Ah, summer. Sunny skies and warm weather make this a time we all look forward to – the end of school, the first swim, picnics and beach days. Unfortunately, “we” doesn’t just mean us humans. This time of year is also a favorite for many of our not so favorite pests and one that causes a particular stir – the carpenter ant. As the summer season rolls around, you may find yourself with carpenter ants in your home. Having these ants in your home during summer can cause a nuisance. To help answer the question “why do I have carpenter ants?”, we’re going to dive into who these ants are and why you may be running into them this summer.
What Are Carpenter Ants?
You may have noticed them before, black or reddish ants much larger than the common ants you find building hills on your lawn outside. They’re likely sneaking their way into your kitchens and bathrooms. But what exactly are carpenter ants?
Carpenter ants are red, black, or a combination of the two colors. They are one of the largest species of ants you’ll find in your home in North America. They typically range from 6 to 12 millimeters in length. However, queen carpenter ants can grow up to about an inch long!
Carpenter ants gain their name from their nesting habits. By chewing, they excavate wood, creating smooth tunnels throughout. Unlike termites, carpenter ants don’t actually consume the wood, they simply burrow into it leaving small piles of debris at their tunnel entrances. This nesting behavior is actually what makes them so dangerous to our homes.
Additionally, like most animals, carpenter ants need two things to survive: food and water. It is these survival needs that lead you to find these ants in your home in the summer months.
Why Do I Have Carpenter Ants?
Perhaps you’re worried about a possible carpenter ant infestation. Maybe you’ve already seen a few scurrying about your home. Either way, you’re likely asking yourself one question: Why do you find these ants in your home in the summer months? We’re here to answer that question so you can be more prepared to deal with, and hopefully prevent, carpenter ants in your home.
A carpenter ant colony begins with a queen. She first carves out a small nest in damp or decaying wood. This is the center around which the larger colony’s nest will be created. The damp wood is preferable to carpenter ants because it is easier to work through. This is why our carpenter ant exterminators will most often find them in kitchens, bathrooms and other areas where water pipes run through the walls. This oftentimes leaks fluid and creates condensation that moistens the wood and leaves it vulnerable.
Carpenter ants come into our homes in search of food and water. So, while some members of the colony excavate your home’s structure, other carpenter ants must go out to gather food for the rest. Carpenter ants will eat nearly anything including plant life, along with other insects and meats. However, they are especially known for their sweet tooth. Your kitchen is likely full of syrups, sugars, jams and other delicious treats. Unfortunately for you, this becomes the perfect place for the carpenter to find a feast to bring back to the family.
As they burrow through the wood within your home and raid your kitchen, carpenter ants excrete pheromones along the way. This creates a chemical trail for other ants within the colony to follow suit. If you’re finding carpenter ants in your house in the summer months, there’s likely more to follow. Once you have one, you can quickly have hundreds of carpenter ants in your home, leading to an ant infestation.
Why You Should Control Carpenter Ants In Your Home
There are several ways to prevent carpenter ants from invading your home. However, if you do find these ants in your home in the summer months, it is important to take action fast. If left untreated, carpenter ants in your home can cause serious damage. As they borrow through the wooden structure of your home, it can cause weakness that threatens the structural integrity of your home. Not only does that pose a safety risk, but it can become a costly issue to repair.
If you’re finding these large black ants in your home in the summer, be sure to take action by calling a professional ant exterminator. Eliminate ‘Em has professional ant exterminators who are available to offer 24/7 same day ant control. Call us today at (866) 388-8344 to remove these pests and return peace to your home.