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Should I Still Be Worried About Carpenter Ants?

carpenter ant on ground

You’ve probably noticed that you don’t see many bugs outside in the winter months. You don’t spend an afternoon on the ski slopes swatting at mosquitoes or being chased off by yellow jackets. Because of this, you probably don’t give much thought to insects at this time of year, but should you? Should you still be worried about carpenter ants for instance?

What Happens to Carpenter Ants in Winter?

Unlike some pests, like yellow jackets, carpenter ants do not die off in the winter. And, unlike other pests, like mosquitoes, they don’t hibernate either. Instead, they bulk up in the fall, in anticipation of winter with few food sources, head into their colonies that are well below the frost line, and slow their activity. They don’t reach hibernation levels, but they are much less active than they are in the warmer months.

You may think this is good news. If carpenter ants aren’t very active in the winter, they must not be anything to worry about, right? Unfortunately, the answer to that question is no. You do still need to worry about carpenter ants in the winter.

Although carpenter ants living outdoors slow down considerably, it’s a different story for carpenter ants that have already made their way inside. With a steady food source and warm temperatures, carpenter ants can remain active all year long, which leaves your house at serious risk of damage.

How to Tell if You Have Carpenter Ants

It’s not always easy to tell if you have carpenter ants. The signs can be subtle and often go unnoticed for months or even years. Here’s what to look for:

  • Holes in wooden structures. Carpenter ants chew away at wood, forming tunnels inside a wooden object, whether it be a beam or a piece of furniture. In order to get inside, they have to make a hole. If you see holes on the outside of wood in your home, you may have carpenter ants inside.
  • Sawdust. Carpenter ants like to keep their tunnels clear, so all the debris they create gets pushed out of their holes. Finding sawdust below wooden structures can indicate a carpenter ant infestation.
  • Ants. If you see large ants walking or flying around your home, you could very well have a carpenter ant problem.

What to Do About Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are destructive and can cause serious damage to your home. If you suspect they may be in your house, it’s a good idea to get a professional inspection to confirm or deny your suspicions.

ChemTec Pest Control can inspect for carpenter ants and, if need be, eliminate them from your home. We also offer year-round protection to guard your house against a future infestation.

Don’t leave your home vulnerable to damage. Contact ChemTec for a free inspection today.

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