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Carpenter Ant Help

Summary:  Ants have colonized starring roles in animated features, but having ants in your home isn't child's play. Despite the name, carpenter ants haven't come to remodel your kitchen. Here's the carpenter ant help you have been seeking.

Here is the 411 on carpenter ants.

Carpenter Ant Control:
Prevention really is the best option when it comes to carpenter ants. If your home is in an area with a carpenter ant population, after completing all outdoor prevention steps you may also want to consider a barrier of pesticide granules using a product like Maxforce Complete.

Removing carpenter ants indoors requires identifying the nest location and there's usually more than one. Although there are options available to homeowners, because nests are hidden and carpenter ants are savvy, professional exterminators will generally be more successful. If you do use indoor products for carpenter ant treatment, I recommend products like Maxforce Carpenter Ant Bait. Please follow all directions exactly.

Carpenter ant identification and prevention is really key. Controlling carpenter ants may be no picnic, but if you've done your part, you can put an end to the parade of ants invading your home.

There are several species of carpenter ants. They vary in size, but like America's Most Wanted, carpenter ants have distinguishing characteristics.
Carpenter Ant Identification:

In late spring you'll see winged carpenter ants, but for most of the year carpenter ants are wingless.

Carpenter ant workers are black or red and black and 3/8 to 1/2 inch long.

Winged queen ants may be as large as 1 inch, and hind wings are shorter than front wings.

Carpenter ants have scent trails that may be up to 100 feet long, although you may see only a few carpenter ants on the trail at a time.

Carpenter ants are mostly active at night, from sundown to midnight.

Carpenter ants chew wood and leave shavings or sawdust clues.

Carpenter ants are drawn to leaky and damp areas because nesting eggs require moisture.

Carpenter Ant Food Preferences:
Outdoors carpenter ants food preferences include living or dead insects and the "honeydew," a sweet liquid produced by aphids and other insects.

In your home, carpenter ant food preferences include meat (They especially like tuna packed in water, not oil.), syrups, sugar, jelly and other sweets.

Where do carpenter ants like to live?
Most ants are small and nest underground. This is not so for carpenter ants. Carpenter ants are larger and live above ground in moist cavities ranging from tree stumps to sub-floors to curtain rods.

Outdoors carpenter ants thrive in rotting trees, tree stumps or boards lying on or buried in the ground. In your home, carpenter ants may thrive behind or under bathroom tiles, sinks, showers, dishwashers, roofing and attic beams, sub-floor insulation and in hollow spaces including curtain rods and wall voids.

Carpenter Ant Myth:
Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not eat wood. They remove wood when creating tunnels. Carpenter ants create galleries or tunnels and the hole will be smooth. There will be no sawdust inside the hole, as they remove it completely.

Although rotting wood is preferred, since carpenter ants don't actually use the wood the way termites do, carpenter ants may choose another medium such as foam insulation.

Carpenter Ant Colony Prevention:
Just a spoonful of sugar may indeed make the medicine go down, but it can invite the carpenter ant colony. Here are some things you can do to prevent carpenter ant infestations.

Vacuum and wipe down surfaces that may be supplying favorite foods.

Eliminate high-moisture areas with air circulation.

Replace moisture-damaged wood.

Lumber or fireweed stored near the home should be dry and if possible elevated for airflow.

Remove tree and shrub stumps and roots.

Keep branches away from electrical lines, as carpenter ants will use them as a highway to your home.

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