- Posted by haggerty
- On February 26, 2013
- boca raton, carpenter ants, infestations, pest control professional, South Florida
Because of their name, carpenter ants are usually associated with structural wood damage in homes and other buildings. They’re often even mistaken for termites. The carpenter ant species in South Florida are generally attracted only to soft or rotting wood outdoors.
However, they do establish large colonies inside houses and, when observed foraging for food in a home or swarming in great numbers during spring, may cause alarm to homeowners. One survey showed that carpenter ant infestations accounted for 20 percent of the calls to pest control professionals in Florida.
The carpenter ant is a winged species that ranges in color from brown to black. Worker ants are generally 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch in length while the largest females can be up to 3/4-inch. Outdoors, carpenters occupy rotted tree stumps and burrow beneath tree bark. They will nest in fallen trees and coconuts, old wooden fences and any other source of soft, rotting wood. Inside a home, the carpenter ants will build colonies in virtually any sheltered, unused area close to a source of moisture including wall voids, attics, closets that are rarely opened and inside furniture. Left undisturbed, a colony will typically flourish and grow to a size of several thousand ants.
The species is mainly nocturnal and is usually actively foraging for food inside houses when the lights are turned out. To the untrained eye, there may be little evidence of an infestation during daylight. When looking for food, carpenter ants are drawn to sweetness and moisture. Therefore, kitchens and bathrooms are a prime destination for foraging carpenters after dark.
The sight of foraging carpenter ants in a home is a red flag that an infestation has occurred. Unfortunately, DIY attempts to locate colonies by inexperienced homeowners unfamiliar with the habits of the species are often unsuccessful. Similarly, ridding a home completely usually requires professional expertise and specialized techniques.
At Haggerty Pest Service, we’ve eliminated insect infestations from South Florida homes and yards for over 30 years. Call us today for an evaluation and an action plan to permanently evict carpenter ants from your property.
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