Carpenter ants in Vancouver are traditionally reddish-black in appearance and can be quite large in size(up to 2.5cm). They favour damp, warm environments to build their colonies. Vancouver Carpenter Ant Removal is a service we have grown to specialize in. These ants excavate through wood and can cause major structural damage to property costing home owners ten’s of thousands of dollars if untreated. Around late spring is when the male winged carpenter ants, which are known as “swarmers” will mate with winged females. Shortly thereafter, the females will shed their wings and the males will die. The only role of the carpenter ant queen is to lay eggs but as soon as worker carpenter ants mature into adults, they will take on the responsibilities of the colony. These workers are broken in to two categories, Minor and Major workers. Minor workers are the smallest members of the colony, and their tasks are to take care of the young and forage for food. Major workers are larger and serve as soldiers to defend against predators. The bottom line is that they all have the ability to damage your home.
You will often see carpenter ants out and about at night because this is when they feed. They eat food sources that are high in sugar and protein. If they are out in the open, they eat other insects and scavenge for carrion. They are particularly fond of aphids, which produce a very sweet syrupy liquid called honeydew. When carpenter ants are indoors, they seek out sweet foods such as jelly, sugar and honey. They will also eat pet food that is left out or any meat based food.
Carpenter ants set up their base of operations in outdoor nests which can be found in damp wood, such as rotting logs. They go back and forth into homes to gather food. They may establish satellite nests around the perimeter of a Vancouver home where it is dark and damp. They need dampness for eggs to survive. If you have dampness around your toilet or under sinks, you may find carpenter ant nests in these locations as well. These nests generally contain a collection of workers, some pupae and some mature larvae but no queen. Sometimes you will find smaller satellite nests in dry locations. These will contain only workers.
In the summertime, winged carpenter ants leave the nest. These are reproductive carpenter ants, both males and queens. They swarm seeking new places to establish nests. Areas that are attractive to them include damp areas behind dishwashers, under sink, tub and shower tiles, in walls behind toilets and so on. To establish a dry nest, workers might seek out hollow areas inside doors, in the void of walls, in degraded solid wood, in insulation and other dry, easily penetrated materials. Once a nest is established in an area in a home, you may begin to see carpenter ants out looking for food around the house in the evenings and overnight. This typically happens in the late winter and in the springtime when they may begin moving eggs from their main nest to satellite nests that have enough dampness to support the eggs. During this time they may also swarm for mating.
If you have carpenter ant nests in your house, you may see large swarms of winged ants around the house. Aside from simply seeing the ants in the house, you may also find piles of coarse sawdust lying around. This is the debris from the carpenter ants’ construction of their nests. They build nests by chewing through wood and creating tunnels and galleries. These nests are very clean and smooth with all sawdust removed. Hence, you will find piles of sawdust that the carpenter ants have discarded. The damage carpenter ants can do to wood can be quite severe and can cause serious structural damage to your home.
The best way to get rid of carpenter ants in Vancouver is to prevent them entering your home in the first place. Be sure that branches of trees do not touch your home. Keep your home in good repair and replace any waterlogged wood with sound, dry wood. Be sure there is good drainage around your home. Be careful not to bring infested firewood into the house, and store your firewood away from your house.
Keep all foods securely stored so that ants are not attracted to it. This is especially true of sweet foods. Keep all jelly, honey, sugar and sweet foods in locking, airtight containers that will not allow carpenter ants access. Be careful of high protein foods, too. These include all meats, water-packed tuna (they don’t like oil-packed tuna) and pet foods.
If you do find evidence of carpenter ants in your home, try to locate the nest so that you can destroy it. You can locate the nest by leaving food out for the ants intentionally and following their trail. If you think a nest is in the wall, you may be able to locate it by sound. Sometimes you can actually hear them chewing.
Check around outdoors to locate any outdoor nests which may be the base nest. If you find a base nest located in a rotten tree or stump, it is a good idea to bait the colony to kill them all off and then have the rotten tree or stump removed to avoid re-infestation.
Treatment for Carpenter ants involves a tedious and a logical application of various products ranging from contact killers to powder based residuals. The delivery method of some of these products may require drilling in to wall voids to isolate key points such as “satellite nests” while providing a protective barrier around the perimeter of the remainder of the home. For dependable, rapid removal and control of carpenter ants from your home, contact us with our online form or call OnSite Pest Control in Vancouver at 604-266-7483.