How to Locate a Carpenter Ant Nest
Carpenter ants can build nests both inside and outside of buildings; typically, they build them in hardwood trees with holes while they’re out in the open. Carpenter ants like moist or decaying wood because their nests require a steady temperature and humidity. Carpenter ants have found an alternate site that provides them with a consistent temperature, protection from natural enemies, and protection from the elements when they nest in non-wooden regions.
So how do you locate a carpenter ant nest? The majority of carpenter ant nests are discovered in decaying wood in places like windows, chimneys, sinks, door frames, and bath traps, as well as hollow spaces like wall voids. Carpenter ant colonies can thrive if they’re given the right conditions, such as damp wood, warm temperatures, and protection from predators and environmental disturbances.
How Can You Find Carpenter Ants’ Nests?
1. Follow Their Trails
Carpenter ant control requires locating the nest location, which isn’t always straightforward. You may sometimes figure out where a nest is by looking at the movement patterns of ants. More often than not, these trails will be coming from food sources within or around your home towards their nests in wood structures or trees.
Ants are always in search of food and will leave pheromone trails, which are usually invisible to the naked eye, that other ants can smell or detect, leading to the food sources that they've found. Be sure to wipe the trail of ants that you find to erase the pheromones left by the worker ants.
2. Look for Their Excrement or Frass
The presence of fine sawdust, often known as frass, is another indicator of an ant nest nearby. The ants carve out passages to move, dwell, and deposit their eggs, their excrement usually looks like piles of sawdust, so if you see this mud-like material around your house appearing out of nowhere, it's possible that there is a satellite or parent colony inside your home.
3. Look Through Your Yard
Tree stumps, rotting logs, and decaying wood in trees are common places for parent nests to be found outside of the home. Check behind stones, slabs, and yard equipment as well; a nest might be hiding there. Look around your yard for these kinds of surroundings, and if it's a shambles, get it cleaned up!
4. Check All Your Wood Stock or Trees Outside Your House
Carpenter ants may bore into wood doors, windows, trim, cabinets, and other wood items to make a nest, as their name suggests. They're usually found inside walls, making them extremely difficult to remove.
5. Inspect Potential Water Sources For Ants
Carpenter ant infestation is common within homes in locations where wood comes into touch with the foundations of the house. But what really attracts them and allows them to build nests on your property is excess moisture that they use to hydrate. Common sites where ants are spotted are bathrooms, basements, dryer rooms, and any other space that can have moisture issues or a water leak.
Nests are located in rotting, damp wood. Start looking for leaks and excessive levels of humidity in these areas if you've ever had a leak or experienced high levels of humidity in your house. Examine the siding, entrances, and windowsills for any signs of water damage.
6. Listen to Ant Noises
It's possible to hear a nest from a distance or through your walls. The ongoing activity of the ants within a nest is described as a gentle rustling sound or crackling through walls and ceilings. If you think there are ants in a piece of wood, tap it and listen for the rustling sounds, that typically sound like a "snap crackle pop".
Another indicator of invasive species of carpenter ants within your home's walls is a hollow sound when knocked on. This is because the structure of your home is now damaged wood, and is taking up less space within your walls.
7. Look For Wood Shavings
Wood shavings could indicate the presence of carpenter ants. In your cellar or attic, these shavings are frequently found behind beams. Determine if the "ants" are actually ants and not termites before looking for swarmers. If you assume they're ants, you should be aware that they could be breeding outside and entering through a break in your foundation. Pharaoh ants or carpenter ants may swarm inside your home.
8. Look for Dead Insects or Mounds of Dirt
A pile of dead ants by window frames is another indicator of an interior ant infestation nearby. Many ants, particularly pavement ants, excavate dirt from their nests, leaving large piles of fine dirt visible. Watch out for these signs.
9. Spot Aphids Around Your Yard
Some ants, such as carpenter ants, have discovered that aphids emit honeydew, a pleasant nectar-like fluid that they can capture when the aphid feeds on a plant. If aphids are attacking your plant, the aphids are most likely being used by an ant colony. Your best bet is to remove the ants first, as eliminating the aphids first may encourage the ants to raid your home.
10. Inspect Decayed Wood
A rotten stump is a perfect place for fire ants and carpenter ants to start a colony. If you have any untreated wood that has been left undisturbed for a long time, it's likely that it's the home base for your local carpenter ant colony, with crazy ants preferring this area for their nests. Fire ants may also have hollowed-out places beneath your foundation or other poured concrete elements, such as sidewalks, driveways, and porches.
11. Look For Swarmers
The first step is to determine whether the ants are in fact ants rather than termites. If they're ants, they could be nesting outside your home and entering through gaps and crevices in the windows and door frames. If carpenter ants are swarming inside, it's a sure sign you have them.
Types of Carpenter Ant Nests
1. Parent Colonies
Carpenter ant parent colonies are usually found outside, however, they can also be found inside your home in rare situations. The carpenter parent nests require a moist, damp tunneled environment. Tree stumps, decaying logs, boards, and buried logs are among the most popular hiding places. You may locate a parent nest in dishwashers, sinks, showers, bathtubs, and around bathroom and kitchen tiles if you have one.
2. Satellite Colonies
Workers, adult larvae, and pupae are all present in satellite colonies. Satellite colonies may be developed in dry wood regions, although parent nests are typically built in damp, moist locations. Because the eggs might not survive in low humidity situations, these nests are better for workers.
Hollow doors, insulation, and wall spaces all have satellite nests. A satellite nest could be present even if your home plumbing is faultless and there’s no dampness or wood rot. As a result, it's critical to identify a carpenter ant nest as soon as you see infestation symptoms.
Get Rid of All Your Ant Problems With Midway Pest Management
Having a carpenter ant infestation can be a big nuisance, especially when you have black carpenter ants all-around your house. Midway Pest Management is the best pest control professional for eradicating an entire colony of these small pests, ensuring that not a single active colony remains on your property. Midway Pest Management guarantees that any species of ant will be properly cleared from your home.
Learn More: How Much Does it Cost For Carpenter Ant Control?