As a homeowner, the last thing you want is to see your beautiful home and belongings get destroyed and eaten out by pests. However, if you live in Maine, you might have to come across carpenter ants in your home as they are the most common pests in the city. That’s why you need to watch out for signs for a carpenter ant infestation before things get completely out of hand and you end up facing costly damages.

Let’s discover all you need to know about carpenter ants and signs to watch for that show they have invaded your home!

What Is a Carpenter Ant?

A carpenter ant is a considerably large, often double-winged ant that measures up to a half-inch. These ants are one of the largest ant species in the world and have heart-shaped heads. However, their size isn’t what you should be worried about. Instead, you should be more concerned about keeping these pests outside of your home. It’s because carpenter ants are notoriously destructive ant species that carve out nests within the walls of houses. 

However, carpenter ants don’t eat wood as termites do, but they can easily venture into your food supplies, contaminating your food by spreading bacteria. They typically set up a nest within the wall during winters and then wander outside when it’s warm. But when they stay within the walls, they find their way into your home by chipping away at the wood, resulting in considerable damage over time.
What’s more is that these ants typically come out during the night, so it’s more difficult to spot them before they have infested your place. Moreover, since they don’t eat the wood, they produce sawdust inside your walls as they carve their way through them, resulting in more damage. 

5 Signs of a Carpenter Ant Infestation

Here are five signs that you have a carpenter ant infestation in your home:

Frass Inside the House

As carpenter ants move around inside the wooden walls of your home, they produce a material known as frass. It’s essentially a mixture of sawdust, insect parts, and feces. You can find it in many places inside and outside your home, especially in dark areas that are prone to moisture. Look for frass under your crawl space, deck, porch, and patio, and inside your basement, bathroom, and attic. 

You might find a pile of frass on the floor or see it stuck to a wall. It might also be underneath tiny cracks and holes or outside a crack, gap, or recess in your walls. If you spot a sawdust-type material anywhere inside your home, the feces remnant is likely evidence of a large infestation. In such an instance, it’s best to contact a licensed pest control company to get rid of the infestation. 

Presence of Winged Ants

If you spot winged ants in your home, you may have an ant colony growing nearby. It’s because a winged ant isn’t a specific species of ant. Instead, they are the ants produced by an ant colony with the purpose of leaving the colony to produce their separate colonies. So, if you find large black or red ants with wings inside your home, you might have a serious carpenter ant infestation on your hand. 

You might find them on the inside of your windows and sliding doors near light sources. That’s how they try to get out of the house and start their separate colonies. So, don’t ignore these ants when you find them in your home and try to identify them or seek professional help to do so. 

Wood Shavings near Baseboards & Other Wood Damage

If you have a carpenter ant infestation in your house, you might find wood shavings near the baseboards and wood beams. You might also spot other wood damage in places where the structure is compromised by water damage. Look for signs of damage under the stairs, deck, patio, etc. You might be able to find wood shavings near the door frames and windows. If you spot any damage to the frames, especially in their bottom corners, you might need to look for ants inside your home to confirm if they are the cause of the damage. 

Worker Ants

Most often, you will not be able to spot carpenter ant workers in your home because they prefer to work at night. However, you might spot them during the day if you go looking for them. Move objects that sit on the floor, lift loose wood boards, and inspect wooden furniture or décor in your home. If you see ant workers, remember that they are polymorphic, i.e., they won’t be the same size. 

Faint Rustling Sounds

If you have a carpenter ant infestation in your home, it’s highly unlikely you will hear them unless they have multiplied significantly and severely damaged your wooden walls. That said, if your home is incredibly quiet, you might be able to hear a faint rustling noise coming from behind the ways. If that happens, it’s likely the sound of carpenter ants chewing on the wood. 

Preventative Strategies 

If you don’t spot these signs, you can focus on preventing a carpenter ant infestation in your home by limiting their points of access and fixing any moisture-damaged wood. Carpenter ants love soft, rotting wood that they can chew easily and make nests inside. So, you will need to repair damaged, cracked, sagging wood. Also, check your drainage pipe and gutter systems to keep moisture damage at bay. 

Moreover, keep your lawn well-maintained to prevent clutter that can attract pests. Keep firewood piles away from the foundation of your home and clean up all fallen branches and twigs. That said, if you still end up with a carpenter ant infestation in your home, call in the professionals right away.

Carpenter Ant Infestation Elimination

Ants Plus Pest Control is the finest pest control company in Maine. We can provide you with impeccable pest infestation elimination services that will help you live in an ant-free home. We will also give you tips to prevent further infestations and avoid costly damages. So, if you have a carpenter ant infestation in your home, reach out to us today!