Carpenter Ants are NOT the Problem, They are the Symptom

Sure, as carpenter ants burrow into wood to create their nests, your home is slowly getting destroyed from the inside out.

But carpenter ants don’t generally nest in nice dry areas free of food stuffs. They prefer moist, rotting wood. Carpenter ants indicate a bigger problem in the home.

Carpenter Ants Like High Moisture

Carpenter ants like areas with high moisture, especially wood that is in contact with the soil. Soft moist wood is easy to burrow into. They prefer areas where ventilation is poor, and areas with exposed structural lumber. Often, a carpenter ant nest is developed in  dead trees, stumps, logs or decorative landscape wood as it softens and rots. Stacked wood for a fireplace also attracts carpenter ants.

Finding and removing colonies of carpenter ants early minimizes chances of entering the home as it takes 3 to 6 years before a carpenter ant colony develops reproductive winged males and queens that look for new nesting ground (in your home, for example).

How Carpenter Ants Enter the Home

To find the source of entry into your home, look for piles of sawdust-like borings and slit-like openings in woodwork. Carpenter ants will actually “knock” back from the inside of the wall if you knock. To track them down, listen for a dry rustling noise that can be heard best at night during high ant activity, and when your home is quiet. Hold a wine glass or a stethoscope up to the wall to hear better.

If you see winged ants trying to escape to the outdoors, usually in the spring, it’s a good indication they are in your home.

Sawdust around brick like this is a telltale sign of carpenter ants.

Carpenter Ants do NOT Eat Wood

Despite popular belief, carpenter ants do not eat wood, they burrow in it, throwing the wood aside as as they burrow in sawdust-like shavings. Carpenter ants eat plants and animal matter, not wood. They enjoy feasting on insects, other small invertebrates, and sweet body fluids from aphids and other insects. Protein and sweet foods found in and around homes also provide food for foraging workers. Fruit trees are ideal.

Carpenter ants build nests by burrowing into wood. They dig tunnels (called galleries) much longer than those created by termites. The wood is not eaten, but thrown from the nest as sawdust-like shavings.

How do I Prevent Carpenter Ants from Wanting to Enter my Home?

  • Clear away any decaying or infested wood from around buildings.
  • Remove firewood from inside your home and away from the side of your home.
  • Make sure there are no tree stumps or other wood debris close to your house.
  • Don’t use bark or driftwood as decoration when landscaping.
  • Make sure you don’t have high humidity areas in your home.
  • Replace decaying or infested structural wood with dry sound material.
  • Discourage ants from invading buildings by ensuring food sources are not available. A compost should be placed far from the house.
  • Keep food in sealed containers and regularly sweep up all crumbs and other food fragments.
  • Keep your home clean.
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Lay Chan Wee
Lay Chan Wee
01:19 31 Aug 21
I was impressed with the service provided by Rui Su. He was organized, explained in detail area that I am not familiar... with. He provided a good report. I will recommend him if you need home inspection.read more
Mary Jane Caro
Mary Jane Caro
14:25 27 Aug 21
I am always pleased to recommend Carol Mose from Mose Home Inspection Services to my clients who have had offers... accepted on residential real estate properties. She is knowledgeable, thorough, provides clear explanations, and delivers comprehensive reports.read more
Massimo Pannunzio
Massimo Pannunzio
22:05 25 Aug 21
Michael has got to be on of the best home inspectors in all of Quebec. It was amazing working with him and he had my... best interest at heart when making a life changing decision. He made sure I had all the answers and made it easy to work with him. I will be using Mose inspection for any moment that I need an inspection done that's for sure!read more
Amanda Lee
Amanda Lee
19:14 16 Jun 21
Amazing experience with Carol Mose who helped me with a pre-purchase inspection! She was very approachable and... observant, and informed me of all her first impressions on-site. This gave me greater understanding of any conditions as I was able to ask any quick questions on the spot. Her reports are the most thorough that I've seen and include diagrams to help explain what any physical signs mean and potential consequences. Could not have asked for a better inspector!read more
Maeghan Banks
Maeghan Banks
15:38 14 Jun 21
Carol was wonderful to work with for our pre-purchase inspection. She was professional, thorough and communicative,... taking the time to explain her findings as we went through the house. After the inspection, we felt we had clear knowledge of the condition of the house (both pros and cons), allowing us to move forward with the purchase with confidence. Highly recommend!read more
Ryan Chalupovitsch
Ryan Chalupovitsch
13:43 01 Jun 21
Carol Mose is the best home inspector in the business. Approachable and extremely knowledgeable. She did an... inspection for me and really took the time to explain her findings and help me understand the home I was looking to purchase. Cannot recommend her enough. Don’t hesitate.read more
Elisabeth Faure
Elisabeth Faure
21:16 29 Apr 21
This is the second time I have used MOSE, and they are always really amazing. Very nice, very professional. they came... to have a look at my roof and let me know if we were due for a repair - I was very satisfied with everything and would recommend them to anybody!read more
Hannah S
Hannah S
22:05 16 Apr 21
I had a great experience with Mose home inspection. My husband and I are first time homebuyers and so had a ton of... questions about the process. Everyone we talked with was really informative and helpful. Michael was our inspector and was phenomenal. The inspection was very thorough and he explained everything in detail with realistic next steps for us to take. We came out of the inspection feeling really informed. Plus, he is just an absolute delight! He had very contagious enthusiasm and made the inspection a really positive experience. Would highly recommend!read more
Gabriel Lukuc
Gabriel Lukuc
03:05 16 Apr 21
Michael was amazing. He took the time to explain to us what’s really important and the reasoning behind it. We’re not... very handy nor savvy when it comes to home construction so we really appreciate him taking the time to explain to us all aspects of the inspection. Also, Michael was friendly, professional and timely; he provided the report over a holiday and a weekend.read more
Stephanie Ballard
Stephanie Ballard
14:24 19 Mar 21
MOSE is the best in the business. Once again we were happy with their inspection services - they are professional,... friendly and knowledgeable. Would not hesitate to recommend to friends and family (and have)!read more
Rodrigo Morales
Rodrigo Morales
18:27 10 Sep 20
Home inspection
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