
However, these methods take time and may not effectively combat a substantial infestation, especially if there are nests located in your home and yard.
Eliminating a nest is the best way to get rid of carpenter ants, but this may be tough if the ants live in your home. You may have to drill small holes into the area with the nest and spray boric acid inside. Repeat this treatment until you no longer see ants in your home.
Contact a Pest Control Agency for Tough Infestations
However, it can be difficult to tell if you have truly wiped out an infestation. Finding a nest in your home or yard is not an easy task either. Before you begin nailing holes in your walls, contact a local pest control service to assess the problem.
These pests could cause property damage, and carpenter ants bite when you stray too close to their nest. If you’re having trouble with carpenter ants, contact us for a free quote. Our team can locate their colony and have them out of your hair in no time.