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What Dallas Residents Need Know To About Identifying And Exterminating The Carpenter Ant
One particular insect species getting a lot of attention in Dallas, Texas is the carpenter ant. This insect species is notorious for tunneling underground and invading homes in the process. Scientists believe the carpenter ant tunnel enhances the environment by improving air and water circulation deep in the ground. This theory may be true, but Dallas home and business owners do not want their properties overrun with carpenter ant colonies. The carpenter ant is one of the hardest working insect species, creating more risks for the integrity of every building structure in the city. While the insects are building tunnels and erecting nests, they are targeting vulnerable wooden structures like trees, buildings, gates, porches, decks, and shrubs. Knowing the very important identifying characteristics and eradication options will put you one step ahead in the process if ever you are left dealing with a carpenter ant infestation.
Carpenter Ant – Identifying Characteristics
The carpenter ant is highly recognizable by its tri-segmented body that is connected by tiny joints. The odd-shaped with dark eyes are most often the first thing humans notice during a carpenter ant encounter. This feature along with the power mandibles and solid black or reddish/brown body make the insect highly identifiable.
Carpenter ants are what scientists deemed “social,” meaning they travel, live, fight, work, and eat in colonies. The size of the colony will depend on food and water supply, longevity, and climate. Colonies can host 10,000 or more carpenter ants that are divided into groups – workers, soldiers, winged swarmer, wingless swarmers, and the queen. Every group plays an important role in the survival of the colony. For example, the worker carpenter ant is responsible for erecting underground tunnels and nests, as well as foraging for food. The soldier carpenter ant, on the other hand, is responsible for protecting the queen and the young, as well as food-foraging.
The adult worker can grow up to ½” in length while the queen can reach 5/8” in length, a significant difference. The queen is mostly pampered by the other members because she is responsible for reproducing new generations.
Knowing The Signs Of A Carpenter Ant Infestation Is Crucial For Extermination?
Now, you can identify the carpenter ant species, it is time to start becoming familiar with the signs of an infestation. This is where things get tricky because carpenter ant infestations are not much different than that of other ant species., which is why identification is so important. The most common signs of a carpenter ant infestation include the following:
- Visual Live Sightings – Many victims tend to ignore the signs that lead up to a live carpenter ant sighting. Live ants crawling around on surfaces like countertops is commonly reported in Dallas. The ants can also be seen traveling alone or in groups on tile, carpenter, and hardwood surfaces. There is no place off-limits to a carpenter ant following a home infiltration.
- “Frass” Trails – Carpenter ants utilize their mandibles to breakdown vulnerable wood structures like studs, joists, and headers. These insects mostly target deteriorating wood structures. The wood is not ingested, instead, it ends up on the ground near the damaged structure. The byproduct of carpenter ant wood damage is known as “frass,” a sawdust-like material.
- Audible Noise – Yes, the carpenter ant is a small insect, but do not be fooled, its ability to create destruction in its path is undeniable. If you put your ear against a wall where carpenter ants are working on the other side, you will hear rustling noises. This is a rare finding, but a few reports come in each year.
- Swarming Insects – Carpenter ant winged swarmers will oftentimes forage for food by flying over the top of it. The swarmer swoops down to grab a piece of food periodically. This process continues until enough food is gathered to take back to the colony.
Why Is My Dallas Home Under Attack By Carpenter Ants?
Carpenter ants are diligent pests, which is very common among insect species. Survival is always in the back of the carpenter’s ant mind when foraging for food and erecting tunnels and nests. These insects, like other insect species, target homes with vulnerabilities – unattended access points. Tiny crevices, gaps, cracks, and openings around doors, windows, plumbing fixtures, and electrical wiring are the most commonly targeted carpenter ant access points. If these are left unattended, the carpenter ant will utilize them to access your home.
When a carpenter ant ends up indoors, it is coincidental or intentional, with the latter being the most common. Your home offered an access point, warm shelter, and a food source.
Do Carpenter Ants Spread Diseases And/Or Parasites To Humans?
The carpenter ant itself has never been found to transmit diseases. However, it has been connected to foodborne illnesses, such as Shigella and salmonella. Carpenter ants travel through sewage systems, garbage dumps, and other contaminated areas, picking up contaminants along the way. The contaminants are deposited on exposed food and eventually ingested by humans, resulting in foodborne illnesses.
It is crucial to have a solid non-refrigerated food storage system just in case of a carpenter ant infiltration. At least, your food will be safe in the event of a home infiltration of carpenter ants.
Does DIY Pest Control Work For Carpenter Ant Infestations?
Carpenter ant infestations can be very complex, thanks to what scientists deem “satellite colonies.” A group of carpenter ants split off from the main colony in search of food, resulting in a home infiltration of a satellite colony. The main colony is somewhere on the exterior of your property just waiting patiently for the satellite colony to return with food. While this is only a make-believe scenario, it is similar to how carpenter ants behave and live.
When Will The Exterminator Arrive At My Dallas Home For The Inspection?
It may take between 24 to 48 hours to process your carpenter ant inspection request. Please feel free to relay any concerns you may have to the customer support representative. If you believe your carpenter ant infestation is an emergency do not hesitate to speak up. We offer same-day and emergency pest control services.
Does Carpenter Ant Pesticide Contain Toxins?
Conventional pesticides do contain chemicals necessary for the insect extermination process. However, chemical exposure is out of the question when the home is vacant and the pesticides are administered per the manufacturer’s recommendations. We work with pesticide manufacturers that have gone through the proper channels to seek EPA approval. EPA-pesticides are deemed “safe” when they are applied, handled, stored, and transported properly.
Is It Possible To Prevent A Repeat Carpenter Ant Infestation?
Yes, thanks to our professional pest management solution, Dallas homes do not need to be under constant carpenter ant scrutiny. We will work with you and your family to develop a solid prevention strategy that is guaranteed to be effective. However, every household member must be on board for the strategy to work. We suggest the development of a secure processed food storage system, utilizing glass and thick plastic containers with lids to prevent food contamination by carpenter ants. If your home is infiltrated, the carpenter ants will not gain access to your food source, ruling out any potential risk of foodborne illness.