BLOG / CARPENTER ANT PREVENTION AT THE COTTAGE: START EARLY
After a seemingly long winter quickly fades from our minds, our focus diverts to the excitement of opening the cottage for another season. Long gone are the days spent cooped up inside while snow blankets our world, to be replaced by barbecues, bathing suits, and weekends spent at our second home: the cottage.
During this time of year, many cottagers eagerly venture up to the cottage to open it for the new season. Opening the cottage can be exciting, but also presents a variety of challenges due to the amount of pests that emerge once the weather grows warmer.
One notable pest is a carpenter ant, whose infestation is a common problem during the spring and fall. Carpenter ants are abundant in Ontario, and are common pests in homes, cottages and other buildings. The most common carpenter ants are the familiar large, black ants that are one-half inch or more in length and shiny black. One consistent characteristic of all carpenter ants is the smoothly rounded outline of the thorax when viewed from the side.
What damage is caused by carpenter ants?
Carpenter ants dig into wood and cause structural damage. Rather than use wood as a food source, carpenter ants dig into the wood and lay eggs in the hollowed frame. Carpenter ants also eat into Styrofoam, stucco and insulation. Typically, damage goes unnoticed until it is severe, so carpenter ants are certainly unwelcome tenants in any cottage or home.
But what can be done to prevent carpenter ants?
To prevent carpenter ants from infesting your home, first begin preventing easy access to your home:
Seal exterior cracks
Cut away branches and tree material that are close to or touches your home
Remove damp wood or other sources of moisture near your home
Clear decaying or infested wood from around your home
Remove firewood from inside or away from the side of your home
Avoid burying tree stumps or other wood debris near your home
Correct humidity problems inside your home
Keep dry food in sealed containers
Remove food and water sources (ie. leaky faucet)
Keep your home clean - regularly sweep or vacuum
How do I get rid of carpenter ants?
In some cases, you may take all the preventative measures and still find carpenter ants. If you think there is the possibility of an infestation, you can try to locate the nest. Locating the nest is beneficial in understanding the amount of damage sustained and allows you to assess the severity of the situation. This step is as important as it is difficult, especially if only a few ants are spotted at a given time. You can try observing ants to see if you can detect a pattern of movement. In spring and summer, carpenter ants are more active at night; observing after sunset, with a flashlight, may give an indication of the source. Presence of sawdust is an important clue in locating ant nests.
If you think you have a carpenter ant infestation, your best course of action is to call a trusted professional pest control company like Environmental Pest Control. Let them take care of the pest, while you focus on enjoying your summer at the cottage!
Call 1 (800) 263-5055
Our Professional Team is Happy to Help!
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