Do You Have a Carpenter Ant Problem? Four Signs You Need Ant Control in WI

June 25, 2018

Most species of ants in the United States are more nuisance pests than destructive—that is, unless you have carpenter ants on your property. Carpenter ants are capable of causing costly damage to homes, digging through wood and creating smooth tunnels where they build nests. If these ants keep tunneling, then it may only be a matter of time before the structural integrity of your home has been seriously compromised.

What are carpenter ants?

Maybe you’ve noticed hordes of ants hanging out in aging tree trunks or piles of brush, or insect wings and other bug debris or sawdust near wooden window and doorframes. If so, there’s a chance you may have carpenter ants. As far as pests go, carpenter ants are some of the most common in the United States. They love using damp, damaged or decayed wood of all types—like trees, building materials and furniture—for nesting and breeding. And although they tunnel through wood, they don’t actually eat the wood—all they are doing is chewing through it and kicking out the dust.

How do you know when you have a carpenter ant problem? Here are four signs you need to hire a professional for ant control in WI.

Large ants

While there are more than 1,000 species of carpenter ants in the United States, only 24 species are considered pests. Due to the great number of species, it can be difficult to identify the particular type of carpenter ant causing the damage. Some are black, but others are brown, red, tan, orange, yellow or a combination of black and reddish brown. They also vary in size, ranging from 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch to a scary full inch long! In spring and early summer, winged carpenter ants can be spotted searching for new places to nest.

Small piles of sawdust

To create tunnels, carpenter ants must work their way through wood. This project requires the ants to push out frass, a sawdust-like material created during the tunneling process. If you have a carpenter ant problem inside your home or other structures on your property, you are likely to find piles of frass in or around crawl spaces, low corners and dark areas.

Noise coming from inside walls

Whether it’s just a few busy ants or an infestation, you might hear a faint rustling sound coming from the walls. If you put your ear up against the wall and hear a noise resembling rustling cellophane, this is likely carpenter ants moving around or chewing through wood, especially if this noise is coupled with other signs.

Wood damage

If you notice signs of a carpenter ant infestation—either frass and/or rustling noises—you should look for damaged wood in nearby areas. Look for wood with small rectangular holes, which are typically entrances to ant tunnels.

Have you noticed some or all of these signs? If so, contact the pest experts at ANT’s Complete Pest Control for more information about carpenter ants and solutions for effective ant control in WI!

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