What are carpenter ants?
Carpenter ants in Texas are a wood-destroying species of ants that can cause pretty severe damage to homes and any other structure they invade. Carpenter ants in Texas can specifically prove to be a problem as they are a common sight around Texas homes throughout the year. Even though their natural nesting sites are in trees, carpenter ants can also invade your indoor space.
Identifying carpenter ants
Carpenter ants are one of the larger species of ants you can find in Texas homes. The state is home to 18 different carpenter ant species. The most common of these ants have a reddish head and thorax with a black tail. They grow larger during mating season and also have wings. We refer to these winged carpenter ants as “swarmers”. Other species of carpenter ants are black and yellow in color.
Are carpenter ants dangerous?
While carpenter ants can certainly inflict a painful bite, they are a much greater threat to property than to people. These insects are attracted to areas of your home with water-damaged structural wood. Areas like under your sinks and near drains. They seek out moisture. Carpenter ants are like termites in the fact that they tunnel through your structural wood, but they differ in that they do not feed on it. But, they build satellite nests near their newly found food source.
What do they eat?
Outdoors, carpenter ants feed on living and dead insects. They also feed on honeydew, which is a sweet liquid produced by aphids and scale insects. There are a variety of food sources they are drawn to inside your home. Any sweet substance like honey or syrup, pet food, or any source of protein. They do not eat wood.
Where will I find them?
Most often, carpenter ants build their nests outside in wooded areas such as dead tree stumps, mulch piles, rotting fence posts, and under rocks. Since you really don’t want them coming into your home, it is imperative you know their go-to spots if they make it inside. Once again, any moist area where structural wood has been compromised is a target.
How to prevent carpenter ants
Once you start seeing carpenter ants around your property you may already have an infestation. Here are some helpful ideas you can follow to prevent these pests from invading in the first place.
- Use dehumidifies inside your home or business, and properly ventilate your crawlspace.
- Remove any wood debris from your yard, including fallen trees and tree stumps.
- Store your food in airtight containers.
- Vacuum and sweep your floors regularly.
- Wipe down countertops and kitchen appliances on a regular basis.
- Install quality weather stripping around all your windows and doors.
- Routinely check your gutters to prevent water from seeping into your building.
- Inspect the exterior of your property, sealing any cracks leading into your home or business.
- Remove piles of leaves, mulch, or debris from your property
- Make sure all your garbage cans and recycle bins have tight-fitting lids.
- Place a stone or crushed rock barrier between your foundation and mulch or grass
How do I get rid of carpenter ants?
Carpenter ants in Texas are an extreme annoyance and can be very hard to control. There are natural remedies you can try before venturing into chemical sprays and insecticides. A simple mixture of soap and water is toxic to carpenter ants. Mix one part natural dish soap to two parts water in a spray bottle. Spray as needed to kill the ants and eliminate their pheromone trails. You can continue to treat problem areas and nests until the ants no longer return.
Quite often, home remedies will only work temporarily and you will likely see the pesky ants return. So, many homeowners choose to bypass these less effective home solutions and contact their local pest control experts. When it comes to pest control in the Dallas area, the experienced team at Vinx Pest Control are the ones to call. We guarantee your satisfaction or
we’ll keep servicing until you are completely satisfied. Our team of professionals is knowledgeable and skilled at every service we provide. Contact us today for a free quote and we can begin developing a specific treatment plan for your property. Click here to see pricing.