Carpenter Ants In West Palm Beach: What You Should Know
November 15, 2021 - Ants
Carpenter ants are among the most common pests found in West Palm Beach homes and businesses and throughout the United States. Carpenter ants are typically around 1/2 inch long. Most species are red or black or a combination of the two while others can be brown. They typically build their nests in the below-ground spaces where it's cooler, for example, in walls or inside cabinets.
Carpenter ants construct their nests by chewing wooden material such as tree bark, cedar, pine, cypress or mahogany to build their home. Carpenter ants will inhabit an existing structure and infest it entirely by gnawing pieces of wood and tunnels and galley ways to form a nest.
Problems Caused By Carpenter Ants
Carpenter ants are almost always associated with construction or remodeling projects. The invasion of carpenter ants allows the worker ants to construct their own homes inside your walls, floors, ceilings, and other surfaces. Over time they can create significant structural damage.
However, unlike termites, carpenter ants do not eat the wood that they chew through which means that carpenter ants in your home poses a double threat. Not only will they create widespread property damage, but like other ants they will target the food in your home. In doing this they bring in bacteria and pathogens and contaminate foods and preparation surfaces.
How Do I Know If My West Palm Beach Home Has Carpenter Ants?
It's difficult to identify the presence of carpenter ants but you can be on the lookout for the following signs:
- Sawdust in your home. If there is sawdust around your baseboards and it wasn't from a project, chances are carpenter ants are behind it.
- Carpenter ants themselves. These ants are attracted to moisture, so they are spotted around plumbing areas, windowsills, areas beneath sinks and dishwashers, under cabinets, and near water pipes.
- Tunnels in moisture damaged wood. Carpenter ants are more likely to attack wood that has been softened by moisture or mold. If you have affected areas in your home it is important to monitor them closely.
- Flying ants. Occasionally, carpenter ants will send out swarmers - flying ants - to grow their colonies. If you see large flying ants on your property, chances are there is a developed colony nearby.
Property damage from carpenter ants can often be significant by the time it is discovered. If you have signs of carpenter ants in your home, it is important to take steps to remove them right away.
Carpenter Ant Prevention Tips
Here are some tips to prevent carpenter ants from invading your West Palm Beach home or commercial building:
- Remove unused debris and woodpile material from the outside of your home as this wood may contain or attract carpenter ants.
- Caulk or seal any cracks or crevices on the outside of your home where carpenter ants may be entering your home. Seal small holes in the mortar between bricks to prevent an ant invasion.
- Maintain kitchen spaces and ensure that food is not left out to attract carpenter ants.
- Cover both indoor and outdoor trash cans with tight-fitting lids.
- When working on home improvements or a remodel, remove wood scraps from the area to limit potential nesting areas.
- Paint or stain healthy wood for double protection. Carpenter ants are more likely to infest untreated wood.
- Remove water damaged wood as it is more attractive to carpenter ants.
You can make your home less attractive but don't try to get rid of them on your own. Contact Gulfstream Environmental Services at the first sign of a problem for our residential pest control service. We can inspect your home to get the full scope of the problem, eliminate existing carpenter ants, and help you prevent more from moving inside in the future.
We also provide trustworthy commercial pest management solutions for local businesses.