Named for their carpenter-like ability to drill long tunnels and carve huge galleries out of wood, New Jersey carpenter ants often invade northern New Jersey homes to forage for food and water. When colonies expand during the spring and summer, these wood-destroying ants may move into your Bergen County home, attracted by water-softened wood caused by poorly-drained foundations or leaky pipes. Using their formidable jaws, carpenter ants hollow large open spaces called “galleries” out of wood to house their massive colonies and nurseries. Carpenter ants are most frequently found inside wall voids, where they attack structural timbers, and in window and door sills. As a colony grows over the years, these hollow areas weaken the structure and can lead to eventual collapse.

The 3 most common signs of nearby carpenter ant activity are:

  • Consistently seeing 10 to 15 large, black ants each day crawling in the same area inside your Bergen County home, particularly when ants are found on upper floors.
  • Finding dead ants or body parts in the corners of a room, trapped in spider webs or on window sills.
  • Discovering piles of “frass” on floors or windowsills. Frass is the sawdust-like byproduct produced when carpenter ants chew wood and may contain excavated material, including insulation, dead ants or other insects, and fecal pellets.

When a licensed New Jersey pest control company treats a home for carpenter ants, Termidor is typically applied to the home’s exterior. Occasionally, an infestation will warrant the additional use of Phantom inside the home, but outdoor perimeter treatment is generally sufficient. New Jersey pest control professionals will treat the entire perimeter of the structure, paying particular attention to anything that can provide ants with access to your home, including the framing around doors and windows, the foundation where it meets the ground, the lower sections of siding or shingles, pipe chases and utility conduits, attached fences and any other attached architectural structures.

Next time: Why home treatment won’t get rid of carpenter ants