Sometimes it’s the little things that create the most damage. This is the case with carpenter ants, creatures that have a reputation for eating away at the wood of houses, weakening or destroying their structure. In fact, in Quebec, this insect is the only one that can give access to a recourse for hidden defect following the purchase of a building. This just goes to show how bad these ants can be! With the help of this article, discover 1) some characteristics of these ants, 2) how to detect their presence in your home, 3) what to do to avoid hosting them involuntarily and 4) steps to take in case of infestation.
Some characteristics of carpenter ants
In Quebec, there are between two and five types of carpenter ants, the best known of which are the red ants and the black ants. As their name indicates, these species are distinguished by their color. However, several characteristics are unique to this type of insect, regardless of species. In particular, they have a very slender waist, a rounded thorax, and are generally 6 to 25 mm long. Instead of eating the wood (a popular but false idea), these bugs tunnel through it, forming their own home inside yours.
How to know if you have small visitors
Of course, the most obvious sign of the presence of carpenter ants is to find them in your home. Even if you only see a few, don’t think that an infestation is impossible or unlikely. It could be that the ants you encounter are brave chosen by the queen to search for food and water for the rest of the colony.
Also be on the lookout for streaks or piles of small sawdust in the house, sections of damaged wood or rustling from the walls: these are other warning signs that should not be ignored.
How to avoid a carpenter ant infestation
Starting today, you can take concrete steps to prevent your home from becoming infested. First, take a close look at the exterior of your home and your yard to make sure there is no nest. Also seal any openings that could allow ants to enter, remove any rotten or dead trees near your home, make sure there are no moisture problems in or around the house, and store your food in sealed dishes. It’s very simple, but very important!
My house is infested: what to do?
If, despite the precautions you have taken, you still find yourself with an infestation, do not panic. The more resourceful among you will try to solve the problem by themselves. The most effective method? Eliminate the nest. Be aware, however, that this can be very difficult, as ants sometimes build several nests, called “satellite nests”.
The easiest way is to contact Brisebois extermination. A technician will be able to determine the severity of the problem and inform you of the steps to take. This way, you will sleep with a clear head.