There are five species of ants commonly found in Utah, including the highly destructive carpenter ant. They are fiercely industrious little creatures and can wreak havoc and cause major damage to a home in a short amount of time. Once you have identified carpenter ants in or near your home, there are steps that should be taken, the most important of which is to contact your local pest control professional.
Step 1: Identify the Ant
Carpenter ants are usually brown and black, or a rust and black combination. If you only see a couple ants here and there in the home, particularly during the day, do not be fooled into thinking that there is not an infestation. These are scouter ants looking for food sources to take back to the nest. Carpenter ants can range in size anywhere from ⅛”, to the queen who can grow to approximately 1” long.
Step 2: Identify their Activity
Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not eat the wood, they are harvesting it to use as building materials for their nest. They are nocturnal, so you will usually hear activity in the walls at night. Look for “frass,” a sawdust-looking material that is the wood residue and excrement from the ant.
Step 3: Locate the Nest
This can take some good detective work. Look for the frass and then determine whether it is the opening to the tunnel they are using to harvest the wood, or if it is the opening to the nest itself.
Step 4: Call a Qualified Utah Ant Exterminator
Can you take care of the infestation yourself? Sure, but it is a LOT of work and there are many things to research and consider before embarking on that endeavor. To ensure that the job is done completely and correctly and, most importantly, in the safest manner for you and your family, your best bet is to contact a local pest control professional.
You can avoid future infestation by taking simple steps on your own, like making sure you store firewood an adequate distance from the home or grinding old stumps or other dead wood that can quickly become carpenter ant condominiums. For more information, contact your Utah Pest Control & Lawn Care Service experts at Preventive Pest Control today.