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What To Do If You Spot Carpenter Ants Around Your Kansas & Missouri Property

Serving Families Throughout Overland Park
carpenter ants on the ground

Ants are some of the most common pests found in and around Kansas & Missouri properties. If you are a home or business owner, there’s a high probability that you’ll have an ant infestation at some point. There are many common ant species in the area and some of them are much worse than others.

While all ants can contaminate food and many can be invasive because of their large colonies, the most destructive ants found in the area are carpenter ants. Not only can they get into food, but they can do a lot of damage as they tunnel through wood to make nests. This makes them similar to termites in the destruction they cause, but, unlike termites, they don’t eat wood.

Infestations of carpenter ants can end up costing property owners thousands of dollars in repairs, so knowing how to identify them and tell them apart from other less harmful ants is vital. Here’s what carpenter ants look like:

  1. They are dark brown or black.
  2. They have a single node that connects their thorax and abdomen as opposed to the two nodes that some other species have.
  3. They have an obvious set of pincers near their mouths.

How Much Damage Can Carpenter Ants Cause?

While termites can go undetected for months or even years because they are rarely seen out in the open, carpenter ants are occasionally seen. Scout ants are sent out from the colony one or two at a time, usually at night, to look for sources of food. So if you see a couple of large black ants in your living spaces, it is wise to get an inspection because there could be many carpenter ants hiding inside your walls.

The amount of damage carpenter ants can cause to your home depends on how long they can carve tunnels and nests inside your walls. If you see a carpenter ant (or even if you don't) and an inspection reveals an infestation, then you can have them taken care of and end the destruction. If you let the infestation go on, unchecked, then much more damage can be done.

Unlike termites, carpenter ants can get into your food and contaminate it. You will need to throw out any food that they touch and also clean any countertops or other surfaces that they come in contact with. Keep in mind that carpenter ants are especially attracted to anything that is sweet including syrup, sodas, and fruit. 

What Should You Do If You See A Carpenter Ant?

If you’ve noticed one or two carpenter ants around your property, it is wise to check for the other signs of a carpenter ant infestation. Here are some signs of a carpenter ant infestation:

  1. Piles of wood shavings or sawdust especially below things like window sills and baseboards.
  2. Noticing long trails of ants in your yard.
  3. The sound of rustling inside of walls or flooring.
  4. Seeing winged ants coming out of walls, flooring, or ceilings.
  5. Discovering shed wings around window sills, vents, or baseboards.

Any of these signs are a good indication that you are dealing with a carpenter ant problem.

Carpenter Ant Control And Prevention

If you’ve noticed any signs of carpenter ant infestations, the simplest way to protect your property and save time and money is to get professional pest control from the experts at Augustine Exterminators. With over 53 years of experience, we can provide ant prevention options as well as the removal of current infestations. Our technicians have an average of 17 years of experience each, so we can remove carpenter ants and keep them from coming back. Call us today to find out more