Ants might not look dangerous, and in truth, most ant species are completely harmless. There are thousands of ant species across the world, and though they might be small, ants have a huge impact on the environment, including right here in Lincoln, California. But California residents should worry about one ant in particular: the carpenter ant.
Lincoln homeowners should be skeptical of any ant that’s crawling around the house, but if they are identified as carpenter ants roaming about your Lincoln home, it requires immediate attention. Let’s discuss how to identify these pests and what Lincoln residents should do about them.
Carpenter Ant Identification Tips
Carpenter ants share many characteristics with other ants. They have segmented bodies with a head, a thorax (midsection), and an enlarged abdomen (rear end). Six legs grow from the thorax, two short antennae sit on top of the head, and if you look close enough, you can also see pincers near the mouth.
There are a few things that make carpenter ants distinct from other ant species. First, carpenter ants generally have a dark brown head and abdomen, but a lighter red thorax. Second, carpenter ants are relatively large ants, growing over ¼ of an inch. Finally, carpenter ants have body-length wings, and large, flying ants in Lincoln are definitely carpenter ants. If these characteristics sound like your ant problem, you should know the problems they’re causing in your home right now.
Why Carpenter Ants Are Bad For Lincoln Properties
As their name implies, carpenter ants love wood. These hungry insects tunnel and build colonies in wood that is soft or decaying, developing nests that can span throughout a building’s foundation. Over time, carpenter ants weaken the foundation of your home or business, resulting in costly property damages. If that isn’t bad enough, carpenter ants will also feed on whatever food you have in your house. These ants merely tunnel through wood to build a nest, but they still need to eat, and your pantry is the perfect snack for these pests. Whether they feed on scraps in your trash can or the food in your pantry, this foraging can spread diseases and make their presence in your house a nightmare.
Luckily, seeing one carpenter ant doesn’t necessarily mean you have others. Carpenter ants are more likely to stray from the colony than other ant species, but you should still check for the signs of a carpenter ant colony if you see one. These signs include wood damage, discolorations along the walls, creaky floorboards, and scattered ant wings. Although carpenter ants aren’t nearly as destructive as termites, the damage will increase and compound over time. Carpenter ants can make Lincoln properties much more difficult to live in, by contaminating your food and weakening your property, a prolonged infestation can yield serious consequences.
Carpenter Ant Prevention Tips
How do you keep carpenter ants out of your Lincoln household? There are a few things that draw these damaging pests towards your property, so getting rid of these attractions makes it much harder for carpenter ants to move in.
Moisture control: Moisture makes wood weak and soft, which is perfect for carpenter ants to build their colonies in. By clearing standing water around your property, repairing any leaks, ventilating your home, and replacing damaged wood in your attic or crawl space, carpenter ants will have a harder time building a colony.
Keep woodpiles away: The closer a pile of wood is to your house, the easier it is for carpenter ants to move from one wood source to the next.
Seal cracks and gaps: Carpenter ants build their nests from the inside out, but by updating your caulking and closing any entry points, you can prevent an infestation from getting in.
Trim foliage: Overgrown bushes, hedges, and large leaf piles can provide ample food for ants, drawing them closer to your property.
Lock up food and trash: The less there is to feed carpenter ants, the less likely they will settle in on your property so proper trash disposal and containment is essential.
If carpenter ants have found a way into your Lincoln home, don’t take matters into your own hands. Trying to get rid of an infestation on your own may only result in further damage to your home because the only way to clear an infestation is to remove the colony entirely and prevent the queen from hatching new eggs.
Contact Lincoln’s pest professionals at Pro Active Pest Control to exterminate these pests quickly and efficiently. Don’t let carpenter ants damage your home or risk the spread of illness – call us today!