Carpenter ants are one of the most common pest ants throughout North America. They’re invasive, annoying, and quite often unwelcome guests at homes and picnics alike. With spring on the way, we are starting to see increased carpenter ant activity in Oregon. Read on to find out how you can prevent carpenter ants from setting up colonies in and around your home.
There are several things you can do to both identify carpenter ant activity in your home. Carpenter ants need moisture to thrive, so our humid climate combined with our abundance of vegetation here in Oregon make the perfect environment for carpenter ants. They especially love wooded environments high in moisture. Outside of your home, you’ll likely to find them in tree stumps, fire wood, or even landscaping timbers. Inside the home, carpenter ants love damp, dark spaces. You’ll want to check any areas where there has been a water leak, in addition to crawl spaces and attics.
Once identified, elimination of carpenter ants can be difficult, especially if the ant colonies are inside your home. Elimination involves identifying and eradicating both the main, or parent colony, in addition to the often many satellite colonies created by the carpenter ants. Frequently, these colonies span inside of walls, doors, and even in insulation within walls. While we always recommend contacting a responsible pest control professional for elimination of these colonies, there are steps that you can take to reduce the potential for carpenter ant colonies in and around your home in the meantime.
First, store any firewood, lumber, or wood scraps away from your home. Remove old landscaping bark or wood away from your foundation as well. Trim dead branches back and remove any stumps. Doing away with any potential nesting sites outside will make your property, and your home, less appealing to the ants.
Next, seal any exterior wood on your home. This includes trim, siding, and decks. Remove any direct wood to soil contact as well.
Once you’ve cleaned up outside attractants, it’s time to move inside. Check your home thoroughly for leaks, and get rid of any excess moisture in attics, crawl spaces, basements, and garages.
Finally, check your roof and rain gutters, and make sure there are no leaks, and that water is being directed away from your home. If gutters stop at your foundation, get extenders to route water further from your foundation.
While carpenter ants are a nuisance, they’re not impossible to get rid of. Be aware that complete carpenter ant elimination can take multiple treatments, as the colonies are usually large and spread out.