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Carpenter Ants or Termites

Have you been noticing extra ants cruising around your property, or piles of debris resembling sawdust around the entries to your home? It could be a sure sign that carpenter ants have made headway into your home and its infrastructure. This is a problem everywhere. From Annapolis and Edgewater to Pasadena, Severn, Odenton and beyond. In order to know for certain and avoid serious property damage, Old Bay Pest control has some tips to find out whether or not you’re dealing with carpenter ants in your house.

What do Carpenter Ants look like?

          To be specific, carpenter ants belong to the genus Camponotus and are considered “polymorphic”, meaning the worker ants in their colony vary in size. The queen is normally the only one in the colony that lacks wings on her back. Mature male and female worker ants usually appear once the colony has matured a couple years. In terms of appearance, these ants are usually dull black with pale yellow hairs. Carpenter ant workers are large, between 6 and 13 mm long.

          People often mistake carpenter ants with termites. While they do look similar, Old Bay Pest control know just how to identify the differences in species all over Anne Arundel County.

The main difference between termites and carpenter ants is the fact that termites ingest the wood they are breaking down, while carpenter ants leave a pile of debris. Another distinguishing factor that sets carpenter ants apart from termites is that their antennae are bent. Carpenter ants are also easily mistaken for common house ants because they share a middle section between the abdomen and thorax. The major difference however is the shape of the carpenter ants head. It is in the shape of a heart while house ants have a more circular shaped head.

What attracts carpenter ants into your home?

          While there are many factors that could go into bringing carpenter ants into your home, there a couple main culprits. For one, carpenter ants love moist, damp, areas- especially if the moist environment has created rotting wood which is easy to chew through. This makes Bathrooms, kitchens, drains, pipes, roof vents and laundry areas a major attraction. Keeping these areas free of moisture and checking on them regularly is a great preventive measure to stop carpenter ants from entering. Carpenter ants are huge fans of protein and sugar in their diet. Any scraps left lying around such as your pets leftovers has all the protein they need to warrant an invasion. They are also extremely attracted to honeydew, the sweet liquid produced by aphids. Scoping out and removing aphids from your yard is a great preventative step to deter carpenter ants from entering your home. Garbage cans not properly sealed are also a favorite hub for ant populations, so make sure those are sealed tight.

What should I do if I find carpenter ants?

          While all ant species can be a burden and nuisance to have inside your home, carpenter ants can be especially cumbersome and even dangerous if they damage essential infrastructure. Take note of these signs you could have carpenter ants in your house and don’t hesitate to call the experts at Old Bay Pest control. We have years of expertise in identifying and safely exterminating all forms of pest infestation, and will certainly relieve the headache of having insects overrun your home. Locally owned and operated, we pride ourselves in knowing just what pests our neighbors tend to face and just how to get rid of them for good. Check out our website to learn more about common insect pests or contact us today to be free of all carpenter ants tomorrow.