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06/07/10

Often dubbed nature’s recyclers, carpenter ants are a beneficial insect in nature as they break up dead or rotten wood.  They are not, however, an insect you would want to find in your home.  Like in their natural environment, carpenter ants will chew wood only in this instance it may be structural beams, doors or other wooden material inside your home.  In fact their presence should prompt immediate action as these large black ants are capable of causing significant damage to wooden structures.  At Plunkett’s Pest Control we realize that these ants are often overlooked or dismissed because not everyone is aware that they are a force to be reckoned with.  We also know that proper identification and the implementation of preventative measures may help homeowners recognize a problem early or even prevent an infestation all together. The easiest way to determine if you have a carpenter ant problem is to actually see one of these wood-destroying pests.  Carpenter ants are 1/8 to ½ inch in length.  Their species is most commonly black in color but may appear in other shades such as brown and red.  All carpenter ants feature a single node between the middle portion of the body and the abdomen.  You can also determine if carpenter ants have intruded is by the tell-tale “frass” they leave behind as they enter a building or dwelling from the exterior.  Frass resembles sawdust is often in a cone-shape form.  Unlike the wood-destroying termite who eats the wood it infests, the carpenter ant only excavates the wood to make its tunnels and will not ingest any of the shavings. While a carpenter ant colony is often located several feet away from the structure, these ants establish satellite colonies within the home.  The worker ants are the ones that you will likely see out and about foraging for live or dead insects as well as human food including sweets, fats or meat.  Carpenter ants are also found to establish themselves where there is moisture present.  Around water pipes, leaking roofs and chimneys, under bathroom and kitchen floors are all likely spots to find a satellite colony residing. So now that you know what these pests look like and where you are likely to find them you are probably wondering how you can prevent a problem of this nature.  While it is extremely difficult to fully prevent carpenter ant activity there are ways to reduce the potential for a carpenter ant infestation. Tips For Preventing Carpenter Ant Infestations

  • Keep your property clear of dead wood
  • Replace any rotten or damaged wood on or in your home
  • Seal exposed wood to prevent water damage
  • Limit the amount of firewood you keep stored to one season and keep well away from your home
  • Trim tree overhang so that it doesn’t touch your home
  • Properly store food
  • Maintain clean working surfaces in your kitchen
If your home or cabin has already been invaded by carpenter ants, Plunkett’s Pest Control can help.  We offer highly effective residential pest control solutions that get rid of carpenter ants as well as a variety of household pests for homeowners in Illinois, Minnesota and throughout much of the Midwest.  Whether you own a cabin in Lake Minnetonka or reside in Erie, Plunkett’s Pest Control is ready to be your partner in eliminating carpenter ants.  Please contact us today for more information.


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