The Difference Between Nuisance Ants And Carpenter Ants
July 3, 2018
There are more than 12,000 species of ants identified in the world. In the United States, there are over 1,000 species. So, it can be difficult to figure out what ants you're dealing with in and around your home. Every homeowner should know what carpenter ants look like. Of all the ants that invade homes in the Greater Richmond and Central Virginia area, carpenter ants are the worst because they have the ability to cause extensive wood damage. This is the most important difference between nuisance ant species and carpenter ant species.
Most ants that get into your home are just going to be a pain. They come in by the dozens, hundreds, or thousands, and crawl around on everything. They can fill a corner, cover a wall, mob a trash can, make superhighways across your floor, and cover a piece of food that has been left out. They're frustrating to deal with and frustrating to get rid of. But nuisance ants aren't just a nuisance. They have the potential to carry harmful bacteria from your dirty trash to your food storage areas, dish cabinets, and food prep surfaces. This is something carpenter ants don't generally do because carpenter ants can find many food resources outside of your home. But, when carpenters don't feed on inside food sources, it can be hard to detect them.
Carpenter ants are wood-destroying pests. They begin with soft wood. This is usually water-damaged wood that has begun to rot. They will also target untreated wood first. So, a carpenter ant infestation often begins in an exterior wooden structure, such as a deck, fence, shed, etc. Once established, carpenter ants can move from springwood (softwood) to summerwood (hardwood) inside a home. And, over time, damaged structural timbers can have a cascading effect on a large section of a home, resulting in expensive repair costs. These ants cost property owners in the U.S. hundreds of millions every year.
Identification of carpenter ants and carpenter ant damage is key for control, but these ants can be extremely elusive. Under the right circumstances, they can infest a home for several years without being detected. And, even when homeowners detect carpenter ants or the signs they leave behind, DIY ant control rarely incorporates a proper inspection to ensure the complete elimination of this wood-destroying pest.
If you're seeing ants in your home, and you live in Virginia, reach out to RichPro Pest Management for industry-leading residential pest control. Don't let carpenter ants eat away at your equity. Get those ants properly identified and completely removed.