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Surely, you have encountered a small insect crawling on the ground. The insect had distinctive characteristics like a tri-segmented body held together by joints, two antennas, six legs, and a powerful mandible. Did it ever cross your mind to question the insect species type? There is no doubt, humans tend to ignore most insect encounters, which is strange because this sighting could be the beginning of a catastrophe. The ant species you witnessed was what scientists have deemed a “carpenter ant.” What is a carpenter ant? And, how could this carpenter ant impact your future? Find out by reading the content provided below.
What Is A Carpenter Ant?
A carpenter ant is a social insect species, meaning it travels and lives in colonies of up to 10,000 or more. These insects range from solid black to reddish/brown to dark brown. They can be seen traveling along grassy paths, pathways, driveways, and walkways. There is generally a group of carpenter ants, as they do exhibit social behaviors. It is rare to see one carpenter ant traveling or working alone.
The biggest risk of a carpenter ant infestation is structural damage. These insects break down deteriorating wooden structures like tree stumps, building foundations, fence posts, decks, and porches. They will continue gnawing through the damaged wood until it is completely obliterated. The worker carpenter ant grows up to ½” in length while the queen carpenter ant is slightly larger at 5/8” in length.
What Signs Point To A Carpenter Ant Infestation?
The most commonly reported carpenter ant signs include the following;
- Visual Live Sightings – Live carpenter ants foraging for food on contaminated surfaces like the countertop, floor, or sink.
- “Frass” Trails – “Frass” is a term scientists utilize to describe the byproduct of ant gnawing. It is nothing more than sawdust. Frass can be found in piles near damaged wood and along paths where the carpenter ants traveled.
- Audible Noise – A large colony of carpenter ants hard at work can be heard through doors. Some witnesses describe the sound to be “rustling.”
- Swarming Insects – Some members of the carpenter ant colony has wings that are utilized when foraging for food. Swarmers will fly low over food, swooping down occasionally to pick up bits and pieces before carrying them back to the colony.
Why Is My Seattle Home Infested With Carpenter Ants?
Carpenter ant infestations can be contributed to one thing. This thing is an access point. If your home’s structure offered the carpenter ant an entrance point, this is why your home is infested. Carpenter ants are opportunist insects. They take advantage of every access point opportunity to infiltrate buildings.
Once inside your home, the insect begins foraging for food. Most homes have some type of food remnant lying around after meals and snacks. This is what the carpenter ants will feed on and take back to their colony. As long as the access point is open, the carpenter ants will continue coming and going.
Do Carpenter Ants Carry Diseases And Parasites?
The carpenter ant species has not been shown to carry diseases or parasites. However, the species has been associated with foodborne illnesses associated with contaminated food. The carpenter ant consumes contaminated food and eventually deposits it on countertops where humans prepare their meals. The humans unknowingly ingest the contaminated food, resulting in a foodborne illness.
What Is The Best Pest Control Approach To Get Rid Of A Carpenter Ant Infestation?
The best pest control approach to eradicate carpenter ant infestations is our professional pesticides. We believe professional- and commercial-grade pesticide formulas outweigh the standard over-the-counter pesticide formula by a long shot. We also combine the pesticides with traps and other pest control techniques to ensure a speedy, successful outcome.
Please feel free to contact our Seattle extermination team to learn more about our professional pest management strategies.
Will DIY Pest Control Products Eradicate A Carpenter Ant Infestation?
You must remember, carpenter ant infestations are extremely complex. These insects build extensive underground tunnels to store their nests and house their young and the queen. These tunnels can stretch for several feet and have many twists and turns in many cases. So, the satellite carpenter ant group inside your home is minor compared to the large colony patiently waiting on the exterior of your property.
When Should I Expect The Exterminator To Arrive At My Seattle Home To Perform The Inspection?
Once we receive a pest inspection request, we immediately get to work processing it. This process will take between 24 to 48 hours, at which time an exterminator will be dispatched to your home. If you believe your carpenter ant problem needs emergency attention, do not hesitate to inquire about our same-day and emergency pest control services. While these services are slightly more expensive than our standard 48-hour pet control, some Seattle residents believe it is the better option for their carpenter ant infestation.
Does Carpenter Ant Pest Control Pose Health Risks To Humans, Especially Children?
Our carpenter ant pest control heeds the US Environmental Protection Agency guidelines. Of course, we take pest control safety extremely seriously. We require the family to be evacuated the infested home several hours before and after treatment is rendered. This effort helps prevent the family from being exposed to chemical-based pesticides. We also heed the manufacturer’s storage, handling, and treatment recommendations.
We also educate our clients and their families on the risk of chemical-based pesticides. Our goal is to protect our clients and their home and family from any potential side effects related to our pest control services.
What Is The Best Carpenter Bee Prevention Strategy In Seattle?
Seattle homes and businesses are always under a carpenter ant threat. For this reason, we believe a prevention strategy is crucial in combating carpenter ant infestations. We suggest starting with a strategy to seal all potential access points around doors, windows, entrance thresholds, electrical wiring, and plumbing pipes. Utilizing a waterproof sealant like caulk or silicone will work great for small crevices and gaps. Customized-cut plywood will need to be utilized to fill in large openings around utilizing openings.
We also suggest an updated cleaning schedule and processed food storage system utilizing glass and hard plastic containers with lids. This will help carpenter ants from attacking your processed food stored in original paperboard and plastic packages. Carpenter ant mandibles can chew right through these materials without a moment’s notice.
Please feel free to take advantage of our free in-home inspections and consultations as well.