What San Antonio Property Owners Ought To Know About Carpenter Ants
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What San Antonio Property Owners Ought To Know About Carpenter Ants 

Would you know a carpenter ant if you saw one? We hope so. Carpenter ants can be destructive pests when they get into San Antonio properties. Today, we're going to give you everything you ought to know about these wood-damaging insects.

Identification Of Carpenter Ants In San Antonio

close up of a carpenter ant

The most destructive carpenter ant species are Camponotus spp. These ants are usually black, red, or a mixture of black and red. They have polymorphic workers that range in size from 1/2 to 5/8 of an inch long. Winged female and male reproductives are twice this size.

If you see an inch-long black ant with wings, you don't have to wonder if it is a carpenter ant. Carpenter ants are the largest winged ants that you're going to see in your home. It can, however, be difficult to tell small carpenter ants from ants of other species.

If you're not sure, try capturing one of the ants and take a magnified look at it. A carpenter ant has one node between the thorax and the abdomen. You might think of that as the waist of the ant. Also, look to see if it has antennae that look like backward bicycle handlebars. If so, you probably have carpenter ants.

Identifying Carpenter Ants By Behavior

If you're having trouble telling whether or not you have carpenter ants in your San Antonio yard, you may be able to distinguish these ants by their behavior. A carpenter ant behaves differently than other ants.

  • They can be found living inside the cavities of trees, underneath leaf mulch, and in woodpiles.
  • They can nest in the ground but they do not create a mound above ground.
  • They are most likely to be found where the ground tends to stay moist.
  • They generate a material called frass. This is a mixture of sawdust, insect parts, and feces.
  • They bore holes in wood.

What You Might Not Know About Carpenter Ants

  • While these ants can be a double threat by damaging your home and getting into your food, they can damage your home and not get into your food. Carpenter ants can find many food sources outside. A particular food source of interest is honeydew. This is produced by aphids, whiteflies, scales, and other wood-damaging insects. If you have lots of these insects, you can have a large population of carpenter ants inside the walls of your home without knowing it.
  • While carpenter ants prefer to tunnel through wood that has been softened by water damage, they can tunnel into perfectly sound timber.
  • While carpenter ants produce frass, this warning sign may not be obvious. This material can be pushed out into wall voids, cellars, basements, crawl spaces, and other hidden locations.
  • Winged ants can be a noticeable warning sign of a carpenter ant infestation, but it is important to be aware that these winged ants usually exit the nest outside of the home. Once outside, they gather into a swarm that lasts for less than 30 minutes. A swarm can come and go in the time it takes you to go to a fast-food restaurant and come back.
  • Wood damage can be a sign of a carpenter ant infestation, but the damage done by carpenter ants is often in dark, damp locations. If you don't crawl under exterior structures, or into crawl spaces, you may not be able to see any damage.
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Carpenter Ant Prevention

One of the best ways to prevent a carpenter ant infestation is to alter conditions in your yard and around your home. Female and male carpenter ant reproductives look for a desirable place to establish a nest. Here are a few things they look for:

  • Damp ground
  • Shade
  • Wood stacks
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Stumps and logs
  • Trees with heart rot
  • Piles of leaves
  • Voids (such as the empty spaces within your walls, floors, and ceilings.)

Entry Points

When carpenter ants encroach upon your San Antonio home, they mustn't find gaps, cracks, or holes to get in through. Seal your foundation walls and address any entry points in your exterior.

When You Notice Carpenter Ant Activity

At the first sign of carpenter ant activity, contact White Knight Pest Control. We help San Antonio property owners protect their investments from carpenter ants, termites, and other wood-damaging pests through our effective pest control services. Reach out to us today for immediate assistance with your carpenter ant problem. We can help!

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