Carpenter Ants Fact Sheet

How do I know if I have Carpenter Ants?
Should I attempt to kill these ants?
What kind of damage can these ants do?
How much does it cost ?

Carpenter Ants are big for ants. They are 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch long, black in colour and burrow in water damaged or unsound wood. Most people actually see these ants walking around in their kitchen or bathroom. They are searching for a water source. Another sign of Carpenter Ants is piles of sawdust (also called frass) under window frames or dropping from the ceiling.

For the homeowner to try to kill these ants can be a frustrating experience. If you spray one or two ants you eliminated a few out of hundreds. Baits that are sold at retail stores are designed to attract and kill sugar feeding ants. Carpenter Ants are protein feeders and baits are not effective. The trick is to find the nest, and believe me that can be time consuming and sometimes impossible. Special equipment is necessary to locate and destroy carpenter ant nests. Stethoscopes and special chemicals are used to find and flush them out. Often holes are drilled into walls, and chemicals injected to eliminate these pests.

Carpenter Ants do not eat wood but tunnel through it to lay eggs and raise young. They have been known to completely destroy load bearing wooden beams like roof joices. Cathedral ceiling beams and window frames are favourite places of these ants. If you see these ants inside your home in the winter months you know there is a nest somewhere in the house. Once the nest has been located and destroyed the damaged wood should be removed and replaced. This is also a good time to find out how that wood became infested. Is there a leak in the roof? Is there water leaking in around that window?

Call an experienced exterminator with knowledge of carpenter ants.

Carpenter Ant treatments can be expensive ranging from $400 to over $1000 as there can be several nests.

If you live in a wooded area or have a house that has had water damage it is a good idea to have an exterior treatment for carpenter ants yearly this will guarantee no ants invade your home.