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Carpenter ant control in NJ
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CARPENTER ANTS

Identification of carpenter ants.

carpenter ant workerSeveral species of carpenter ants inhabit most of the United States. Carpenter ant is among largest ant specimen that infest buildings, homes and other structures. Carpenter ant workers usually colored red or black and red and vary in size from 3/8 to sometimes larger than 1/2 inch. Queen ants have wings and can reach size as large as an inch. Size alone is not a accurate indicator of a specie, since some ant species have polymorphic workers that can be different sizes. More accurate characteristics to consider are: 1. A thorax that is rounded evenly on upper surface. 2. A waist with single node.
Some ant species can be mistaken for carpenter ants, however the distinguishing characteristic of uneven thorax profile will always identify if pest is a carpenter ant or not. Most other ant that look like carpenter ant usually do not infest wood and require different treatment approach for proper pest control.

Looks like ant or is it a termite?


Ants an termites looks very different. Ants mostly of a dark color, have narrow waist, and elbowed antennae. Also swarming (winged) ants will have shorter hind wings. Termites are whitish color, do not have waist (straight body) have straight antennae and wings on swarming termites are the same length. Ants can be seen in the open unlike termites, who prefer not to be exposed to outside elements

Ant diet


Carpenter swarming winged carpenter antant diet consist of varied sources of sugar and protein. When outside, most of their diet consists of living and dead insects, honeydew and other similar products. Once indoors, they will feed on anything sweet such as honey, jelly, sugar and meats. Some people mistakenly think that carpenter ant feeds on wood, but this is not the case. Carpenter ants remove the wood to make tunnels. Foraging for food sourced mostly happen at night, while colony is active during spring and summer months

Habitat


Carpenter ants prefer to nest in moist, rotting  trees, stumps, old firewood and logs. They can also find home inside a building that has a moisture issue such as roof or wall leak, condensation, leaking sinks, air conditioners, dishwashers or any place that might have compromised wood and can settle in foam insulation. a main colony can branch out and establish smaller satellite colonies that will comprise of workers, mature larvae and pupae. Moisture is not important factor, since there are no eggs, that require moisture not to dry out. Because of those specifics a completely dry area may become infested with carpenter ants. Late in the summer queens and males will develop from pupae that has been deposited in the satellite nest, where they will overwinter and swarm in early spring

Carpenter ant damage

carpenter ant damageCarpenter ants create tunnels and galleries inside wood. All the saw dust is cleaned out and inside those tunnels surface has a smooth appearance. Actual damage  to wood is varied and depends on how long the colony has been present. The longer ants are present the more damage is inflicted. Damaged structural components may weaken integrity of the structure

Where are the ants coming from

Usually carpenter ants can be found inside buildings during spring. It's crucial to identify location of the colony (whether it's inside or outside of the structure). If ant are found during very early spring, this may indicate that the nest is inside. However later in the spring it becomes more difficult to identify location of the colony. Carpenter ants will swarm during spring and once they land and wings break off they start looking for a new site to build a nest. One of the sure signs that a nest is indoors, is when you see a large numbers of winged ants trapped inside. Finding just couple of winged queens is not an indicator that nest is inside of the building. If carpenter ants are seen regularly during winter, it's always a good indicator that nest is inside a house. You may notice some activity during winter months if there is sufficient warmth inside a house as ants can break out of hibernation ans start foraging for food (moist or damp wood). Attention must be paid to areas susceptible to get moist: under cabinets, sinks area, bathrooms and dishwashers, etc,

Carpenter ant prevention

Elimination of conditions conducive to high moisture inside a building will go a long way in carpenter ant control. Damaged wood must be replaced if possible and always make sure that any wood stored near a house is kept dry. Also if there are tree stumps near the carpenter anthouse they should be removed. Trim branches that overhang the house and also branches that touch electrical lines, since ant can use them as a conduit to travel to your building

Detection of carpenter ants


To properly eliminate carpenter ants nest that have taken residence indoors it has to be located and destroyed. Follow worker ants during their peak activity  which is usually between sundown and midnight. Use a red filter over a flashlight to follow ant trail to their nest. Placing a tasty bait such as honey, bits of fruit and even tuna (packed in water only) and follow the trail back to their nest. Other indicators are small piles of wood shavings or sawdust and watch out for a swarming carpenter ants in late winter - early spring. If disturbed, ants will make a rustling noise that can be heard if you press ear to the wall where suspected nest is. There is always a possibility of more than one nest present inside a building.

Best way to control carpenter ants.

There are few things that are need to be done in order to properly eliminate and control carpenter ants.
1. Nest to be located and destroyed
2. Repair damaged wood and eliminate moisture issues

It's possible to for the homeowner to control carpenter ants, but it's a difficult task, and preferably should be performed by a licensed pest control exterminator. Professional pest control technician will have a much wider range of control products to effectively solve the infestation issue. Homeowner can help by providing relevant information on where carpenter ants are seen the most and their approximate numbers

Indoor treatment of carpenter ants


As nest are almost always concealed in the areas not easily accessible, it's usually necessary to drill small holes in the walls to apply insecticides into the suspected nest areas. Application must very specific and pesticides should not be broadcast at random and proper pesticides for this application is only available through restricted distribution to licensed pest control applicators. If pesticide improperly applied, carpenter ants simply will move to another area
Sprays on surfaces where ants travel or congregate, such as along baseboards or in holes or cracks in the walls and floors, may reduce the frequency and number of ants you see. However, they are not effective in eliminating a nest because 1) the ants carry very little insecticide back to their nests and 2) most ants forage outside and do not come in contact with the insecticides.
Be aware of the potential for more than one nest in a building, but only treat nests that you know exist. Do not treat areas of a building if additional nests are not found. Once a carpenter ant nest is treated, continue to watch for evidence of an active nest until the following spring. If no evidence is observed, then further insecticide applications are unnecessary.

Bait station and ant control


if identifying an exact location of the nest is not possible, baits could be an effective treatment. It work due to proper combination of food ants like with a slow acting pesticide. As carpenter ants consume and then return bait back to their nest to share with other ants in the colony. Regurgitated food is then consumed by other ants and within days ants will be toxified and eliminated. Patience is a key since it may take weeks to completely eliminate entire colony. As a rule insecticide should never be applied in the area of baiting, hence efficacy of the bait will be greatly reduced. Professional pest control technicians are trained in proper baiting techniques and have access to a wider variety of products than consumers. Positive outcome is much more likely when problem is treated by professional. Contact Bug Bust pest control company if you prefer the expertise and experience of a licenced professional. Professional will likely identify an ouside carpenter ant colony and properly treat perimeter of the house to prevent ants from entering

SMALL BLACK ANTS

Origin: Possibly a native of the United States, where it is found most commonly in the eastern half, but frequently in California as well.

Biology: When found outdoors this ant nests primarily in the soil under debris or other objects, as well as in open areas and in turf. The nest opening will have a small crater of soil around it. Less commonly the nests may be found in cavities under bark or other areas, as well as within structures in walls or under carpets. Colonies are small but have numerous queens, and will relocate when they are disturbed. Preferred foods seem to be sugar materials such as honeydew, but they also feed on protein from live or dead insects.

Identification: This ant is one of our smallest, with workers only about 1.5 mm long. It is related to the Pharaoh Ant and is the same size, but is a shiny black color instead of the orange of the Pharaoh Ant. It is a double-node ant and workers are all the same size. The antennae have 12 segments, with the last 3 segments enlarged to form a club.

Characteristics Important in Control: Control of these ants includes correction of the attractions that drew them to a property, including harborage sites, food sources, and moisture conditions. Elimination of insects that provide protein or honeydew sources reduces ant foraging in an area, and cleanup of unnecessary debris or objects on the soil that provide harborage eliminates nesting. Ant bait products in liquid or gel formulations can be highly effective, and carbohydrate formulations may be preferred. Location of the nest sites is important, and when found can be treated directly with a residual dust insecticide. As with any ant control, application of aerosol insecticide spray is ineffective and should be avoided
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