Ants have six legs, large heads, antennae, and are known for being incredibly strong for their relatively small size. They have a unique body style that has a narrow “waist” segment that connects the abdomen to the thorax. The black carpenter ant (Camponotus pennsylvanicus) typically lives in large colonies, and is the most common type found in North Carolina. Carpenter ants are capable of creating potentially costly property damage by burrowing through wooden structures. They typically measure between ¼ and ½ of an inch long, and appear in colors including red, brown, and black. They tend to prefer water-damaged wood.

Distinguishing Carpenter Ants From Other Types

Carpenter ants are generally distinguished from other species with characteristics including above average size, a smooth thorax, and their “heart-shaped head.” Carpenter ants excavate spacious nests within the wood, which leads to them often mistaken for being termites. Unlike termites that consume wood, carpenter ants simply chew through the structure, and create piles of “sawdust-like” frass. 
As carpenter ants burrow through the wood, they create space that is clean and smooth, unlike subterranean termites who form tunnels filled with dirt and mud. Compared to termites, carpenter ant damage is typically not as extensive. 

The Problems Caused By Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants typically do not bite, and are seen as a threat to a property rather than a human health risk. The extent of the damage they create depends on the length of time they have actively been digging through a wooden structure. Homeowners who develop plumbing leaks, or experience storm damage that exposes the wood to significant moisture are most likely to encounter a problem with these pests. 

Tips For Preventing Them 

  • Remove fallen trees and branches, and move firewood storage areas away from the property.
  • Closely inspect the exterior walls and foundation for any gaps or crevices, and fill them with a durable sealant or caulk.
  • Regularly clean and maintain gutters and downspouts to allow for rainfall to be routed away from the home.
  • Promptly fix any leaking pipes, spigots, or other sources of excess water and moisture.
  • Wood siding should not have direct contact with soil, because that allows easy access for carpenter ants.

Do I Need A Professional Exterminator? 

Have you noticed signs that suggest your property is being invaded by unwanted pests such as fleas, ants, mosquitoes, or termites? Unfortunately, many homeowners underestimate how quickly a minor problem can develop into a major infestation. 
Other property owners will try do-it-yourself home remedies, or store-bought products that tend to deliver only short-term results. Some of these products may also contain potentially harmful or unknown chemical agents. The best course of action is to respond proactively by immediately speaking to a seasoned professional that understands how to create a comprehensive solution to these types of pest intrusions. 

Licensed Pest Control Professionals In Raleigh

Did you know that the team of local experts at Innovative Pest Solutions is led by professionals that have been successfully operating in this industry for several decades? The organizational mission statement contains four keys that include building a positive team, remaining humble, exceeding customer expectations, and being grateful. The founder is a former President of the North Carolina Pest Management Association (NCPA), and has achieved the Associate Certified Entomologist designation, which places him among the leaders in this profession. 
Our technicians are equipped with the latest knowledge, products, and equipment that have proven to be effective and safe for our customers, their pets, and our local Raleigh environment. We encourage you to contact us today for scheduling a detailed inspection and estimate. Don’t forget to ask our representative about our 1-2-3 year-round protection plans available in the levels of Basic, Plus, Premium, and Premium Plus. Learn more about our residential pest services today.