Signs of carpenter ants or termites,spider bites and treatment,how long does it take to get rid of fleas on a kitten - PDF Review

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This article describes carpenter ants and how to inspect a building for carpenter ant damage. We describe and include photographs of building details that increase the risk of carpenter ant attack - which tells you where to look for ant damage as well as how to prevent carpenter ant infestations in buildings without reliance on pesticides.
We also describe how to distinguish carpenter ants from termites and how to tell a carpenter ant from other ants. Our photo at page top illustrates a closer to actual size view of carpenter ants found during demolition in an area where the evidence of carpenter ant activity and damage justified tearing some building surfaces apart. Carpenter ants (Camponotus pennsylvanicus) attacking a wood structure, if not discovered and evicted (or treated), can cause substantial structural damage to the building. The black carpenter ant (Camponotus pennsylvanicus) is the most common carpenter ant member of the species found in wood structures in North America, though there are about 1000 members of the group. Carpenter ants may be winged (shown enlarged to about 5 x life size in our photo at left) if the colony is swarming, but more often you'll find them wingless (see our next carpenter ant picture just below). Look for a combination of wood close to ground, water or wet conditions, and a difficult-to-access or inaccessible area (such as a very tight crawl space) - these conditions are a platinum invitation to carpenter ants to attack the building. Look for signs of structural damage such as sagging, bending, bowing of wood framed floors, walls, ceilings, roofs. Leaks into a wood framed roof structure (often around a chimney) are an inviting condition for carpenter ants - they don't have to go downstairs to get a drink. Common roof leak areas such as around chimney flashing and at leaky eaves (or at areas of ice damming) are common sites for carpenter ant infestation.
Our sketches show the difference in appearance between a winged termite (swarming) and a winged carpenter ant. Look for dead carpenter ant bodies in an area where you have applied an ant spray or pesticide. Look for live carpenter ants in number and carpenter ants that are swarming (and winged) carpenter ants in the spring. Pest control experts sometimes use a chemical spray that when injected into a building cavity will cause the ants to come streaming out - as a means of finding the carpenter ant nest. Our photo illustrates how easy it is to entice carpenter ants into the open if they are already nearby.

We left these apple cores on a kitchen cutting board in early spring - a time of peak carpenter ant exploring activity. In less than an hour our local carpenter ants had found and were enjoying fresh apple juice.
Notice a second relevant clue to carpenter ant attack: the water stain on the plywood wall sheathing at the upper right corner of the photo. Without opening this wall and removing the insulation one would not be likely to see this carpenter ant colony nor any damage the ants are making to the structure until conditions were much more severe. Below we illustrate further investigation of the carpenter ant attack whose clues were just above. At below right you can see our disclosure of active carpenter ant activity and a sawdust trail (carpenter ant frass trail) that was located between the plywood roof deck and the wall top framing. Our carpenter ant activity photos below illustrate the results of deciding to investigate further for ant activity and damage at the ground floor of a slab-on grade structure. These little ants appeared within a few hours of our leaving a dead insect on a brick walkway.
Watch out: these biting red ants are capable of a painful bite injecting a good dose of formic acid.
Continue reading at TERMITE DAMAGE PROBING or select a topic from the More Reading links or topic ARTICLE INDEX shown below. You typically cannot see them, you cannot hear them and frequently only a trained inspector find signs of lnfestatlon.
Termites feed on cellulose, a complex chemical in plant cell walls, and they are very important in the natural decomposition of fallen trees, leaves and other plant products.
A thorough and careful inspection by one of our termite control specialists is the first and most important step in protecting your property. If a termite infestation is found, the specialist will design a treatment plan for your property that will control any current infestation and establish a chemical barrier around the structure to take care of future termite infestations.
We explain and illustrate how to identify carpenter ants - what carpenter ants look like, why and where they attack buildings, and how to cure a carpenter ant infestation using pesticides or other methods. Because carpenter ants prefer to tunnel (for carpenter ant nest building purposes) in damp rather than dry wood, building leaks are a common trigger for ant infestation.

Wood less than 8-inches from soil is an invitation to carpenter ant (or termite) infestation. The combination of wood close to ground and wet conditions is a red letter invitation to carpenter ants.
At below right our second photo shows a significant amount of carpenter ant frass at a wood framing juncture.
Our carpenter ant damage photo shown at below left illustrates mature but still active carpenter ant nesting. When an ant colony has grown large enough it may send out a new branch - you may see hundreds of carpenter ants milling about, including winged ants. Carpenter ants don't eat the wood they are tearing into, so you can count on local food and water to attract carpenter ants out of their wooden galleys. As a result, where there is fresh, current carpenter ant activity you will often find fresh, light colored sawdust (carpenter ant frass) below or at the area of entry or exit of the ant infestation.
At below left you can see much more compelling evidence of carpenter ant activity on the sill plate atop the same wall - a place no one might have looked without the first clue. After observing frequent carpenter ant traffic on the floor in this area we watched the ants to see where they seemed to be most busy (coming and going) at the wall bottom. Subterranean termites build their colonies in the soil or in trees or poles, and they rely mainly on the soil for moisture.
And we provide citations to authoritative sources for more carpenter ant identification & control information. This structural member is practically hollow - the carpenter ants like to leave the more dense latewood or winter wood when cutting their galleys.
Homeowner’s insurance can recover losses from fire, floods and earthquakes, but almost impossible to get insurance against termites.

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