Why Do I Have Carpenter Ants On My West Chester, PA Property?

November 10, 2021

Carpenter ants aren’t just big; they’re bad news. While other ants are mostly just a nuisance, carpenter ants can actually cause damage to your home or business. If you’ve been wondering why you have carpenter ants on your West Chester property, there are a few things you should know.

a carpenter ant crawling and chewing on wood

About Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are the largest type of ant to infest properties in the U.S. The average specimen measures between 1/2 and 5/8 of an inch in length. They are often solid black but may also be a combination of red and brown. But besides their jumbo size, there is another important trait that distinguishes carpenter ants from their cousins.

As their name implies, carpenter ants are fond of wood; in fact, it’s where they build their colonies. Carpenter ants spend much of their time chewing up wooden materials to excavate the tunnels and galleries of their nest. But unlike termites, carpenter ants don’t eat wood; they simply destroy it.

Seeing a lone carpenter ant on your property might not necessarily mean you have an infestation. These ants are known to command a large territory and may travel 300 feet or more from their home colony in search of food. Many carpenter ants are known to break off into satellite colonies when the mother colony grows too large. 

What Are Carpenter Ants Attracted To?

It’s not just quality lumber that draws carpenter ants to your property. These pests have a taste for sweets and meats and are eager to raid your kitchen for a meal. Some common factors that attract carpenter ants include:

  • Food sources – Indoors, carpenter ants like to eat sugary processed foods, meats, and dead insects. They will even take advantage of pet food. Outdoors, nectar, honeydew, and other insects may attract carpenter ants.
  • Moisture issues – Dripping pipes and spigots, backed up drains and gutters, and even condensation from air conditioning units can all provide adequate moisture to attract carpenter ants and other pests.
  • Damaged wood – Damaged, damp, or rotting wood is ideal for carpenter ants. Old stumps and logs are common spots for carpenter ants outdoors, and water-damaged windowsills, wall voids, and doorframes are typical targets indoors.

Are Carpenter Ants Dangerous?

They don’t deliver a painful sting like fire ants, nor can they destroy your property as swiftly as termites, but carpenter ants should be taken as a serious threat. As they work, they weaken the structural integrity of the wood they inhabit by excavating their galleries. And the trouble is that signs of damage are not usually visible. Small, rounded holes at the entrances of the galleries and piles of expelled wood material are generally the only visible signs besides live carpenter ants.

Carpenter ant infestations can be challenging to eliminate because of the ant’s tendency to split off into satellite colonies. That means that even if you manage to get rid of one carpenter ant colony, there may be others still thriving nearby. And because of this ant’s drive to travel in search of food, you could find more carpenter ants back in your kitchen in no time.

If you’ve seen carpenter ants on your West Chester property, the best way to get rid of them is with help from Masters Touch Pest Solutions. We offer both residential and commercial pest control services for our customers with detailed inspections and thorough treatment. With more than 30 years of experience, trained and friendly technicians, and state-of-the-art equipment, you can trust us to safely eliminate your carpenter ant problem once and for all. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help you!

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