There are a lot of ants in Texas. It's hard to tell what ants you're seeing in your driveway and around the entrance to your home or garage. But it is important that you recognize carpenter ants when you see them. Carpenter ants have the ability to damage your home. The more you know about them the better. Here is a quick guide to carpenter ants in Texas.
Texas Carpenter Ants
There are currently fourteen species of carpenter ants that have been found in Texas. They may be black or dark red with black abdomens. If you look closely, you may be able to see that these ants have one node between the thorax and abdomen, but the best way to identify them is by size. Carpenter ants are the largest pest ants in the state. Workers range in size from ¼ to ½ an inch long. Most other ants that can be confused for carpenter ants are smaller than ¼ of an inch. If you see winged carpenter ants in your home, you should have no doubt recognizing them. They can be an inch long.
Other Ways To Identify Carpenter Ants
Along with their large size and polymorphic workers, you can tell that you have a carpenter ant problem in some other helpful ways.
- Carpenter ant workers typically hang out near natural wood sources and decaying lumber.
- Carpenter ants may be seen around wooden door and window frames where chew holes are present.
- Carpenter ants create frass. This is a material that is composed of wood shavings, insect parts, and ant feces. If you see frass coming out of cracks, gaps, or holes, it is definitely time to contact a pest management professional.
What You Need To Know Most About Carpenter Ants
If these ants become a problem inside your home, you should be aware of a few facts. These facts can help you prevent extensive damage.
- While carpenter ants can be a double threat by damaging your home and getting into your stored foods, they often infest a home without infesting indoor food sources. That means you can have an ongoing infestation without ever having the warning sign of ants in your pantry or kitchen.
- You may hear that carpenter ants don't attack treated lumber and that you don't have to worry about these ants damaging your home. While treated wood is not a preference, carpenter ants can and do get into it, especially if it is old or decaying from water damage. But carpenter ants don't need to chew through treated lumber to get into your home. They can get in through gaps and cracks. Once inside, there may be many wood sources for these ants to tunnel into.
- You may think that you'll be able to easily detect a carpenter ant infestation by the frass they produce. Keep in mind that carpenter ants prefer darkness, and that they will often push frass out of holes that are in dark spaces, such as underneath your deck and exterior stairs, or inside the wall voids of your home.
- You may hear that carpenter ants don't damage wood in homes but only establish nests in voids. This is true of some species, but certainly not true of all. The most destructive carpenter ant in the United States is the black carpenter ant. It is responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage annually.
Carpenter Ant Control
When you start to have problems with carpenter ants, you may turn to over-the-counter baits and sprays. Be aware that all carpenter ants do not go for the same baits. Some prefer protein baits, and some prefer sugary baits. You should also know that sprays are almost entirely ineffective at getting control of these ants because they learn to avoid it. If you apply a treatment (or several) to get control of carpenter ants and fail to get control of them, they can continue to damage your property without you knowing it.
The best solution for control of carpenter ants is to contact Innovative Pest Control. Our licensed professionals know what works to arrest a carpenter ant infestation and prevent carpenter ant damage. Connect with us today and request service. We get results.