Wood Ants: What They Are and How to Get Rid of Them

Imagine leaning up against an old fence or sitting on a tree stump and getting swarmed by ants. This nightmare is a reality for some in the United States when they encounter Wood Ants, also known as Carpenter Ants.

The wood ant is one of the most common ants in Texas. There are eighteen species of wood ants alone in the Lonestar State but the largest of them all is the Black Carpenter Ant. These species are most commonly found in outdoor/wooded areas, but they can invade your home at times.

Wood ants can be difficult to distinguish from termites by wood damage alone, so the first thing to do would be to correctly identify the wood ants before calling a professional. So how do you identify wood ants?

How to Identify Wood Ants

Wood Ants (Carpenter Ants or the scientific name – Camponotus pennsylvanicus) are ¼-⅜ inches in length with a black abdomen with a reddish-brown head. The “worker ants” can also have a yellowish coloring. The ants are pinched at the waist and have elbowed antennae. Wood ants bite but do not sting.

If you look closely at the damaged area, you should be able to see and recognize wood ants and tell them apart from termites with these characteristics.

Damage To Look Out For

One important thing to remember about wood ants is that they do NOT eat wood and usually do not cause as much damage as termites. Wood ants use wooded areas to create nests. Their nests can be outdoors or indoors.

Outdoor wood ant colonies typically can be found in old stumps, decaying fences, or near firewood piles. They will burrow into the crevices between the pieces of wood and can actually tunnel through decaying wood. Their tunnels will follow the grain of the wood.

Indoor wood ant colonies can be found in walls, crawl spaces, window frames, insulation, cardboard boxes, doors and door frames.

Carpenter ants generally do not cause significant damage but they might cause damage to isolated pieces of wood. Small piles of sawdust and dead ants can be found near wood ant colonies. The dust is pushed from small holes produced from burrowing, so the holes will ultimately lead to the colony. If the nest is located, treatment can begin.

Wood Ant Control

Controlling wood ant colonies can be difficult because their nests can be difficult to locate. If you are not sure where the wood ant colony nest is, it is best to contact a professional as soon as possible to avoid any further damage. While you can set baits out, wood ants commonly are difficult to trap with baits. The best way to remove the colony is to use a pest control specialist.

When the nests are located, pest control specialists can use the proper processes to treat the suspect damage areas.

At Preventive Pest Control, our pest control guarantee a full-scale wood ant extermination with complimentary tips to help prevent further wood ant infestations from recurring. Contact us today if you have noticed signs of a wood ant infestation or have questions about pest control services in the Houston area.

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