If you have damp, rotting wood in or around your house, you may be attracting carpenter ants. Carpenter ants are very common in northern Illinois. They seek out wood to chew to make tunnels for nesting. They don’t eat the wood, but chew through it, causing destruction. Common areas are floor or wall joists with water damage, rotting siding, rotting firewood in or near the house, or other wood structures.
A typical adult carpenter ant is black and between ¼ and ½ inch in length. They build large colonies of up to 10,000 ants. They tend to be more active in spring and summer.
Carpenter ants don’t eat the wood they live in and look elsewhere in your home for food. They are attracted to meat and sugar products. They feed at night, and will head to a garbage can, pet food bowl or sugar crumbs.
Controlling carpenter ants can be tricky but is important because they can cause destruction to your home. It’s important to seek out and destroy their nest, in the home or in a wood area around the home. Pesticides should be applied at the location of the nest. Simply applying chemicals around the house can expose humans and pets to health risks, so careful, targeted applications by a pest control professional is recommended.