Tar O Mar - Carpenter Ants

Carpenter Ants

General Info

  •     Carpenter ants gnaw into wood to make or expand their colonies, not to eat wood
  •     These ants have large and powerful jaws and will bite if disturbed
  •     Carpenter ants are found all over the U.S. but are particularly troublesome in the Pacific Northwest


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Where They Nest

  •     Carpenter ants commonly build indoor colonies in wall voids, attics, and water-damaged or rotting structural wood
  •     Common outdoor colonies are found in sheds, firewood, deck woods, tree trunks, gutters, and soffits
  •     Look for ants going in and out of a hole with small bits of sawdust around the opening – this is a sign that the colony is nearby

What They Want From You

When seen indoors, they are looking for:

  •     Food in the form of insects which is their main diet
  •     Moisture found in and around the sink, shower, leaky pipes, and spills - these are ideal locations for building new, indoor colonies

Carpenter ants can enter the home:

  •     Via a tree branch or utility lines that are touching part of the home
  •     Through cracks in the foundation, gaps, or openings around windows and doors
  •     On firewood brought inside to burn



Why They’re A Problem

  •     The presence of carpenter ants can be a sign of water or moisture problems in your roof, gutters, porch, deck, floors, or walls
  •     Large colonies that are left untreated can be as destructive to homes as termites

Tips & Tricks

  •     Search for leaks in and around areas where you see these ants. These leaks/moist areas will need to be repaired/corrected
  •     Remove limbs/shrubs that touch the house, particularly the roof – ants use these contact points to gain access
  •     Remove stumps and dying trees within 50 feet of the house/garage – these are perfect spots for new colonies to start
  •     Store firewood off the bare ground and away from the house
  •     Consider using inorganic mulches (stone, gravels) in areas where you have had problems with ants, or where ground moisture is a re-occurring problem
  •     Inspect older trees carefully for signs of outdoor colonies