Carpenter Ant Control
We are your local carpenter ant control experts.
We control carpenter ants using materials that are pet and people friendly – with no odors or fumes!
On this page:
- How we control carpenter ants
- Carpenter ant info
- Carpenter ant identification
- Notes on controlling carpenter ants
- How you can help us get rid of carpenter ants
How we control carpenter ants
Safeguard’s enhanced carpenter ant control service starts on the outside – with a super thorough inspection of your home and your yard. We look at the base of your home, the perimeter of your decks, porches, sidewalks, walkways and any other concrete features. We inspect your fence lines, trees, utility lines, landscaping edges, rockery and pavers. We look for anywhere they could go to get their preferred foods, and any path they could use to get to your home. We even look below the soil next to your home.
We apply professional grade non-repellent control materials that are designed to be both safe and effective, to the perimeter of your home, in areas we noted ants, in areas that can eliminate them as they try to access preferred food sources, and in any areas that will protect your home without harming children, pets, birds, bees, or other non-target wildlife.
We inspect attics and sub areas based on your type of construction and the areas you are seeing activity. We treat these areas as necessary with all natural, food grade diatomaceous earth.
We do not use baits for carpenter ant control – as they are not effective.
Depending on your level of ant activity we may dust or spray inside the walls near areas of heavy activity – with your permission and approval.
If you see lots of ants on the inside of your home and want the fastest results, we might recommend spraying the inside as well. If you prefer not to have the inside sprayed, we will work with you to provide the control you need.
All homes will need a thorough initial inspection and treatment with at least one follow up service, although we find most homes, especially homes in heavily infested areas, or homes with lots of ants, would benefit from a quarterly inspection and treatment service to provide the best carpenter ant control – especially since carpenter ants are highly likely to re-infest.
We have preparation sheets for inside ant treatments and for exterior perimeter sprays to help you get rid of carpenter ants and get the most out of our services.
Carpenter ant info
Carpenter ants can and do cause damage to structures. How much damage will vary depending on the size of the nest and how long they’ve been there.
Carpenter ants are usually in a home for three years or more before a customer knows they have an infestation.
A home may have more than one nest. Colonies may have a dozen or more nests, spread out throughout a neighborhood. The main nest site is almost never found in a home, and is typically in a
hollow cedar or fir tree. All these related nests sites are connected by invisible scent trails that ants from outside nests will use to come back to your home.
In nature these ants eat other insects and insect secretions. Aphids make a sticky ‘sap’ when they eat the leaves of bushes and trees. This ‘sap’ is an insect super food, highly valued by ants and wasps – it is almost pure sugar. This is by far their favorite food source. Even if you see hundreds of ants in your home, understand it is a tiny fraction of the number of ants in your nest, and that the rest of the ants are getting their preferred food, somewhere outside.
Carpenter ants can and will feed on the aphids and other insects which attack the root systems of trees, bushes and ground cover, which is one of the reasons why it is important to treat sub areas and attics.
Above: Carpenter ant worker bringing food back to the nest (dead insect).
Carpenter ant identification
There are over a dozen species of carpenter ants in our state, they range in color and size – even in a nest. The best way to tell if you have carpenter ants is by how they are shaped. Click here for a larger sized picture.
Notes on controlling carpenter ants
Carpenter ants do not aimlessly wander into homes. You see them inside your home because they are nesting in your home. Their preferred foods are all outside. They only seem to show up in the spring and then disappear. Less than 1% will ever show up on inside wandering around or eating your food.
Ants will stop foraging inside when you spray something on them, most sprays are highly repellent. Even natural sprays, even household cleansers. Ants will also stop showing up when they eat something that kills a bunch of them quickly (especially strong over the counter baits), and when the food that they prefer, their normal food, aphids and other insects – becomes available outside.
Just because you no longer see carpenter ants – doesn’t mean you are controlling carpenter ants. They are still there – inside your walls, in your attic, or inside your sub area. The queen can live 30 years or longer and the workers for 8 to 10.
To get rid of carpenter ants completely it can sometimes take several follow-up treatments over a period of months. It is important to understand that the nest in your home is only a small part of a closely connected nest and colony system. If your neighborhood is infested, you should consider a follow treatment program.
Over the counter sprays can chase the ants away, but out of site – is not out of your house.
How you can help us get rid of carpenter ants
There are actually a number of things that can be done to help get rid of carpenter ants, and other types of ants too. Most of these steps will also make any service designed for controlling carpenter ants more successful with less use of pesticide.
Please visit our page: ant prevention to learn how to make your treatment more effective.