When you own your home, you want to make sure that it's protected against all types of hazards, including damage caused by pests. In fact, when you bought your home, you might have had it inspected for termites, especially if you purchased a pre-existing home. However, there's one danger that you might not be on the lookout for, and that's the damage caused by carpenter ants. You might not realize this, but carpenter ants can do just about as much damage to your home as a colony of termites can.
About the only difference is that termites eat the wood, while carpenter ants simply chew through the wood and devour it to build nests and tunnels. However, the damage to your home is still the same. If you have carpenter ants around your home, you need to get rid of them quickly. If you're not sure whether you have carpenter ants, you need to learn how to identify them. Here are four steps you can take to find and control the carpenter ants in your yard.
Know How to Identify Frass
When it comes to finding carpenter ants, the first thing you need to do is learn how to identify frass. Frass is what's left behind by carpenter ants when they're chewing through your home. It might look a little like dark sawdust, and that's because it is, just a lot finer. You'll find frass wherever carpenter ants are active. Some of the best places to check for frass includes along windowsills or outside near the eaves.
Look for Damaged Wood
If you've found frass, you need to start looking for damaged wood. Start by looking in areas where you have exposed wood in your yard, or areas where wood has begun to rot. If you've got carpenter ants in your yard, you'll notice smooth holes in your wood, or tunnels that look like they've been chewed. Those are sure signs that you have carpenter ant activity.
Set a Trap and Follow the Trail
Once you find signs of carpenter ant activity, you'll want to find the colony. That can be difficult to do, especially when you don't know where to start. The best way to find the nest is to set a trap. Begin by identifying an area where carpenter ant activity seems apparent. Place a small amount of food, such as a sweet treat, on the ground. Once you notice carpenter ant activity around the food, follow the trail right to the nest.
Call Your Exterminator
If you've identified carpenter ant activity on your property, and you've located the nest, you'll need to call your exterminator. This is particularly true if you've located numerous nests. You won't be able to control a large infestation of carpenter ants through natural, do-it-yourself methods. Your exterminator will make sure the problem is eradicated quickly and thoroughly.
For more information, contact a company like Be There Pest Control.