Chances are good that if you live in Waterloo, you are near a carpenter ant colony. The most prolific pest in Waterloo, several species of carpenter ants can be found infesting homes and commercial and industrial structures.
City & Country Pest Control explains that you’ll recognize a carpenter ant because they are typically much larger than other ants, varying in length from six to 25 mm. Their colour can also vary, but they are usually blackish. However, they can easily be distinguished from other ants due to the fact that their body parts appear bulbous or exaggerated.
The experts at City & Country Pest Control observe that carpenter ants in Waterloo tend to be less active in the cold weather or when it rains, often giving homeowners the false impression they have packed up and moved on—but they haven’t. They’re merely hiding, huddled together.
Carpenter ants in Waterloo are most active in the spring. After spending all winter in hiding, they come out in the warmer weather in search for food. A swarm of carpenter ants usually occurs in the spring and is a sure sign that a colony is nesting in the structure or nearby.
When looking for a place to call home, carpenter ants in Waterloo prefer moist, decaying wood, as found in dead trees. That said, a house with a moisture problem or one that has wood structures suffering from decay can also provide a welcome place to set up a colony.
Carpenter ants usually get into a structure in Waterloo through holes, where tree branches contact the house, or from wooden structures attached to a house like a porch or deck.
Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not actually eat wood, but, thanks to a telltale trail of sawdust, it appears as though they do. Carpenter ants damage wood by excavating debris and creating galleries and tunnels. A carpenter ant nest does not contain sawdust or other debris; rather, the tunnels are smooth and appear well-sanded.
City & Country Pest Control warns that the presence of carpenter ants can still cause damage to wood buildings if structural wood is weakened. The longer a colony is established, the greater the chances of damage. A well-established colony can contain as many as 10,000 ants, and because most live for several years, their populations can be sustained for significant periods of time.1
City & Country Pest Control also notes that, because carpenter ant eggs need moisture, some nests have been found in bathrooms behind tiles; around tubs, sinks, and showers; and behind dishwashers. Satellite nests do not tend to contain eggs and can be found in dry areas: under roofing, in attic beams, in hollow spaces between the floors, in doors, curtain rods, and wall voids. Carpenter ants have also been known to nest in foam insulation.
You will know if a carpenter ant nest is located indoors if you discover a number of mating, winged ants trapped inside. Finding them may also give the approximate location of the colony.
To first step to removing carpenter ants nesting indoors is to locate the nest. The best time to track carpenter ants to their nest is between sunset and midnight during the spring and summer months. You can increase your chances of following workers to their nest by setting out food that carpenter ants are attracted to, including honey or other sweet foods.
While it is relatively easy to find a carpenter ant nest, it is not so easy to remove one. Carpenter ants are prolific breeders, meaning an infestation can be extremely difficult to remove without the help and advice of a professional pest control company.
An expert pest control company like City & Country Pest Control can also recommend a number of different proactive approaches to take to reduce the risks of further carpenter ant infestations.
If you’re a Waterloo resident or business owner who would like to know more about City & Country Pest Control’s commercial pest solutions, including carpenter ant removal, contact City & Country toll-free at 1 (866) 255-9455 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Hahn, J., et al., “Carpenter Ants,” University of Minnesota web site, 2008; http://www1.extension.umn.edu/garden/insects/find/carpenter-ants/, last accessed June 11, 2013.