Here's How To Tell If Your Westchester Property Has Carpenter Ants

carpenter ant on home foundation

Have you ever seen abnormally large ants on your property? At first, you feel that momentary panic, that “Whoa, those are huge ants” kind of feeling. Then you realize that these larger ants are a little slower (and much easier to squish). However, if you knew the damage that carpenter ants are causing within your walls, you’d be a little more focused on keeping them off your property.

Signs Of Carpenter Ant Activity

Carpenter ants are one of the larger species of ants, measuring anywhere from a fourth of an inch to a half an inch long. Black or dark red in color, these ants get their name from their nesting habits, which involve burrowing their way into the wooden structures of your home and creating tunnels and nests throughout. When left unchecked, carpenter ant damage can wind up costing you hundreds of dollars and even threaten the structural integrity of your home over time. That’s why spotting the signs early is so important. Here’s what to look for to see if you’ve got carpenter ants on your property:

  • Large black or red ants crawling in your home focused on finding nesting sites rather than food sources.
  • Piles of sawdust or debris under wooden structures like windowsills, baseboards, and doors. They won’t be large piles, so you’ll want to check carefully.
  • Long trails of ants in the yard heading to and from your home. Carpenter ants will head a long way away from nesting sites to look for food outside.
  • Soft clicking noises from within the walls: Carpenter ants will work tirelessly to nest in the wooden areas of your home, so you should be able to hear them scraping the wood if you listen carefully.

Large, winged ants flying in or around your house. Carpenter ants will also shed their light grey wings on the ground, which is a sure sign of infestation.
Once you do see the signs of carpenter ants, there isn’t much you can do to get rid of them yourself. However, focusing on prevention can help you avoid an infestation in the first place. Do yourself a favor and call for the experts at Parkway Pest Services!

Prevention Priorities

As carpenter ants are looking for ways to get into your house, they’ll go from the ground level or head level, right to the roof. Make sure to seal all their potential entry points at the ground level by weather-stripping the exterior doors and sealing up the caulking around window sills. You’ll also want to seal up any cracks in the foundation.
While carpenter ants may try and get in through openings in the roof, chimneys, or vents, not all carpenter ants can fly. Most of them will gain access to your roof by climbing on tree limbs, branches, or tall bushes. Keeping these trimmed back away from the house can help prevent potential for roof entry.
Another prevention priority is moisture control. Carpenter ants prefer to nest in soft or rotting wood, damaged by moisture buildup. Using a dehumidifier in your crawl spaces that are not air-conditioned is a good way to keep these areas dry. You’ll also want to monitor your pipes for leaking, as even the slightest drip can cause wood rot over time.
Furthermore, you’ll need to control where your rain runoff pools up. An effective gutter and downspout system that expels rain runoff away from the house can protect the sides of the foundation from getting exposed to moisture buildup and rotting. Now, let’s be clear. These methods can help prevent carpenter ants, but there are no guaranteed forms of do-it-yourself pest control solutions. For guaranteed protection from costly carpenter ant damage, contact Parkway Pest Services at the first sign of infestation.