An infestation of carpenter ants in your home is certainly something that can be prevented. Carpenter ants extermination may become necessary after a heavy infestation; these pests enjoy harvesting water damaged wood to make their nests. But unlike termites, these critters do not eat the wood they use. Instead, they easily bite into the wood to bring it back to their nest. In doing so, they create what is known as galleries with the wood. These galleries resemble passageways, and the ants will live inside of them, coming out only at night to hunt and gather food.
Interestingly, these ants are able to travel up to 200 feet away from the nest to search for their next meal. Their foraging varies according to season; during the spring, these ants enjoy the sweet things they come across, such as fruit, honey or jelly. In fall, the ants stock up on protein sources, such as those found in various meats. In nature, the ants will bring home living or possibly even deceased insects for the colony to eat. But if they are living near your home, they will find that foraging is much simpler.
Because they enjoy living in wooden houses, these ants can cause damage to the wooden structures in your home. They may not be able to sting you, but an angry carpenter ant will bite with its mandibles which were designed for gnawing on wood, and can do some serious damage. If you find these ants in your home, it is probably best not to pick them up.
A carpenter ant is one of the larger varieties of ants, and is generally about ¼ to ½ inch long. They are usually black or sometimes reddish orange in coloring. You should be able to tell if your home has an infestation because these ants will appear in trails, usually in the kitchen area where they can access your food items. If there is standing water or a leaky faucet in the bathroom, they may appear here as well. Another trace they may leave behind is the sawdust like substance they create when making galleries. In the dead of night when all is completely still; you may be able to hear them breaking apart the wood that will become their home.
If you do not have a carpenter ant problem and would like your life to continue on a similar path, there are some preventative steps to take. First, let no leak go on leaking. Make sure that all of the plumbing in your home is running in top notch condition. Address any leaks that may be coming into your home via the roof or cracks in the wall. Ensure that no tree branch comes into physical contact with the outside of your home. Seal any cracks or large openings in the foundation, and keep firewood piles far from the house. If a carpenter ant issue has made itself painfully apparent, take action immediately. Any delaying on your part may only make the problem much worse. Contact a local pest control company and have the problem removed from your property.