The Importance of Ant Identification In Your Tulsa Home

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With So Many Ants... How Do We Know The Difference?

carpenter ant up close

In our Tulsa service area, we have several ant species that can become a problem for us in our homes. Most are just a nuisance or a mild risk for the spread of bacteria but there is one type of ant that can present a significant threat to our homes and our finances. It is called a carpenter ant. Here are some things you should know about them.

Identification of Carpenter Ants

When ants appear in your home, there are a few quick ways to determine whether or not they are carpenter ants.

  • The most destructive carpenter ants in our service area are called black carpenter ants because of their coloration. As their name implies, they are black.
  • A carpenter ant has one node between its thorax and abdomen. If you're not sure what a thorax or abdomen is, this area is around the waist of the ant. If you capture an ant with some tape, you can get a close look to see if your ant has this little bulb at the waist.
  • Carpenter ants are the largest pest ants in Tulsa. The smallest these ants will be is ⅛ of an inch long, which is the largest other pest ants will be. Carpenter ant workers can be as long as ½ inch and winged carpenter ants can be as long as ¾ of an inch. These are not tiny ants.

Identifying Signs of Carpenter Ants

There is another way to tell if you're dealing with carpenter ants. These identifying signs can also be used to detect a carpenter ant infestation when you don't see carpenter ants inside your home.

  • Carpenter ants push frass (sawdust) out of tiny holes. You may find this frass stuck to the walls in your basement or piling up on the floor. You may find it in your attic spaces. It may also be found in humid locations inside and outside of your home.
  • In the spring, mature carpenter ant nests produce male and female alates. These are winged reproductives that leave their nests in search of new locations to create nests. If they come out inside your home, you're going to find these large ¾ of an inch long, winged ants crawling around on your window panes because they are drawn to the light.
  • When carpenter ants infest a home, they may do visible damage. You may find a hole in your door or window frames. You might find a timber in your basement that has trenches in it. You may notice damage to external structures such as fences or decks.

Identifying Carpenter Ant Damage

  • When it comes to wood-damaging pests, carpenter ants aren't the only pest on the block. Mice, rats, carpenter bees, termites, wood boring beetles, and other pests can damage the wood of a home. There are a few ways you may be able to tell that wood damage is from carpenter ants.
  • When damage is done by carpenter ants, there is usually frass around. Look closely. It isn't always obvious.
  • When carpenter ants damage wood, they make tiny holes to push their frass out. You may be able to see these in areas of damage. These kickout holes are about the size of a dull pencil tip.
  • If you see exposed carpenter ant tunnels, they will look like trenches and they will be smooth to the touch. Termite tunnels look similar but they are gritty to the touch because termites bring soil up into their tunnels.

What to Do About Carpenter Ants in Tulsa

Carpenter ants are sneaky, nocturnal insects that cost U.S. property owners hundreds of millions in repairs each year. If left untreated, they can present a significant threat to the equity of your home because they keep chewing their galleries larger and larger every year. For this reason, we hope you will reach out to the pest control professionals here at Montgomery Exterminating. Our licensed and certified technicians use industry-leading ant control methods and products to ensure the complete elimination of carpenter ants. Get started by requesting a free estimate today. Don't take a risk with your home investment. It just isn't worth it.