Carpenter Ants: How to Identify, Cope and Prevent

July 12, 2018 8:48 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

You’ve learned to deal with six-legged visitors at your picnics, and you’ve come to expect an occasional run-in with anthills outdoors. But what about an invasion of carpenter ants in your home? These pests can cause extensive damage to your property (and annoy its occupants)! Fortunately, the proper insect control in Alaska can help prevent and remove these invaders from your home.

To handle carpenter ants, you must first be able to identify them. Fortunately, Alaska does not have an extensive representation of more common ants found in the lower 48. But, you should be familiar with the next steps to take and how to prevent future infestations. Here’s the process.


Carpenter ants are typically black, with a smooth, rounded thorax. Adults are wingless and grow to between ¼ inch and one inch long. Reproductive carpenter ants have wings and are typically found in close proximity to their colony. The wingless ants you see are most likely worker ants traveling from the nest to a satellite nest or simply foraging. If you see winged ants, this indicates a well-established nest nearby.

Other signs of infestation include sawdust near cracks in your wall or from ceilings, crunching sounds in the walls and the presence of ants during winter or very early spring before snowmelt. A colony in a wall will emerge around late February/March as the sun begins to shine down on Alaska, a bit longer each day warming up those walls and tricking worker ants into thinking it is time to go to work. These ants will also “wander aimlessly” in your home as if sleepwalking. In a sense, they are just groggy from a winter’s nap.


Why are these insects invading your home? They are in search of nesting spots. They seek out wood, which they do not feed on, but instead tunnel into it to make their nests. This boring weakens the wood and can cause eventual collapse of the material. Carpenter ants may be found in wood, subfloors, foundation areas and framing.

To locate nests, you can try tracking ants that are carrying food to their nest. However, finding their nests is often difficult. They often have a main nest outdoors and satellite nests indoors. The outdoor nests may be buried underground or inside trees. Indoors, they are usually well hidden and hard to reach.

If you suspect a nest is inside your home, it’s best to call a professional for insect control in Alaska. Several methods are available to treat your property and eradicate the ants. The most effective process includes locating the interior colony and killing/dispersing with a desiccant dust and an exterior treatment to the foundation areas with a residual material that will kill foragers as they walk on it. technician may arrange to fumigate your house if there is a large infestation. This will also help repel any foragers. If possible, locate the exterior nest and destroy it.


To make your property less welcoming to carpenter ants, keep your wood dry. Keep your walls and foundation free of excess moisture. Keep pipes well maintained, ensure roofing and flashing are in good condition and provide adequate indoor ventilation. Replace any wet wood right away. Additionally, keep siding, decking and stairs out of direct contact with the ground, and keep your foundation and walls well sealed. Lastly, don’t keep any firewood, scraps or tree stumps near your home.

Contact the Pros

Have you noticed any unwanted visitors in your home? If you see any signs of carpenter ants, don’t hesitate to contact the pros for insect control in Alaska. The experts at Pied Piper Pest Control are ready to assist you. Our team of highly skilled and knowledgeable technicians specializes in the removal and prevention of carpenter ants, as well as a full range of other invading pests. Contact us today with any questions or to schedule an appointment.

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