Dealing with Carpenter Ants

What Can A Homeowner Do To Prevent Carpenter Ant Infestations?

bathtubAt the top of the list is eliminating sources of moisture. In all likelihood, if a home has a carpenter ant problem, it usually has a water-related problem as well that has caused decaying or mold-infested wood that has attracted the ants.

Nests are commonly found:

  • behind bathroom tiles
  • around tubs, sinks, showers, and dishwashers
  • under roofing, in attic beams
  • under subfloor insulation
  • in foam insulation.  

The only effective, long-term way to control carpenter ants is to locate and destroy the nest, replace damaged or decayed wood, and eliminate moisture problems. Otherwise, a homeowner will always be facing re-infestation problems. With any pest problem, the primary task for the homeowner is to make the necessary changes to reduce the likelihood of re-infestation and if there is a re-infestation to reduce the likelihood if its severity. A pest control professional can work hand in hand with the homeowner in identifying and overseeing those changes. The best way to deal with carpenter ant infestations is through prevention. Some of the key areas are to:

  • Replace any moisture-damaged wood in your home.
  • Store wood or lumber in a garage or near the house so that it is kept dry and, if possible, elevated and off the ground to allow air circulation.
  • Store firewood as far from buildings as possible and keep it dry. Inspect any firewood for ants before bringing it into the house.
  • Remove tree and shrub stumps and roots; leaving them to rot is an open invitation for these pests.
  • Trim branches that overhang the home or touch electrical wires connected to the house.
  • Seal cracks or small openings near the base of your home.
  • Remove water sources and moisture in and around your home.

Finally, landscaping must be done with an eye toward minimizing the possible nesting sites of the ants. Piles of decorative bark are one of the prime sources for carpenter ant colonies and, even though it may be aesthetically attractive, it must be kept at a minimum for at-risk homes on wooded lots. Stacking firewood against a home is always a bad idea and can lead to problems. If the wood happens to be infested, the home will be infested. Firewood should be stacked away from the house in a shelter to keep it dry.

By being proactive in caring for one’s home and surrounding property, homeowners can take important steps that will significantly reduce the likelihood of a carpenter ant infestation. But if there is a carpenter ant infestation, contact a pest control professional immediately. Otherwise, the colony will continue to expand and cause even more damage. A licensed, reputable, experienced pest control operator can handle the infestation quickly and cost-effectively.

For service in Woodbridge, Edison, Lakewood, Toms River, Brick, Trenton, Piscataway, Old Bridge, Middletown, Princeton Junction and nearby New Jersey, contact Cowleys Pest Services.

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