Carpenter ants are large, black or reddish-brown ants that are known for their ability to destroy wood in homes and other structures. They are one of the most common ant pests in Toronto, and their damage can be extensive and expensive to repair. If you live in an area where carpenter ants are present, it’s important to understand the damage they can cause and the steps you can take to control them.
Carpenter Ant Damage to Property
Carpenter ants get their name from their habit of hollowing out wood to build their nests. The damage they cause is not from eating the wood, but from excavating galleries and chambers for their nests. They prefer damp or rotting wood, but will also tunnel into sound wood.
As carpenter ants continue to tunnel and expand their nests, the damage to the structure can become significant. Their galleries can weaken beams and joists, causing them to collapse. This can be especially dangerous in older homes, where the structural integrity is already compromised. In addition, the nests themselves can attract other pests, such as termites, which can further damage the property.
Aside from structural damage, carpenter ants can also cause cosmetic damage by creating holes and rough surfaces in woodwork. They can also cause damage to insulation, electrical wiring, and plumbing, leading to costly repairs.
Why It’s Important to Control Carpenter Ants
Carpenter ants can cause serious damage to homes and other structures if left unchecked. In addition to structural and cosmetic damage, they can also cause a risk to human health. Their nests can harbor other pests, such as bedbugs and cockroaches, which can carry diseases. Furthermore, carpenter ants can contaminate food and surfaces with their excrement, increasing the risk of foodborne illness.
It’s also important to control carpenter ants because they can be difficult to get rid of once they have established a nest. Their nests can be located in hard-to-reach places, such as inside walls, and it can be difficult to locate and treat all of the nests in a structure.