Northeast Connecticut is home to many Carpenter Ants.
In fact they may be in your home. Most of our Carpenter Ant service calls begin with people calling in about “black” ants. Carpenter Ants are most always black, but sometimes they have some red as well. These ants usually will be present in your kitchen and bathroom. In the kitchen, their favorite hangouts are the countertop around the sink, the dishwasher and recycling bin/ garbage. Occasionally, the will venture into the food cabinets. Sweets such as cereal, sugar and candy are well received. Because people see these ants eating household food, they assume they are not Carpenter ants; Carpenter Ants eat wood, right? No, carpenter ants do not eat wood. Their favorite food is honeydew, which is secreted by Aphids. They will also eat dead insects, dog and cat food, fruits, and we’ve seen them eat dead mice in attics. The reason they are in your kitchen and bathroom is usually water. Whether you have a nest in the house is the next question, unless you are seeing ants in the winter in your house, it can be very difficult to determine if they are nesting. Carpenter ant nests are very mobile and can come into your house overnight. Carpenter ands are active at night and when periods of hot, humid weather occur, these ants get moving. A typical scenario for nesting occurs when a scout ant finds a suitable nesting site. This scout then lays a pheromone, or chemical scent trail back to the main nest which is located outdoors, more ants soon follow this trail. Eventually ants will start carrying eggs, larvae and pupae in their mouths, Winged Reproductives soon join the parade and within days a satellite colony can be started, sometimes, you will never see any ants in the house during this period.
Well, they don’t eat wood, but they can chew it out to nest in it. Carpenter ants will usually chew wet wood because it is easier to chew through, the problem is, these ants will nest in just about any material, if a void already exists, they will just move in and occupy it rather than excavate a nest. We have fond nests in hollow doors, garage doors, bathroom sub flooring, foam insulation, bags of wood chips, and stacks of scrap lumber. Behind fiberglass insulation and in various pieces of wood such as door and window headers , porch support posts and door kick plates. The key to carpenter ant control is to find the nest and kill it. More often that not, we cannot find the nest, However, by using baits and non repellent insecticides, we let the ants do all the leg work in bringing the active ingredient back to the nest, The long lasting residual of the exterior treatment keeps new nests from forming, and eliminates nest in the structure by intercepting ants leaving the structure.