During pest inspections of homes & businesses I see plenty of wet rot, dry rot, various kinds of fungal growth and carpenter ant damage. Generally, when you see one of the above, the property has all four types of damage.
Carpenter ants actually do provide a natural role in the forest ecosystem. Carpenter ants damage trees then those trees fall to the ground thus supplying nutrients to the soil. This in turn provides the forest with an excellent area for plant growth. A nest of carpenter ants can eat thousands of other insects that cause damage to the forest system. In turn other creatures; Wood Peckers for example, eat carpenter ants.
Carpenter ant problems can be costly (damage repair not treatment) and difficult to solve. Many people think they eat wood, actually they don’t, they excavate wood as they create galleries. They feed on protein and other sources of sugars. They are very attracted to honeydew, a sweet liquids produced by aphids and scale insects. Aphids and scales feed on trees, shrubs and other plants. These are often found on the attractive plants we put directly around our homes & businesses. Once indoors, carpenter ants feed on just about any food scraps we leave behind. Most of their foraging (approx. 70% of the colony) is done at night between 9PM and midnight during spring and summer months.
Carpenter ant colonies grow slowly. It generally takes 2-3 years for a colony to grow to a couple hundred workers. When they reach 4-5 years they are in the thousands and begin swarming. They don’t always nest in wood; they can and do nest in cellulous materials and fiberglass insulation.
Inside carpenter ant nests are often found in moist areas; e.g., behind bathroom tiles, around tubs, sinks, showers and dishwashers; under roofing, around attic beams and under sub-floor insulation. An active colony in a wall or ceiling void will make scratching or chewing sounds, this is done with their mandibles. It is not unusual for there to be several colonies inside your structure.
If the moisture problem is not fixed, the ants will return. Structures often do get re-infested so it is best to continue with a protection plan each year. You can feel confident that when you have carpenter ants & you use EHS that you are getting the best in the business!