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How Bad Are The Carpenter Ants In West Chester?

When you find one ant in your West Chester home, you're not likely to think much of it. Ants are small—even a carpenter ant, which is the largest type of ant that gets into homes in our area. But you shouldn't disregard that little ant. One tiny ant can be a warning sign of a very big problem, especially if that ant happens to be a carpenter ant. But how bad are carpenter ants really? Here's what you should know.

Black Carpenter Ants

When it comes to destructive capability, the black carpenter ant is the big boy on the block. These ants cost U.S. property owners hundreds of millions each year because they tunnel into wood to establish their nests and are not constrained to creating nests only in voids or cavities, like some species of carpenter ant. If they tunnel into the wood of your West Chester home, it can lead to serious issues if those ants go untreated.

What does a black carpenter ant look like?

  • It will be entirely black.

  • It will have one node between the thorax and abdomen (the waist of the ant).

  • It will be between ⅜ and ½ inches in length if it is a worker.

  • It will be between ½ and ⅝ of an inch if it is a winged reproductive.

carpenter ant eating wood

What It Means When You See One Ant

Carpenter ants are able to do quite a bit of damage to property because they aren't as much of a nuisance as other ants. They can get into your home, damage your wood extensively, grow large nests, and never get into your kitchen or pantry foods. There are many food options for these ants outside of your home. So, what typically happens is a homeowner will see one ant every once in a while. If you're seeing an ant every once in a while, it is important that you identify that ant, and seek the assistance of a licensed pest professional if you determine that it is a carpenter ant. You may not get more of a warning than that one ant.

Some Of The Ways Carpenter Ants Warn You

If you have these ants in your home, there are a few ways you might realize it. But these warning signs aren't always obvious.

  • Carpenter ants push their feces, and tiny sawdust particles, out of their tunnels. This material is called frass. You might see it clinging to a wall, or piled on a floor. Most of the time, this material is pushed out in hidden locations, such as walls, ceilings, and floor voids. This is because carpenter ants prefer darkness.
  • Carpenter ants may cause damage that can be seen. If you have these ants in the boards of your deck, you may begin to see those boards splinter. If carpenter ants are tunneling in a window or door frame, a hole may appear, especially if a mouse or rats has helped with the damage. Often, the damage is only inside the wood, where you aren't able to see it.
  • Carpenter ants target rotted wood and old wood. If you have a wood source in your yard that is ideal for carpenter ant habitation, such as a log, stump, tree with heart rot, old fence, or wood borders around your landscaping, you may be able to see ant activity. Your best time to see this activity is at night because carpenter ants are nocturnal.
  • Winged carpenter ants, also referred to as alates, are probably the most noticeable sign of a carpenter ant infestation. Alates are larger than the workers, as we pointed out above. If you see big black ants with wings, it is important that you realize what those ants mean. Winged carpenter ants are produced by a mature nest that has grown a large population. It also means that this mature nest is either on your property or near your property. This sign can be easily missed because these winged ants can take to the air and move into your neighbor's yard in a matter of seconds.

If you're seeing big black ants in your West Chester home, reach out to us. A carpenter ant infestation can be bad when left untreated. But you don't have to let those wood-destroying pests eat you out of house and home. We can help you get control of those ants and protect your investment

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