It Happens Every Year
The weather warms up, trees begin to bud, flowers start to bloom, and bugs of all sorts start coming out of every nook and cranny to harass us. Flies appear out of nowhere to buzz around our kitchens and drive us crazy. Baby spiders emerge from egg sacks and start taking over our yards. And ants are suddenly there, on our floors, on our pets’ bowls, on our countertops–anywhere they can find a tasty morsel.
While any kind of ant is a nuisance to have around, there is one type of ant that is nothing to fool around with. We’re talking about carpenter ants. Although not as bad as the other structure-damaging, wood-destroying pest, the termite, carpenter ants should be taken seriously. If you would rather not have to deal with getting rid of carpenter ants, or any other type of ants, the following tips may keep you from needing to deal with this headache.
These large black, hard-shelled ants measure between 6 and 12 mm in length, have three distinct sections with a pinch at the waist, and have antennae with an elbow bend in them. They get into homes and businesses by walking across the ground and crawling up vertical surfaces to find entry points. Once they find a food source, they carry it back to their colony, leaving behind a trail of pheromone scent so other ants can find their way to the food. When this happens, and if there is an abundance of entry points and food sources, you may soon find that you have an abundance of carpenter ants as well. Now, this might not be a problem is they simply came and went, but carpenter ants do more than steal food. They chew galleries into the wooden structures of your home or business to establish their nests. Over time this can result in damages that are a headache, and costly to repair.
Keep Carpenter Ants Out
- Seal up holes: While you are doing your spring cleaning, inspect the outside of your home for gaps, cracks, and holes where pests can gain entry. Look closely around electrical conduit, pipes, air conditioning units and the like, for tiny holes. Use a caulking gun to seal up all entry points that you find. Make sure to not only look on your foundation and all of your walls, check your roof area as well, since ants and other pests are able to climb.
- Remove food sources: Open trash cans, pet food that is left outside, barbecue leftovers… these are all things that will attract pests. Make sure your yard is free of food sources that ants will be drawn to, and make sure your trash cans have a good seal. Not only will this keep pests from strewing trash around your yard, but it will help keep smells inside that will draw those pests in, in the first place.
- Remove water sources: With spring rains, water will collect around your home and your yard. Make sure all of your gutters are free of obstructions and that water is channeled well away from your home. Take a walk around your home and yard and remove any items that collect water, items such as toys, decorative items, or yard clutter. Removing water will not only deter ants but will keep mosquitoes from having places to breed.
- Keep vegetation neat and well trimmed: Make sure you have no overgrown areas of lawn or weeds where moisture collects. Also trim back bushes, trees, and ornamentals from your foundation and outside walls. These things provide bridges for pests to reach the outside of your home, including ants.
Make note that there are some things that will do little or nothing in the control of ants. For instance, there are over-the-counter sprays that will kill ants on contact, but these sprays do not take care of an ant problem. In fact, it can make your problem worse. Many ant colonies will respond to a threat such as this by splitting into multiple colonies, which could double or triple your issue. If you would rather not have to deal with carpenter ants, professional service is the only way to go.
The specialists here at ChemTec Pest Control know how to properly identify ant species and will use appropriate measures to eradicate ant colonies without the chance of them splitting and multiplying. If you need help with this, give us a call. We look forward to serving you.
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