What to Know About Carpenter Ants

What to know about carpenter ants in Sevierville TN - Johnson Pest ControlAnts are the number one household pest problem. Most ant species are a nuisance but won’t pose much of a threat otherwise. However, that is not the case with carpenter ants. These ants are known to burrow through wood and can oftentimes be mistaken for termites. Because carpenter ants are more dangerous than other species of ants that may infest your Sevierville TN home, it’s important to learn about their behaviors and what you can do to prevent them.

The ant control experts at Johnson are here to help. Keep reading to learn all you need to know about carpenter ants in Tennessee.

Carpenter Ants 101

Carpenter ants differ greatly from other ants due to their behaviors. Here’s what to know:

  • Carpenter ants often get confused with termites because they have the similar behavior of chewing up wood. Unlike the termites, these antsdo not eat the wood for food. They will sprout wings as well and will look similar to a termite swarm.
  •  Carpenter ant identification in Sevierville TN - Johnson Pest ControlCarpenter ants chew up wood into ‘galleries’ in order to create places for them to lay eggs. Unlike the termites whose wood chewing develops mud-like tunnels, the carpenter ants chewing is dry. If you notice small piles of sawdust around a woodpile or under roof eaves then the likely hood of carpenter ants being the problem goes up. Carpenter bees will create similar piles of sawdust when creating their galleries to build nests.
  • Carpenter ants ideally chew on rotted and/or moist wood. This allows them protection and easier ability to create their galleries for laying eggs. They will chew on dry wood if that is the only source for nesting that they can find.
  • The most common carpenter ant we find in the United States is the black carpenter ant. This species is also the largest of the species found in the United States. We have approximately 10 different species of carpenter ants in Tennessee.
  • Carpenter ant close up - Johnson Pest Control in Sevierville TNCarpenter ants do not pose a threat to human health. They can damage a home structurally if allowed to feed on your home unchecked. But the most they can do to a human is bite them, which feels like a slight pinch. They do look pretty formidable a bug with their front pinchers and comparable size to other ants.
  • Getting rid of carpenter ants requires the help of a professional pest control expert. Since their nesting source can be tricky to find and eliminate with household pesticides save your energy on this pest. This will also help you from damaging your own home in trying to eliminate the colony.
  • If you do not have carpenter ants to get rid of you can help prevent them from getting into your house by doing the following. Fix roof or drainage leaks that create moisture issues, keep firewood away from the home, trim back tree branches that touch the house, and seal any cracks in the foundation that might give access to the house.





Carpenter Ants in Tennessee Homes

Carpenter ants are most active starting around March in this area and can go into October. If you see them in your home do not assume that they are feeding on your home (remember they don’t actually feed on wood) but are looking for food just like any other ant does. If you want to know even more about these ants you can download this white paper from University of Tennessee’s Extension program on carpenter ants. The ant exterminators at Johnson Pest Control are always here to help with carpenter ant problems—give us a call today to learn more!

6 Ways to Prevent Ants This Summer

Prevent summer ants in Sevierville TN - Johnson Pest ControlMost property owners have dealt with ants at one point or another. As the number one nuisance pest in the United States, it’s important to learn what you can do to keep ants away from your home. During the summertime, ant infestations spike in properties throughout the Sevierville TN area. To avoid the frustration of an ant infestation this summer, there are a number of things you can do to keep them from getting indoors in the first place. The team at Johnson Pest Control knows how frustrating these pests can be, which is why our experts are sharing the best ways to prevent ants this summer.

6 Tips to Prevent Ants in the Summertime

If you’ve had ants before, you likely never want to go through the frustration of getting another infestation! Ants typically make their way inside to seek out sources of food or shelter. Once indoors, they can spread quickly! Thankfully, there are several things you can do to lessen their chance of getting indoors in the first place:

    1. Keep a clean home. Sweep your floors regularly to get rid of crumbs. Ants are attracted to sugary food sources and a few crumbs will keep them coming back for more.
    2. Store food properly. Avoid leaving food out uncovered. Keep food in airtight containers or store them safely in cupboards and fridges.
    3. Seal entry points. Ants can crawl through the tiniest of cracks. Inspect your property and use caulk to seal any gaps, holes, or potential entry ways.
    4. Avoid excess moisture. Areas with standing water or leaks will attract ants quickly. Attend to broken pipes and clean up spills quickly.
    5. Trim back trees and vegetation. Plants close to your home can encourage ants to come in. Make sure tree branches, shrubs, and bushes are trimmed away from the perimeter!
    6. Pick up your pet’s food. Crumbs and spills from your cat or dog’s food and water bowls can be a huge attractant for ants. Always clean up and store bowls between mealtimes.

Common Ants in the Summer

There are several types of ants that cause homeowners a lot of grief this time of year. With over 700 species of ants in the nation, it’s easy to get these pests confused with one another. That said, it’s important to know what you’re up against when you have an infestation. A few of the most common types of ants you’ll likely encounter in our area are odorous house ants, carpenter ants, fire ants, and pavement ants. For help identifying them, it’s always recommended to enlist the help of a professional.

What to Do When You Have Ants

If you’ve done all you can to prevent ants but still have trouble keeping them out, it’s time to call a professional ant control company. The ant exterminators at Johnson have the years of experience needed to keep ants out of your property for good!

Does DIY Pest Control Work?

Mouse traps are a common DIY pest control method. Learn the pros and cons of DIY pest control in Sevierville TN from the pros at Johnson Pest Control.DIY projects are certainly beloved by many. If you’re planting your own garden or embarking on an art project, DIY is absolutely the way to go. However, do-it-yourself pest control is a bit of a gamble. Store-bought products can occasionally help with a small pest problem, but they’re also often filled with chemicals. DIY pest control is also never a long-term solution to dealing with ongoing infestations or any underlying problems. Here at Johnson Pest Control, we want to help our customers make informed choices when it comes to protecting their homes from pests. Keep reading to learn whether DIY or professional pest control is the best choice for you.

Do-it-Yourself Pest Control

If you have just a spider or two in your home, store-bought and DIY pest control typically can work. However, DIY pest control has several downfalls: 

    1. Certain pests, such as rodents, termites, bed bugs, and carpenter ants are more dangerous and destructive. Getting rid of these types of pests can be challenging for any novice.
    2. A lot of store-bought products are laden with chemicals that can be dangerous for you, your family, and your pets. Reading the label doesn’t always guarantee the product will be applied perfectly and safely.
    3. At-home remedies rarely work in the long-term and do not prevent future infestations.
    4. DIY or store-bought products don’t come with a guarantee or warranty as often as professional services, meaning you often have to buy more products.

The Importance of Professional Pest Control

It’s true that professional pest control requires a bigger investment of your time and money, but the payoff is tenfold! A professional has a unique understanding of the habits and behaviors of pests, making them more apt to know the best solution to control an infestation. An exterminator can also work to prevent future pest problems by identifying possible vulnerabilities in your property. Any pest control products are always applied carefully and efficiently for the safety of your family and pets. The biggest benefit of using a professional exterminator is having a custom pest control plan designed to treat your home.

DIY Pest Control vs. Professional Exterminators

Having a pest control plan in place is a smart idea for maintaining the health and safety of your home or business. Instead of spot treating pest flare-ups with unreliable DIY pest control and store-bought products, a pest control company can work with you to learn how to avoid infestations for good. To learn more, the team at Johnson is here for you!

How to Differentiate Between Termites & Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are commonly mistaken for termites in Sevierville TN - Learn the differences from Johnson Pest Control.With spring upon us here in Sevierville TN, swarming insect season is coming! The most dangerous insects to be wary of this time of year are termites and carpenter ants. These two wood-destroying insects are commonly mistaken for each other in the swarmer stages of their lives. Although they are similar in appearance and habits, there are a few key differences to be aware of. Read on for tips from the experts at Johnson Pest Control for how to tell the difference between these insects.

How to Tell the Difference Between Termites & Carpenter Ants

It can be difficult to tell apart termites and carpenter ants in the swarmer stage. It’s important to look at the size of their wings in proportion to their bodies:

  1. Carpenter ant swarmers: These are black in color, with some species having slightly red coloring. Carpenter ants measure 1/2″–5/8″ with antenna bent at a 45-degree angle. Their wings are translucent with a reddish brown hue, laying over the posterior of the ant. Carpenter ant swarmers are bigger than termite swarmers!
  2. Termite swarmers: Usually, termite swarmers are black to brown in color and measure 3/8″ long including the wings. Their wings are a translucent to slightly milky or smoky color. Their wings may overlap, and are typically as long as or slightly longer than the body; this is the best way to differentiate them from carpenter ants.

Winged ant vs. termite in Sevierville TN - Johnson Pest Control

Termite Damage vs. Carpenter Ant Damage

Termites typically cause more damage than carpenter ants. Some of the things to know about these wood-destroying insects include:

  • Termites make their way into a structure around basement windows, doorways, under siding, porches, or any structure in contact with the soil.
  • Established termite colonies can range from 60,000 to over a million workers and can consume nearly 5 grams of wood per day.
  • Carpenter ants establish nests in wood that is already in decay, and later expand into normal wood, insulation, or wall voids.
  • Excavated termite galleries appear to have been sanded. For the most part, carpenter ants do not create the extensive damage termites do. 

Wood-Destroying Insect Extermination

Without a doubt, wood-destroying insects cause a lot of damage for property owners. However, termites can cause much more damage in the same period of time as carpenter ants. Regardless, it’s important to enlist professional help for either of these insects. At Johnson, our termite exterminators will conduct a thorough inspection on your property to determine whether you’re dealing with carpenter ants or termites. From there, we will work to exterminate these wood-boring insects with the most effective, fast-acting treatments!