How to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants in West Palm Beach
October 10, 2022
Are you seeing black or red ants in your home? Have you noticed your great, great grandma’s cherry wood chest has tiny holes in it, or your door seems to be gradually getting hollowed out? If so, you might be dealing with carpenter ants.
What are Carpenter Ants?
Carpenter ants are native to Florida, and are bigger than average ants at around ¼ inch to ⅝ inch long. They’re usually black or reddish in color and can also have wings.
But while these characteristics are common to many ants like sugar ants or pavement ants, carpenter ants aren’t your typical household ant. They may look like an ant and like to get into the cookie jar, but there is one behavior that sets them apart from most ants.
That behavior is their habitat. Carpenter ants prefer to live in wood and will tunnel through your furniture in order to do so.
This means these ants can be consequential to your home if left untreated, so if you think you may have carpenter ants in your home, we recommend you get in touch with a pest control specialist like Native Pest Management.
Are Carpenter Ants and Termites the Same Thing?
Carpenter ants are different from termites. The difference between these two insects is that carpenter ants don’t eat wood. They tunnel through the wood to make it into a nest, while termites consume as much wood in your home as possible.
You can tell apart a carpenter ant tunnel and a termite tunnel just by looking at it–carpenter ant tunnels look smooth and complete while termite tunnels are rough and layered with mud and soil.
You can also take a look at their frass. Since carpenter ants consume a variety of things like sawdust, gravel and other insects, the droppings differ in shape.
For termites, all it is for them is wood. So, their frass is a fixed pellet shape.
If you’re wondering whether you’ll have to put down thousands of dollars to have your house fumigated for ants, don’t fret. While a termite infestation requires professional services, you can get rid of carpenter ants on your own.
Keep reading to learn our best tips on how to get rid of carpenter ants in West Palm Beach, and how to keep them from returning.
What are Carpenter Ants Attracted to?
Carpenter ants are attracted to wet, rotting wood. So if you find carpenter ants, this may be a blaring alarm that you have a leak or water damage in your home. Ventilating your home and repairing damaged, rotting, or moist wood can keep these ants away from your home.
To ventilate, you can purchase a dehumidifier. This will help ease the Florida humidity out of your home and make it less appealing to carpenter ants.
Repairing wood will not just reverse damage but will also destroy the nest. While carpenter ants can return to your home at any time, they may be less drawn to nest if there isn’t one already present.
Carpenter ants also like a sugary substance called honeydew which is excreted by insects including scale, whiteflies, mealybugs, and aphids. These bugs are found on trees, shrubs, palms and even indoor plants.
By getting rid of these insects, carpenter ants, as well as sugar ants, ghost ants, pharaoh ants, acrobats ants and other common ants in West Palm Beach will be less drawn to your home.
The protein and sugar in your pantry can also be a culprit–pet food especially will draw in carpenter ants, so make sure you don’t keep it lying around when your pet isn’t eating and keep the bag sealed.
Other foods that can attract carpenter ants are flour, sugar, cereal, and grains.
To keep carpenter ants away from these items, keep them sealed or in airtight containers. You also want to sweep up any crumbs, as the ants can sense even the tiniest grains of sugar.
How to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants like an Entomologist
Find the Ant Nest
The nest will probably be hidden, so aim to look for worker ants first. They use scented pheromones to follow each other to the nest, so you just have to follow the ants.
They’re typically nocturnal, so try looking at night. Use sweet foods like honey or jelly to draw them out
Kill the Carpenter Ants
The first thing to know when you go after carpenter ants is that you want to avoid repellents. This includes store-bought repellent sprays as well as natural methods like essential oils. While it’s true that carpenter ants have an aversion to scents like lavender and citrus, if you try to repel them, it will backfire. =
When ants are repelled, instead of leaving your home as one big happy family, they split up. From there, they create new colonies with a new queen, in a different area of your house, and continue to populate.
To fully get rid of carpenter ants, you should avoid repellents and try insecticidal products, baits, or diatomaceous earth. You can also try boric acid, but since it is toxic, we don’t recommend it to families with children or pets.
It’s also important to know that the baits you purchase from the store may not be as effective as professional baiting kits used by a pest control professional. Native Pest Management uses baits that are slow-acting but strong enough to kill entire colonies.
Prevent Carpenter Ants
The final step to getting rid of carpenter ants is prevention. If you skip this step, you’ll likely find yourself walking in circles as the ants keep returning.
How to Prevent Carpenter Ants in West Palm Beach:
- Keep food in air tight containers.
- Fix any leaky pipes or plumbing issues.
- Improve ventilation in moist areas.
- Trim branches touching your home.
- Seal openings around vents, pipes and wires with caulk.
- Repair or get rid of moist, rotting wood.
At Native Pest Management, long-term pest prevention is our focus. When we arrive at your home, we’re not there just to get the carpenter ants out of sight and leave.
We want to make sure the damage in your home doesn’t continue. While carpenter ants take years for significant damage, our goal is to make sure it doesn’t continue.
We’re there so you have a worry free experience with pest control. That means getting rid of all of the carpenter ants, and making sure they’re gone for good.
If you’re ready to set up a preventative service for carpenter ants, just give us a phone call today!
The Most Important Step That Will Get Rid of Carpenter Ants For Good
There is one more method that will make your home less attractive to carpenter ants. If you don’t do this, they will keep coming back.
That method is going after the nest. To do this, you’ll want to target the wood that carpenter ants have called home. Drill ⅛ inch holes in the nest for every 6 inches. Then use a bulb duster to get either boric acid or diatomaceous earth to the ants.
This will eliminate the carpenter ants’ precious nest while killing the ants at the same time. If you’re wary of trying this yourself, you can also call pest control. Native Pest Management can find the nest and get rid of it for good or make sure that you’ve properly gotten rid of the carpenter ants and destroyed the nest.
What Should I Do If I Find Carpenter Ants in My Home?
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what to do with a carpenter ant infestation. You could try at-home methods like the baits, insecticides and repairs that mentioned. These can prove to be successful.
However, there are downsides. These methods can be tedious and frustrating. You may spend a lot more money and time on trial and error. Oftentimes, we see that the success these methods bring is short-term.
If you’re worried about your efforts being wasted, you can also call pest control. A licensed technician will be able to thoroughly analyze your home, identify the source of carpenter ants, and come up with the right plan to eliminate them.
Native Pest Management is an experienced company and understands the behavior of carpenter ants. We recommend our services before you try at-home methods because these can be costly and time consuming.
We go at just the right pace to get the carpenter ants out of homes, with consideration of your time and the issue at hand.
To get rid of carpenter ants, we use non repellent sprays and advanced baiting kits to eliminate entire colonies of carpenter ants. To go after the source, we target lawn pests like whiteflies, mealybugs, aphids and scale insects.
Finally, we destroy the nest by repairing damaged wood in your home.
If you’re unsure the ants in your home are carpenter ants, no need to worry. While treatment is different for carpenter ants from other ants, we can help identify the ant in your home during our inspection.
If the ant happens to be another type of ant, we can still service your home. We’re proud to be certified to control all kinds of ants in West Palm Beach including:
- Carpenter ants
- Sugar ants
- Ghost ants
- Pharaoh ants
- Acrobat ants
- Big headed ants
- Argentine ants
- Fire ants
- White footed ants
And if your pest issue isn’t carpenter ants or any ants all together and happens to be termites, we can help you out with that too!
Our termite control includes a complimentary inspection. For every home we treat, we also inspect to confirm termite activity, determine the species of termite, and plan the course of action.
For drywood termites, that’s either No-Tent termite treatment or traditional tent fumigation. For subterranean termites, we use termite bait stations and trenching.
Our goal is to make Florida as pest-free as possible. Whether your home is infested with carpenter ants, ghost ants, or termites, we want you to be as comfortable in your home as possible.
We service all of West Palm Beach and its surrounding areas. If you live anywhere in Palm Beach, Broward, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River, Miami-Dade, or Leon counties, we can provide you with pest control that will bring your peace of mind back.
Wanna know all of the pest control services we can do for you?
- Home pest control (ants, cockroaches, millipedes, pantry pests, spiders and earwigs)
- Commercial pest control
- Termite control
- Rodent trapping and exclusion
- Mosquito control
- Lawn care
- Whitefly control
- Palm tree care
- Palm tree pest control
- Tick control
- Flea control
With any of our services, we offer quarterly pest control treatment plans. Under this plan, we will come to your home quarterly at a monthly rate to service your home. This guarantees that the pests we initially get out of your home will stay gone.
If you’re ready to set up a pest control plan for carpenter ants or other pests, give us a call today!