Are Carpenter Ants Common In Wilmington NC?


There are a number of wood-destroying insects that get into Wilmington homes. Termites are the most well-known and destructive of the bunch, but they’re certainly not the only ones you need to worry about. Learning about carpenter ants will help you in case of an infestation in your Wilmington home.

What Do Carpenter Ants Look Like?

It’s hard to mistake a carpenter ant for any other type of ant for one reason: their size. Carpenter ants are one of the largest ant species in the US. They grow to over ½ inch in length. Carpenter ants have clearly segmented bodies, with six legs and two elbowed antennae. They are usually black in color, but can also be rust red, or a combination of the two colors. Reproductive members of a carpenter ant colony look similar to other carpenter ants, but also have wings and can fly.

What Problems Do Carpenter Ants Cause?

Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not eat wood. However, they still cause major damage to wooden structures because they chew through them in order to build tunnels and nests. Over time, these tunnels and nests can become so extensive that they compromise the structural integrity of your home.

Carpenter ants will also contaminate food if they get into pantry items. Although they are not known to spread disease, foods that are found to have carpenter ants in them will have to be thrown out which wastes both food and money.

How Can You Prevent Carpenter Ants?

Carpenter ants must have food and water sources to survive. Typically, they flock to sweet substances, but they will eat just about any organic matter that's available. Fortunately, eliminating food sources for carpenter ants will also help keep other pests away. 

  • Clean surfaces of the home, particularly your kitchen to eliminate any crumbs. 
  • Sweep and vacuum your floor regularly. Clean behind appliances.
  • Monitor your pet food. Do not leave it out overnight, and clean your pet's dish regularly to eliminate leftover crumbs. 
  • Store pantry food items in sealed plastic or glass containers. 
  • Ensure that your trash can has a lid so that carpenter ants and other pests can't get inside.

Keeping your home as free of excess moisture as possible is another good way to help prevent carpenter ants from invading your house. Check frequently for leaking pipes or dripping faucets both inside and outside your house. Look for water damaged or rotting wood and replace any that you find. Reduce or eliminate areas of standing water around your property.

It’s also wise to seal openings into your house to prevent carpenter ants from getting inside. Look for cracks in your foundation, holes in your siding, and gaps around windows and doors. Seal or repair any that you find.

Since carpenter ants like wood, it's important to keep unnecessary wood sources away from the foundation or roof of your home. For example, trim tree branches to keep them away from your house and store woodpiles a distance away from your house. This will help prevent carpenter ants from getting inside.

How Can You Eliminate A Carpenter Ant Infestation?

If carpenter ants have invaded your Wilmington home, you may be tempted to use DIY ant traps or poisons. These methods may control the problem, but they will likely struggle to eliminate it. Furthermore, the misuse of poisons could be hazardous to children or pests.

In the end, it is best to contact a professional for your carpenter ant problem. Our experts at Bug-N-A-Rug Exterminators can help you with all of your solutions for pest control in your Wilmington home. We offer carpenter ant control services that will eliminate current infestations and prevent future ones from developing. Contact us for more information. We look forward to working with you so you no longer have to worry about carpenter ants or other unwanted pests.

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