Wet Weather and Carpenter Ants

With the abundant rain this winter, your house may have areas with wet and decaying wood that can become an ideal nesting site for carpenter ants. Even small amounts of damage from flying debris or trees that strike the siding, roof shingles, rain gutters or electrical meter bases can allow moisture to collect in wood, insulation, roofing paper, etc. Carefully inspect your home for damage particularly:

  • Inside:  Check the attic, crawlspaces, basement, or garage
  • Outside: Check eaves, fascia, gutters, soffits, siding, and roof shingles

The sooner you begin repairs, the less likely you are to have a carpenter ant problem later.  Here are some nonchemical methods to help prevent infestations:

  • Trim tree branches and shrubs away from structures to prevent access
  • Seal off potential entry points such as where utility lines enter a structure
  • Reduce mulch around building perimeters to a depth of 2 to 3 inches to discourage nesting
  • Eliminate any earth-to-wood contact of structural elements that might promote wood decay
  • Replace decayed or damaged wood and correct problems that cause decay such as clogged rain gutters or leaky pipes
  • Increase ventilation to damp areas such as attic or subfloor spaces
  • Store firewood off the ground and several feet away from structures
  • Remove potential food sources inside a structure and store them in tightly sealed containers

Because ants have a “sweet tooth,” reducing the number of insects that produce honeydew might control ants around structures. The main producers of honeydew are aphids, giant whiteflies, and scales

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