When you think of a pest that destroys wooden structures, you probably imagine termites first and foremost. And, while termites are a destructive and difficult problem, they aren’t the only pest in Virginia Beach that can ruin all kinds of wooden items throughout your property. Carpenter ants can be nearly as destructive, and most people don’t even realize they need to protect against them.
The carpenter ant is different from termites in a few ways, however. For one thing, they don’t eat the wood they destroy. Instead, they tunnel through it to create nests. Also, while they can do a good deal of property damage over time, they usually aren’t as invasive as termites.
What Do Carpenter Ants Look Like?
The difficult thing about carpenter ants is that it can be difficult to tell them apart from other ants in the area. They are a similar size and dark brown to black in color. While identifying carpenter ants isn't easy at first glance, you can look at their behavior. They are usually seen in long, straight lines heading toward buildings, for example. Also, if you do get a close look, they have one node that connects their abdomen to their thorax instead of two.
What Attracts Carpenter Ants?
While carpenter ants are best known for their ruinous abilities, they are also like other species of ants in that they can and will contaminate food sources. This makes them a double problem as they will get into all kinds of people and pet food in addition to causing property damage. And, while they aren’t known to spread any specific illnesses, any food they touch will need to be thrown out.
While these ants will eat all kinds of things, they are particularly attracted to certain items. They are especially drawn to the smell of sweet and sugary things, as well as protein-filled items, pet food, and dead insects. They are also particularly interested in the honey-like secretions left by aphids.
The Damage That Carpenter Ants Cause
Carpenter ants can tunnel through the flooring, support beams, wooden decks, furniture, and much more. The amount of damage they can do varies and has a lot to do with the size of the infestation and how long it goes unchecked. Over time, carpenter ants populations grow and can end up costing property owners thousands of dollars in repairs.
The other issue is that, even if you identify an infestation early on, these ants are very difficult to remove. They can burrow into places that are hard to reach making it nearly impossible to eradicate the entire infestation using DIY methods including both pesticides and natural solutions. Carpenter ant colonies can be sprawling and contain tens of thousands of individuals, so even if you think you’ve removed them all, they usually keep coming back.
How Do You Remove Carpenter Ants?
While do-it-yourself carpenter ant removal is usually a waste of time and money, there is one effective and safe way to eliminate these ants for good. The professionals at Mosquito Elite Pest Control have the experience and tools needed to remove the entire colony and keep it from coming back.