Carpenter Ants and Summer Fun

antsAh, summer. Sunny skies and warm weather make this a time we all look forward to – the end of school, the first swim, picnics and camp and vacations… But unfortunately, “we” doesn’t just mean humans. This time of year is also a favorite for many of our not so favorite pests and one causing a particular stir this June is the Carpenter Ant.
You may have noticed them before, black or reddish ants much larger than the common ants you find building hills on your lawn outside, sneaking their way into your kitchens and bathrooms. They come in search of food and a place to build a nest, the latter being the bigger problem, of course, as that nest often ends up being in the walls of your house!

A Carpenter Ant colony begins with a Queen. She first carves out a small nest in damp or decaying wood. This is the center around which the larger colony’s nest will be created. The damp wood is preferable to Carpenter Ants because it is easier work through. This is why you’ll most often find them in kitchens, bathrooms and other areas where water pipes run through the walls leaking fluid and creating condensation that moistens the wood and leaves it vulnerable.

Unlike termites, Carpenter Ants don’t actually consume the wood, they simply burrow into it leaving small piles of debris at their tunnel entrances. So, while some members of the colony excavate, other Carpenter Ants must go out to gather food for the rest. Carpenter Ants will eat nearly anything including plant life, other insects and meats, but they are especially known for their sweet tooth. Your kitchen full of syrups, sugars, jams and other delicious treats is just the place for the Carpenter Ant to find a feast to bring back to the family.

So here’s the deal. You know you want to look good on the beach. You know you don’t want carpenter ants in your kitchen. Wouldn’t summer be a good time to go on a diet?

Peace, Kenny