How Do Carpenter Ants Get Inside a House?


Quick Answer

Carpenter ants gain access to a house through tiny cracks or small openings such as those created by plumbing or wiring. They are frequently found inside walls, in ceilings, under outdoor siding, in the wood near foundations. They dwell near downspouts or roof gutters, in floors and insulation. Nests inside a home are usually satellite nests, with the larger parent nest located outside where there is abundant moisture.

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Full Answer

Washington Toxics Coalition explains that carpenter ants do not actually eat wood. They burrow into the wood to expand their nests. This burrowing can hollow out structural beams and weaken them. Destroying the nest inside the home is not enough to eradicate an ant problem. If the parent nest is not destroyed, the ants are likely to return. Trails or furrows in the grass lead to the parent colony, which is often located close to the house in woodpiles or stumps.

Eliminating any sources of moisture in the home is a first step in preventing ant access. The crawl space should be inspected to make sure ventilation is adequate. Rotten or weather-damaged wood must be replaced and gutters and downspouts fixed so that water is properly diverted away from the house. Soil must not contact the wooden structures of the house; this requires shrubs to be pruned back to prevent creating a bridge for the ants.

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