Why Do I Have A Carpenter Ant Problem In My Oklahoma City, OK Home?

carpenter ant on wood
Carpenter ants are one of the most destructive ants in Oklahoma City.  They establish nests in weathered lumber that touches the soil, such as deck support.  Their nest may expand into adjacent sound wood. While carpenter ants do not usually damage a structure as termites do, they are a major concern. 

Description Of Carpenter Ants 

Depending on the species, carpenter ants can be all black, all orange, some combination of orange and black.  The worker ants are 1/8th to ½ inch long, depending on the species. The swarming queens can be an inch long, including their wings. 

Lifecycle Of Carpenter Ants 

A mature colony consists of at least 2,000 produces winged reproductives, also called swarmers.  The males and females mate and the females establish a nest in a cavity in wood. She lays her first eggs there. When they hatch, she feeds them on salivary secretions. After the first larvae turn into worker ants, they forage and bring back food, care for the eggs, larvae, and queen, and keep the nest clean. When the nest expands, the workers chew the wood to make more room. Satellite nests are formed around the original nest. Tunnels in wood connect the nests.

What Attracts Carpenter Ants 

Carpenter ants are attracted to sites near moisture and moist wood. They do not eat the wood, merely nest in it. Carpenter ants eat proteins and sugars such as dead insects, honeydew secretions from aphids, plant juices, and pet foods. They will invade the kitchen if there is something for them to eat there. Trash cans can contain a feast of food for carpenter ants. The ants are generally nocturnal but will come out in the day if they find something especially good.

Preventing Carpenter Ants

Preventing carpenter ants is much easier than trying to get rid of an infestation. Here are some tips to prevent carpenter ants from nesting in your home:

  • Clean up and get rid of any dead trees, logs, tree branches, and rotting wood.
  • Keep the yard mowed and neat.
  • Repair all water leaks promptly.
  • Make sure gutters are kept clean and downspouts direct water away from the house.
  • Have landscape timbers and mulch in flower beds regularly inspected to detect any carpenter ants present.
  • Make sure attics and crawl spaces are adequately vented.
  • Trim trees and shrubs away from the house because ants use them as a bridge to your home.
  • Caulk any holes and cracks from the foundation.
  • Put small pieces of window screen over the wall vents and caulk them in place to exclude ants.
  • Make sure window and door screens fit tightly and do not have any holes in them.
  • Make sure door sweeps are in good repair and do not have any gaps in them.
  • Treat any infestations of aphids in your plants that are near the house.
  • Repair any water leaks, especially in the walls, promptly.
  • Clean up food and drink spills promptly.
  • Put food in metal or glass containers so ants can’t get in them.
  • Pick up pet food at night.
  • Place trash in a can with a tight-fitting lid.  
  • Take trash out to the outside trash can regularly and keep the lid on the trash can.

The Damage Carpenter Ants Cause

In most cases, carpenter ants do not do structural damage.  The damage they cause is more cosmetic.  However, they are a reportable insect for real estate transactions, so they can cause problems selling your house if you have them.  Because carpenter ants form so many satellite nests, it is tough to kill them all.  If you miss a nest, the ants will just come back. 

Getting Professional Help

Guaranteed Pest Service of Oklahoma can get rid of your carpenter ants once and for all.  We will come out and inspect your house and yard and develop a custom ant control treatment plan.  We will treat the inside and outside of the house with a pet and kid-friendly treatments.  Our regular service will renew the treatments to keep the ants away.  Contact Guaranteed Pest Service of Oklahoma today to get rid of your ants. 

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