In our country we have two of the largest species of ants. The largest is the black carpenter ant and the Florida carpenter ant which are found mainly in our country. If this type of ant is not discovered soon after they set up shop they can do much damage to the structure of a home or building.
I was always under the impression that carpenter ants ate wood but that isn’t true. They adapt and change their diets when they are indoors or outdoors. Inside a home they eat sweets like sugar, jelly, honey, and things that have protein and sugar in them. Outdoors they eat insects. As stated before, they don’t eat wood, but damage it.
Moist environmental conditions are preferred by carpenter ants. Outside you can encounter them in rotting wood, tree stumps, or damp logs lying on the ground. Inside your home, carpenter ants look for moist spots in bathrooms and behind walls or tiles. They also like damp spots in back of insulation in attics, or voids in doors or wood. Once these carpenter ants invade a home or building they start making tunnels everywhere so you can imagine that over a period of time the damage that could be done to a building or home.
With carpenter ants, you must take preventative action before they gain entrance to your building or home. They ants have to be prevented from reaching an opening in a building. If there is any old siding or lumber or trees touching your home they should be removed, as these would be getaways to get over and into your home. It is also essential to make sure any opening from pipes, wires, or things that enter your home are made airtight and secure so the ants can’t get in that way.
Check things like windows to make sure the frames are tight, like the edges of your roof and attic. It is also critical that you inspect the foundation of your home for cracks and repair them immediately because carpenter ants seem to move in before we find openings. A very important thing to do in this economy with people using their fireplaces for heat is to be cognizant of how you store your firewood. If you keep wood in the house, be positive there are no ants on it and that the wood is dry. If you keep it outside, again make sure it is not piled next to your house. They wood should be piled up off the ground to keep moisture off it.
Carpenter ants look for damp places and rotting wood. If you want to keep your property safe from these insects you must regularly check your property. Sprinkling a protective barrier of a natural substance called diatomaceous earth around your home will prevent carpenter ants and other bothersome insects from gaining access into your home. Be sure to use food grade diatomaceous earth, other forms are not as safe and should not be used around humans.
By: Bradley Skierkowski