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Signs of carpenter ants damage

There are two types of carpenter ant nets: parent colonies and satellite colonies. Parent colonies are typically established outdoors in moist wood including rotting trees, tree roots, tree stumps, and logs or boards lying on or buried in the ground. They may also nest in moist or decayed wood inside buildings. Wood decay may be caused by exposure to water leaks, condensation, or poor air circulation. Nests have been found behind bathroom tiles; around tubs, sinks, showers, and dishwashers; under roofing, in attic beams, and under subfloor insulation; and in hollow spaces such as doors, curtain rods, and wall voids. Areas around windows and where wood parts touch the foundation may be prone to infestation. Carpenter ants may also nest in foam insulation. Parent carpenter ant colonies sometimes establish one or more satellite nests in nearby indoor or outdoor sites. Satellite nests are typically composed of workers, pupae, and mature larvae. A satellite nest with less moisture may only support workers (the eggs would dry out in lower humidity). For this reason, satellite nests can be found in relatively dry locations, such as insulation, hollow doors, sound wood, and wall voids. The workers of satellite colonies move readily between their nest and the parent colony. In late summer, winged reproductives (i.e. queens and males) may emerge from pupae transported into satellite colonies. They may appear in structures in late winter and early spring as they swarm from a satellite nest. Carpenter ants may move eggs into satellite nests inside a house or other structure if there is enough moisture. Sometimes a homeowner sees ants and suspects a problem which is later confirmed by a pest control operator. Often carpenter ants are discovered during the inspection prior to the sale of a house. Usually the result is the application of pesticides both inside and around the outside of the home.
The shock caused by the discovery of carpenter ants often leads to premature and ill-considered decisions. Despite your vivid image of thousands of ants literally eating your house, the fact is that you probably have plenty of time. Don't panic! There may not even be a nest inside the home. Even if there is, a colony consisting of 200 to 300 worker ants is at least 2 to 4 years old, and in two weeks they won’t do much additional damage. Carpenter ants are destructive pests, but you should not feel pressured by a pest control operator to schedule a treatment immediately. A positive identification requires collecting a few of the largest ants and inspecting them under a magnifying glass. Carpenter ants have a smoothly curved (convex) upper back, while most other types of ants have a notch in this area. Carpenter ants are easily distinguished from termites, too. Termites have thick waists while ants have thin ones. Termites have straight to slightly curved antennae, but ants’ antennae have a right angle bend in them. There are plenty of options to choose from, and some options will handle the problem even if you’ve incorrectly identified the pest (several pesticides, for example, will kill both termites and carpenter ants](, because it is easy to confuse one for the other). [What kills carpenter ants best depends on your exact situation, and most carpenter ant killers are designed with certain types of infestation in mind.

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Seattle, WA

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  • Uploaded on April 28, 2016
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    by Daniel Muk