When you think of pests that cause damage to the interior of your home, which pests do you think of? Do you think of mice or rats, pests that cause damage by gnawing and nest building? Or do you think of termites, pests that cause damage by feeding on the wooden structure of your home?
What about carpenter ants? Did you know a carpenter ant infestation could cause nearly as much damage as a mouse, rat, or termite infestation? It’s true. Carpenter ants can cause thousands of dollars to homeowners each year. One of the most common questions asked about carpenter ants is, “are they more active in the spring?” Well, let’s answer that now!
The Mid-March Swarm
After waking from winter dormancy, large groups of carpenter ants will swarm in search of two things: energy (sugars, food), and a queen to mate with. This swarm generally occurs in the middle of March, when the weather begins to warm up. Once the queen finds a mate, she will locate a place to nest, lay her eggs, and wait for them to hatch into mature workers.
It’s these mature workers that can cause significant damage to the structure of your home. While finding a queen carpenter ant does not necessarily mean you have an infestation in your home (yet), it does mean that it’s time to do a thorough inspection to ensure other ants are not present.
What They’re Looking For
Another reason why carpenter ants are more active in the spring is that they’re looking for damp, decaying wood to nest in. Damp wood allows carpenter ants to build their extensive homes with ease, and it also provides them with water while they work. So be aware, April showers don’t just bring May flowers; they can bring these pesky ants toward your home as well.
The top three sings of a springtime infestation are:
- Wood shavings – Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not eat wood. Instead, they make their nests in it. Similar to termites, one of the dead-giveaways to a carpenter ant infestation is wood shavings (frass) along your doors, windows, and baseboards.
- Ants – As previously mentioned, the sight of one carpenter ant does not mean you are facing an infestation. Even if it’s the queen. However, if you begin to spot them in large numbers (10 or more), the chances of a nest being present are higher, and preventative measures should be taken. The easiest way to identify carpenter ants is via their bent antennae, and their wings (the front set of wings are longer than the back set!)
- Hollowed out wood – If you think there is a nest somewhere in your home, tap on the wood. If it sounds hollow, a nest may be present.
Are carpenter ants more active in the spring? Yes. So, what should you do if you detect one of the telltale signs of an infestation? You should call the experts in carpenter ant prevention at Pest Control Unlimited. When it comes to insect extermination for your home, nobody does it better than us.
Our team of experts has the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to rid your home of these pesky insects. Through our one-time and/or quarterly program visits, we can eliminate any current infestations while setting up preventative methods to also eliminate the possibility of a re-infestation.
We’re just a phone call away, so contact us today! Give us a call at (888) 649-9919, or contact us here to learn more, or to begin your residential pest services.