It is common to see carpenter ants around Texas homes. They can show up at any time of year. They can live indoors, even though they usually have their nesting sites in trees. Carpenter ants in Texas rarely damage homes, but they are a nuisance.
Carpenter ants usually show up late in winter or in the early spring. They typically emerge from their colonies to mate and start new colonies at this point in the year.
Identifying Carpenter Ants
Carpenter ants are some of the larger ants that you can find in Texas homes and yards. The state is home to 18 carpenter ant species. The most common of them has a reddish head and thorax with a black tail. During mating season, they grow larger and have wings. In the pest control industry, we refer to these winged carpenter ants as “swarmers.” These ants are sexually mature and can grow to 1/2 an inch in length. Other carpenter ant species are black or yellow.
What Carpenter Ants Eat
Carpenter ants feed on insects while outdoors. They also consume honeydew, which is a liquid produced by aphids. They will seek other food sources while indoors. When inside a home, carpenter ants consume the foods that people eat. They are fond of sugar and honey. They will also eat any accessible pet food. These ants typically forage at night. Workers can travel as far as 100 yards from the nest when looking for food.
Carpenter Ants and Moist Wood
Whether they are indoors or outdoors, carpenter ants live in moist wood. They cut galleries into the wood to make nests. They also cut tunnels so that they can move between the galleries. Some carpenter ant species prefer to use voids that already exist in the wood rather than make their own.
Ways to Prevent Carpenter Ant Infestations
The most important step for keeping carpenter ants out of a home is to remove possible nesting sites. Get rid of any stumps, logs or waste wood within a 100-yard radius of the home. You should keep stored firewood away from your house and only bring it indoors when you are going to use it. you should also keep vegetation like trees and shrubs from coming into contact with your house.
If you see signs of carpenter ants in or around your home, contact us immediately to find out how we can help.