What Attracts Carpenter Ants

Author: Kurt Treftz, Cascade Pest Control

Ants are a common summertime pest. The warm weather allows them to move about easily, and there’s more outside activities to attract them to your home. As we move into cooler weather, though, the threat of ants doesn’t subside, particularly with regard to carpenter ants.

Carpenter ants can cause serious structural damage to your home or business if an infestation develops. Lucky for you, Cascade Pest Control technicians are skilled at identifying, removing, and preventing carpenter ant infestations. Here are some things you should know about carpenter ant habits and what attracts them to your home so we can combat them together.

Carpenter Ant Needs

Carpenter ants are a type of ant that burrow and tunnel through wood in order to create nests for themselves. There’s the misconception that they feed off this wood as well, but they only create tunnels for shelter purposes. As a food source, they rely on proteins and sugars like other varieties of ants.

As you may imagine, these tunnels or galleries make the structure of your home or business unstable if they’re finding a way into its base foundation or siding. This is compounded by the fact that it’s often hard to tell when this damage is being done unless you see where the ants are coming in and out of, so an infestation can develop undetected for a while.

If you minimize the presence of a reliable food and water source for carpenter ants as well as access to tunneling wood, you can go a long way in not attracting them to your space. Here are some things you can do to prevent carpenter ants from finding your home or business:

  • Regularly clean and declutter your space. Particularly in the kitchen, avoiding clutter and any food waste allows you to more easily notice if ants are coming into your home.
  • Pick up & properly store pet food. This is an easy one target for carpenter ants as a food supply source. Keep your pet’s bowl clean and seal food when it’s not meal time.
  • Keep yard debris piles further from your home. Compost piles, tree limbs, and mulch all are viable food or shelter targets for carpenter ants. If you are intentional about keeping them not in the garage or close to the side of the house, you run less of a risk of carpenter ants finding their way into the structure of your home.
  • Make note of where moisture collects in your space. Carpenter ants like moist, damp, warm areas to nest. Make sure you don’t have a leaky pipe or faucet in your home or business that is creating an ideal environment for them somewhere you don’t usually visit.
  • Look out for aphids in your garden. Aphids excrete honeydew which is carpenter ants’ favorite food. If you keep control of the aphid population in your garden and yard, the ants will be less attracted to your area.
  • Make note of ant sightings and activity. Carpenter ants are typically nocturnal, and also go into hibernation during the winter if it’s too cold. Just because you don’t see them regularly, doesn’t mean they aren’t present in your home, so staying diligent about inspections and sightings is key to minimizing the chances of an infestation developing.

Carpenter ants are a trickier type of ant to catch in your space, so don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional pest control service to do regular inspections of your residence or business. Cascade Pest Control has over 40 years of experience providing quality pest control services to the greater Seattle area.

In need of pest control services? Call 888-989-8979 to get started with Cascade Pest Control or get a quote today!

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