Best Time to Bait Carpenter Ants

carpenter ant infestation

Carpenter ants are some of the most common insect colonies you can encounter in the United States. These ants usually measure around ¼ to ½ inches in length and can be found in colors of black, red, or a mixture of both colors. They're particularly known for their fondness of settling in wood structures and can be difficult to remove without expert help. However, one of the potential ways that you can deal with them is by using bait to kill them via their food.

So when is the best time to bait carpenter ants? These ants typically follow a nocturnal schedule and best respond to bait during the evenings. However, bait alone isn't the only way to remove them: you need to make sure that it's close enough to their nests and there are no other insects in the area, especially other ants. Here's a guide on everything you need to know about when to bait a carpenter ant colony.

Read More: What Are Good Carpenter Ant Baits?

When Is the Best Time to Bait Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants can be notoriously difficult to bait, due to their habit of establishing several nests spread across an area. If you find a black carpenter ant indoors or even a nest, it's most likely one of many satellite colonies that they have branching from the main carpenter ant nest. This is why the evening is the best time to place bait since it's more likely that they'll be out and about traveling between different satellite colonies.

Satellite nests are also a good indicator of where the parent colony is: and while an indoor nest usually means the parent nest is outdoors, that's not always the case. Baiting during the evening can guarantee that most of the carpenter ants are out in force and will be actively looking for food, so scheduling your bait placements around this time is an excellent way to catch them.

A colony of carpenter ants will usually avoid an active colony of any other ant species if they can, which is why they're less active during the daytime. If you want to ensure total colony elimination, you need to apply ant control measures to other ant species in your home. Otherwise, the presence of carpenter ants that you do get with your ant bait won't be enough to dent or remove their actual ant population.

Signs of a Carpenter Ant Presence in Your Home

Finding the signs of a carpenter ant colony is fairly simple: one of the things that you should look out for is the presence of frass on any wood structures around your house. Carpenter ant damage typically looks like fine piles of wood shavings, similar to the texture you might get from coarse sawdust. If you see these piles of sawdust around damp wood or other wooden structures, it's a good sign that there might be a carpenter ant nest in the vicinity.

However, carpenter ants will generally avoid putting the parent colony indoors, so any nests you see inside your home will most likely be indoor satellite nests leading to the parent nest outside. Carpenter ants generally like to make their homes in moisture-damaged wood that's relatively close to water and food sources, which for most homes is a tree or tree branches near windows.

Frass will also appear in places in your home that are prone to structural damage like doors or window sills. Any damage to wood or decayed wood structures is fair game for these insects; which is why establishing potential sites for a nest chamber is crucial to carpenter ant control.

Learn More: Everything You Need to Know About Using Ant Bait in Your Pantry

Two Ways to Prevent Future Infestations

Using carpenter ant bait can make a considerable difference in trimming down a mature carpenter ant colony, but like most insect infestations, prevention is better than the cure. By identifying ways that carpenter ants can potentially nest and enter your home, you'll be in a better position to prevent them from settling in entirely.

Here are two of the best tips you can follow to prevent a carpenter ant infestation:

1. Make Sure Your Wooden Furnishings Don't Make Contact With Water

Moisture-damaged wood is one of the essential factors that can lead to the rise of a carpenter ant colony: but without wood and access to water, the entire population can die quickly. This is why identifying any potential wooden fixtures around your home that can make contact with water is extremely important.

If you do find decaying wood or a water source that's already done some damage to wood furnishings around your area, remove them immediately. Decaying wood is particularly inviting for carpenter ants since it's easy for them to set up a nest chamber, especially if it's indoors and close to a food source.

2. Check the Base of Trees or Hollow Trees Around Your Area

A key part of the control of carpenter ants relies on making sure that they have no opportunity to establish a parent colony near your home - and in most cases, that means checking any trees nearby. Carpenter ants usually use these for nest construction as they make sure they have an ideal environment to come back to after wandering away.

Control strategies for this tip can include trimming away dead branches, making sure that plants nearby (even the ones that you own) aren't harboring a colony, and using carpenter ant spray as perimeter treatments if you know there's a nest nearby. Generally, carpenter ants will not go indoors in search of food if there are already chemical traces that repel them: use this advantage if you're living in a particularly rural area.

Are Carpenter Ants Dangerous?

As far as insects are concerned, a carpenter ant infestation isn't particularly dangerous to humans. This species doesn't really bite and prefers to avoid venturing into busy spaces, and usually only comes out at night.

The real danger that carpenter ants pose is their potential damage to wooden structures in your home, which can lead to structural failure if left unchecked. While their appetites are not as vicious compared to subterranean termites, you still need effective control over a carpenter ant colony if you wish to avoid significant damage to your home.

A mature carpenter ant colony can cause widespread damage to wooden fixtures around your house, especially if you live in a humid area that's prone to moisture issues. If you notice even a small presence of ants around your home, you should act quickly to make sure that they don't end up setting a nest.

One thing that you should keep in mind is that while small infestations of carpenter ants can be managed or prevented on your own, bigger infestations need professional help to completely remove the entire population. By leaving this in the hands of a pro, you'll be able to make sure that no ants are left behind and your property is free from further infestations.

Read More: Homemade Ant Bait: Effective Recipes and Tips

Professional Carpenter Ant Removal Services

professional pest control worker

Carpenter ant colonies can be extremely difficult to remove without experience - the nests are often buried deep within the wood, and an infestation can extend beyond your house. While not as destructive as termites, a carpenter ant colony should always be dealt with by a pest control professional.

Pinnacle Pest Control's licensed, qualified, bonded and insured exterminators can help you deal with a carpenter ant infestation quickly and efficiently. They'll remove the entire colony, while also making sure that they're unlikely to ever come back. Call Pinnacle Pest Control today and request your free quote.

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