Do you suspect the presence of carpenter ants in your home? Don’t panic; our carpenter ant extermination service is tailored to help you get rid of these home invaders.
Much larger than the common ant, the carpenter ant measures between 6 and 25 mm. It’s mostly black, although some have a reddish tint. Five species can be found in Quebec.
If you see some large, dark ants without wings marching around your house, you could be dealing with a carpenter colony’s worker ants. It doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a nest indoors, but you should still pay attention.
There’s also a chance that you’ve got a termite in front of you, as the two insects have some similarities. To help with identification, keep in mind that carpenter ants have a well-defined “waist” and bent antennae.
After the carpenter ant’s mating flight, which takes place between a winged male and female, the male dies. Meanwhile, the female goes in search of a cozy nest where she can lay her eggs. Her place of choice? Damp, dead wood. Here’s where you might find them outdoors, in the natural world:
In about 60 days, an initial clutch of about 15 to 20 eggs will hatch into a group of sterile workers. Their role will be to find food (insects, small invertebrates and the honeydew secreted by aphids); they will swallow what they find and then regurgitate it to feed the queen and the next batch of larvae.
They will also expand the nest by constructing long galleries to house the growing colony. After about 3 years, the colony will contain between 2,000 and 3,000 female workers, one or more queens and some 200 to 400 winged males and females for breeding.
At this point, satellite colonies are established close to the main colony. Workers then move between nests to take care of the queen and the larvae.
The closer the main colony is to your house, the higher the risk of having a satellite nest in your home, especially if you have humidity problems and thus decaying wood in the walls or floors.
As they dig their way through wood to build their tunnels and galleries, carpenter ants can compromise the structure of your house. In fact, these pest insects can cause the sort of damage you could be held liable for, as a hidden defect, after the sale of your home. That’s more than enough reason to take any signs of their presence very seriously.
Carpenter ants like to build their tunnels in:
Two or three big black ants doesn’t mean you have a huge infestation. They may be worker ants foraging for food and water in your home and then returning with it to their colony outdoors, in a nearby tree or wooded area. If you follow the path of the ants, you’ll see where they live.
Take the time to thoroughly check the basement, attic and outside walls of the house. The best time to look for activity is at nightfall. Open your eyes at watch what the ants do.
If, however, you find small piles of sawdust—called frass—near a hole, or parts of dead insects and other debris nearby, there may be a nest in the house. Follow the path of the ants, they will lead you to the nest.
To get rid of an ant infestation, you must wipe out all satellite nests and, most especially, the main colony. Otherwise, the ants will return.
Pesticide treatments are part of any good carpenter ant extermination plan, but physical pest control measures and prevention are also necessary to fix the problem once and for all.
The most effective approach is to use a professional ant exterminator. Elite Pest Control experts will carry out a thorough inspection of the interior and exterior of your home and use ant-control products approved by Health Canada.
If we find a nest inside your house, we will get rid of it and apply a preventive spray outside the house to keep the ants away.
During a home inspection, your Elite Pest Control ant exterminator will show you where the ants got in and then offer you to seal off the entry points (windows, cracks in the foundation and other openings).
Our goal is to help you avoid a re-infestation in your home. To that end, the technician will also give you some specific tips on how to prevent the carpenter ant colony from coming back: