The Carpenter Ant is one
of the most destructive structural pests in the northwest United
Ants have an evenly curved "thoracic dorsum", this is the back of the
insect. The most common member of this family is Modoc; it is black
with reddish colored legs, but color is not a good indicator as some
types have red parts. These ants are often found moving along foraging
lines about 1 foot apart. Trees, fences and firewood are all regular
paths that they are known to use.
in the Home
Carpenter ants will damage homes by nesting in them. The
will dig out tunnels in wood to expand their living spaces and can
lead to structural damage. The infestation in the home usually
is a satellite colony, with the main one within a hundred yards
or more in a stump or other decayed wood. When colonies
start to establish themselves in homes, they may start small (a few
hundred members) but can grow to several tens of thousands.
There can be 20 or more satellite colonies.
Making your Home Resistant to Carpenter
Stumps, fire wood:
Take care when storing firewood. This is a favorite nesting
location for Carpenter ants. Always keep wood elevated
and covered from the rain. A wet pile of firewood in contact
with the ground is an ideal infestation location. Stumps
left in the yard are common locations for colonies.
Never allow plants to make contact with
the home. Trees and shrubs provide natural paths for insects
and are frequently foraging sites.
It is a conducive condition for pests when wood touches
soil. Wood should rest on concrete or other suitable
support, and when it is in direct contact with the ground pressure
treated lumber is recommended. Beauty bark or other
landscaping is often piled too high next to homes. This can
lead to rot/decay and lead to a Carpenter ant infestation.
Crawlspaces and attics need adequate ventilation to keep the
moisture content low. If the ventilation is not adequate,
there will be biogrowth (mold, mildew or fungus) and create
conditions that encourage infestations. Vapor barriers are recommended
in crawlspaces. This will help keep the framing under the
home dry and provide a barrier to discourage pests.
Points of Entry:
Check for holes in the exterior of the home, where pipes
and electrical wires enter. Doors, windows, foundation cracks,
siding and trim are all common locations for ants. Seal
these areas with caulk or other suitable materials to discourage
Read more about Carpenter ant control
WSU Extension Bulletin 0818.CARPENTER ANTS: THEIR BIOLOGY AND CONTROL,
L. D. Hansen.
Ant Update, PCT Magazine April 2002, L. D. Hansen.