Carpenter ant control can be obtained but usually will take a professional pest control operator. Carpenter ant colonies can be up to six years old and contain thousands of ants. The larger the ants the older the colony. Each year some of the ants will swarm and fly to make new nests. Eliminating wood piles, and rotting wood will decrease the amount of areas the ants can make nests. Sealing cracks and crevices on the home can help prevent the ants from entering. When treating the ants a residual spray should be used along with dusts around main nesting areas. The entire perimeter of the home should be treated.
Carpenter ants can have established nests up to 300 yards away from homes and homeowners may not always be able to locate the main nest. Smaller nests around houses and other areas are called “satellite nests”, which will eventually establish big enough numbers to branch out themselves.
Homeowners can help themselves by keeping tree limbs trimmed back away the home and not letting branches reach out over the roof. Getting rid of decaying and rotting wood eliminates potential nesting areas. Caulk and seal cracks and other openings that enter the home. If these tactics don’t get rid of ants inside the home it becomes necessary to have a licensed pest control operator treat with a non repellent insecticide.
In the state of Iowa there are a handful of ants that can become household troublemakers. The most famous are probably carpenter ants.
Carpenter ants will damage wood by chewing and excavating holes to make nests. Many times people will notice piles of “sawdust” which looks like someone just cut a board in the area. This is the wood they are getting rid of to make a nest.
Carpenters will swarm two or three times a year just like termites. When swarming, they fly and then drop their wings in an area they like. Hopefully, homeowners get them treated before they do damage to a wall or other areas of the home. The ants can reach large sizes even up to an inch long. They prefer to make the nests in softer, water damaged wood but this is not always the case.