Ants 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 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 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.
Need Help Identifying Carpenter Ants?
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!