Among the many different species of insects, ants seem to be the most common in the world. If you look on any sidewalk, in any major yard, or even in the jungles you’ll find a species of this mighty creature and they are so small that you might not even be afraid. It is not until you meet one that will sting and keep stinging until you are crippled that you start to realize that there are some that can be more dangerous than others. Carpenter ants are one of the larger species that you might find, and they are quite interesting. They aren’t the kind that you should fear for your life, but they are some that can multiply fast, and cause serious damage to your home.
As stated above this insect is one of the larger versions of ants that you’ll find in the world. They are often found inside decaying wet wooden areas. They choose this often to build their nests and are unlike termites in that they don’t eat the wood. This is a mistake that many people make when they discover that they have been infested. They will hollow out trees but they do not eat the bark or the wood, they simply cycle through. The most common that you will see in the civilized world is the black Carpenter ant, one of thousands of species that are found worldwide.
You’ll find that a home and yard can be infiltrated and for lack of a better term infested with this type of species wherever there is moist or hollowed out wood. Look for them underneath windows, in the cracks that appear between shingles on a roof, wooded decks, porches, and any other areas that could be damp from the elements. They are the most common areas you’ll find pests due to the moisture that can collect and sit.
Like termites Carpenter ants can damage the structures of buildings quite easily. They leave a trail of dust that can be a clue for homeowners to what they have to deal with. In order to not confuse them with termites, look for smoothed out areas that have dust or sawdust looking material that leads to a larger nest area.
There is a rare species of this insect that will explode. They are native to Southeastern Asia but can be introduced into a home area due to travel. It is rare, but they can spray a toxic chemical that can be dangerous to humans. If residue is seen from the mandibular area, or across several areas, keep away from them and call a professional immediately.
In order to control an all out outbreak and extreme infestation it’s important to call a professional exterminator upon first noticing Carpenter ants. Do not try to go with over the counter items, as it will not fully fix the problem. A professional will be able to apply several areas with an insecticide that is specially formulated for this type of ant and will inject hollowed out areas with a poison that will kill the whole colony. Do not try to do this on your own, as you will need a specialized mixture, and attack plan to get to the colony and thwart recurring issues.
Ant image courtesy of http://www.wikipedia.org/