How Do I Know If I Have Carpenter Ants In My Boise Home?

April 15, 2022

Carpenter ants are highly social insects characterized by their powerful mandibles, which enable them to chew through solid wood. They carve out intricate nests inside wooden structures, but unlike termites, they don't consume the wood. Instead, they expel the shavings from their newly constructed colonies as they continue to expand. The damage this causes cannot be understated. Given enough time to their own devices, a carpenter ant colony can become quite a serious threat to the structural integrity of your Boise home. Although not nearly as insidious as termites, carpenter ants can still be quite difficult to detect, so it's important to be able to recognize the signs of a growing infestation. Read on to learn more about these pests, including how best to stop them.

carpenter ant crawling and chewing on wood

How To Identify Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are a fairly distinctive species, being slightly larger than many other familiar ants in our area at about half an inch to an inch long. They have a shiny black or sometimes dark red exoskeleton and prominent mandibles. Because they don't actually eat the wood they tunnel through, you can often spot them foraging for food to bring back to the colony.

If I See One, Are There More?

Probably, yes. Ants, including carpenter ants, are eusocial foragers. Each ant acts in the interests of its colony, so if you spot some workers creeping around your property, it's a sure sign that their boss is nearby, so to speak. A queen can produce as many as eight hundred eggs per day, so you can imagine how quickly their numbers will spiral out of control. If you've noticed any carpenter ants around your property, it's probably a good idea to check for any other, less obvious signs of an all-out infestation.

How To Identify Carpenter Ant Damage

Carpenter ants can cause a lot of damage to the internal structure of your home, but unfortunately, it isn't often very obvious unless you know exactly what to look for. That's why it's so important to know the signs, so you can identify the problem before it gets out of hand. It's also important to distinguish between carpenter ant damage and termite damage since they can seem somewhat similar at first glance. Though the damage can be difficult to discern, but here are some things to watch out for:

  • Pinhole patterns of damage in walls or doors
  • Smooth tunnels carved through wooden structures
  • Piles of wood shavings littering baseboards and corners of rooms
  • Shed wings from their reproductive swarmers
  • Suspicious sounds emanating from walls
  • Actual carpenter ants found anywhere on your property

How Do I Get Rid Of Carpenter Ants?

Even simply identifying the problem is a daunting task, and it's only the first step. An infestation must be treated quickly and comprehensively due to the dangers involved, and DIY methods are prone to disappoint. At the end of the day, the best way to get rid of a carpenter ant infestation is to contact the professionals for help. 

The experts at Owyhee Environmental can take care of everything. Call now to schedule your inspection, and one of our highly trained pest control technicians will be on the scene as soon as it's convenient for you, ready with long-lasting treatments to eliminate any possible carpenter ant presence on your property and keep them away for good. Reach out and reclaim your peace of mind.

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