Carpenter ants are a common household pest found throughout the state of Florida. They can grow anywhere from 6 to 13 mm in length and are reddish-yellow in color with black abdomen and elbowed antennae. Females are notoriously larger than males with wings up to 20 mm. Carpenter ants hollow out wood structures in order to make nests. They don’t actually eat wood.
Carpenter ants cause damage by:
- Weakening wood supports. As they nest, these ants can weaken wooden structures threatening the structural integrity of your home.
- Causing visible damage. As these ants damage wood, aesthetic issues with your home can also arise.
- Eating other things. Carpenter ants don’t actually eat wood. They will, however, feed on other plants, fruit, meat, grease and other items found in and around your home.
Because of Florida’s warm climate and mild winters, carpenter ants are active pretty much year-round. Swarming season, when they are more commonly seen, runs from April to June.
You can prevent carpenter ants by:
- Eliminating moisture. These pests are known to nest in softened or water damaged wood as it is easier for them to burrow into.
- Trimming branches and other landscaping away from the sides and roof of your home. These allow them free access to climb into your house.
- Sealing exterior gaps and crevices with caulk.
- Storing firewood away from your home.
- Inspecting wood around your home for signs of an infestation.
If you have a problem with carpenter ants or any other pests, contact your local pest control company for an evaluation.