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Signs of Carpenter Ants Infestation

Ants on a piece of wood.

Signs of Carpenter Ant Damage and Infestations in Seattle, WA

Black Carpenter Ants similar in size to a penny nearbyCarpenter Ant control is extremely important in the Seattle area, and catching an infestation early in the game is best. Carpenter ants are the #1 wood-destroying pest in the Pacific Northwest. Left unchecked, Carpenter ant colonies will cause significant damage to sound wood, possibly compromising the structural safety of a building. If you see big black ants in or around your home, it may be time to call a professional to protect your home's structure.

Infestation Signs - Big Black Ants

Two Carpenter Ants on their side, showing a large Carpenter Ant next to a smaller or average size Carpenter Ant Carpenter ants are fairly easy for an untrained person to identify with the naked eye based on size and color: they are huge and usually black. So if you see large black ants in your house, you may have an infestation.

These serious pests will damage any wood that they nest in. They do not eat wood for nourishment, but they carve out their homes in the softer portion of wood grain. So you may find small piles of wood shavings near your wall studs, your floor joists, or even near your wooden furniture.

You May Have a Carpenter Ant Infestation If You:

  1. Spot large black ants or large black and red ants in or on your house.
  2. Find piles of wood shavings or sawdust beneath wooden areas like baseboards, door jambs, and window sills.
  3. See long ant trails or ant paths in your lawn. Carpenter ants will travel long distances to forage for food and bring it back to the nest.
  4. Hear faint rustling noises in your walls or inside your woodwork. Carpenter ants burrow into the woodwork to create their nests, and they make noise when scraping out the wood particles.
  5. Find large winged ants coming from your ceilings, walls, floor joists and other hidden cracks and crevices.
  6. Discover dropped or shed wings of "swarmer" ants near window sills, baseboards or vents.


When Carpenter Ants Do Appear, It Is Usually Sporadic or Occasional

Carpenter ants nesting in the wood of someone's home You may not see constant activity from carpenter ants, but rather you'll find a few on one day and several on another day. Just because you don't see signs of carpenter ant infestation doesn't mean they are gone. It could mean that they are tending to their nests. When it is sunny and dry outside, the ants may venture out for food. But when it is cooler or damp outside, the carpenter ants may spend their time ensuring that the colony's pupae are stored well where they will continue to grow up and help the colony do some more damage to the wood in your home.

Regular or consistent presence of carpenter ants should start to occur when the average daily temperatures begin to rise above 45 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep in mind that if you do finally see some carpenter ants, chances are they have been in the structure for more than a year.

Carpenter ants come out at night, so you are more likely to see or hear them rustling in the early morning or late at night.

Carpenter Ant Removal and Control Take A Concerted Effort!

A large amount of damage done to wood due to Carpenter Ants If not consistently treated, primary colonies will simply restock the area with new workers who will continue to damage the wood. Finding primary colonies can be very difficult, since Carpenter ants often forage hundreds of feet from the parent colony. Finding one primary colony does not necessarily protect your structure since there may be another primary colony within range of your building.

Carpenter Ants control and Carpenter Ant removal can be very complicated and messy business. So it is a good idea to contact a Pest Management Professional for carpenter ant control as soon as you see signs of an infestation.


How to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants

There are many products and methods to fight signs of carpenter ant infestation. Choosing the best depends on the time of year, location of the nest and many other factors. When Carpenter ants are seen repeatedly inside a structure they are probably from a satellite colony and it is best to contact an experienced Pest Management Professional (PMP). Eastside Exterminators has licensed, trained Pest Management Professionals who have years of successful experience spotting signs of carpenter ant infestation, getting rid of Carpenter ants, and protecting homes from re-infestation.

Time for Carpenter Ant Removal? Relax, we've got this...

This is a lot of information to absorb, but hopefully this helps you understand your possible ant problem better. We find that our happiest customers are those who also have a good understanding of the true nature of the pest control challenge that lies ahead. We're also here for any questions about signs of carpenter ant infestation or carpenter ants - just give us a call! 425-482-2100.

Tips for Preventing Carpenter Ants

  • Remove any piles of debris, wood, and junk from around your home
  • Keep trees, shrubs, and plants trimmed and away from your home
  • Caulk cracks and crevices around foundations that provide entry from outside
  • Provide a dry, vegetation-free border, such as gravel or stones, around the perimeter of house foundations to discourage nest building. Wood chip mulches and landscape plants provide a good nesting environment
  • Keep food put away and don’t leave dirty dishes out

Get rid of carpenter ants before it's too late!

Contact us today!