Carpenter ants are the largest pest ants in the United States. They range in length from around 6 to 12 mm, with winged females being twice as long as the workers. The species we see most in our Nashville service area is the black carpenter ant, which is entirely black. These are destructive ants that carve out galleries inside the wood of man-made structures. If you see lots of big black ants crawling around inside your home, you need no further proof that you have a carpenter ant infestation. But, usually, the signs are far more subtle. Here are seven, subtle signs your Nashville property has carpenter ants.
1. Tiny Wood Shavings
Carpenter ants do not consume wood the way termites do. They carve out tunnels and galleries in which to live. When they do this, they need somewhere to put the tiny wood shavings they create. You may find this material (called frass) under wooden timbers in your basement or in the crawl space under your home. Often, frass is deposited in areas where you can't see it, such as inside wall voids or closed off attic spaces.
2. Kickout Holes
When carpenter ants need to get rid of frass, they create kickout holes. You may see these tiny holes in wood, and find piles of frass underneath them. You may also see frass stuck to a wall or pouring out of a crack or gap. The kickout holes created by carpenter ants are just large enough to allow you to put the tip of a dull pencil inside.
3. Winged Ants
When a carpenter ant nest matures, it will produce and release winged ants for the purpose of creating new nests in nearby locations. If you see large black ants with wings on or around your property, it is likely that you already have an established nest somewhere on your property, or close to your property.
4. Shed Wings
Sometimes you will not see winged ants, but you will see the wings that they have shed during mating. You may see these on window sills, near doors, or around the foundation of your home.
5. Rustling Noises
When there is a large infestation of carpenter ants living inside the walls of a man-made structure, rustling sounds may be heard by pressing your ear against a wall that is infested.
6. Scout Ants
Seeing one or two large carpenter ant scouts inside your home every once in a while is a warning sign of an infestation. Be aware that carpenter ants are nocturnal by nature and tend to stay out of sight. One ant might be warning you that there are thousands of ants living just out of sight.
7. Galleries Inside Wood
If you tear out a wall in your home to do a renovation and there are galleries carved out inside, this can mean you have carpenter ants or termites. If the tunnels feel gritty, you have a subterranean termite infestation. If the tunnels feel smooth or sanded, it is likely that you have a carpenter ant infestation.
How To Get Control Of Carpenter Ants
If you have carpenter ants in your Nashville home, reach out to All-American Pest Control. Our service team is one of the best in the industry. We can determine a treatment plan that will properly address your infestation, and protect your property from further carpenter ant damage. Get started by going to our contact us page and telling us about your pest control issue. We're standing by to assist you with this important protection for your equity.