One of the most common places that people tend to spot carpenter ants first are in their attics. And, unfortunately, this is a serious cause for concern. Carpenter ants have significant expertise in working with wood, much like a carpenter.
They literally tunnel through wood, and excavate the insides, in order to build their nests. This obviously can have a seriously negative impact on the structural integrity of your attic, and your home as a whole.
Why Carpenter Ants Love Attics
Carpenter ants love attics because they are full of wood, dark, and often damp. To ants, that’s the perfect combination of attractants. They can do their work relatively undisturbed, and have easy access to lots of exposed wood.
Rotting and damp wood is their preferred environment, and they’ll naturally seek out the most damp wood in the home, which is usually in the roof area. If your attic is improperly ventilated, and allows moisture to be trapped, it’s that much more appealing to carpenter ants.
It’s also very easy for them to access the attic, coming in on branches, power lines, and other overhead structures that can lead right into your attic. Ants have several specialized roles, and some are scouts, constantly on the lookout for new places to nest, new sources of food, and so on. They may end up on or in your house by chance. But once they find a nice favorable spot in your attic, they’ll be sure to bring their buddies.
Climate and Seasonal Changes
Climate change and increasingly extreme weather has resulted in a greater focus by many species to find homes or shelters outside of their normal, preferred habitat. Carpenter ants are no different.
Over the last few decades, the rates of carpenter ant infestations have increased. They are much more prone to seeking out and finding shelter in your home than ever before, and the attic provides an ideal location for them.
The same is true of seasonal changes. Ants, like many small critters, will try to find shelter and build their nests in places that are ideal for their needs. Warm, damp, and dark areas are perfect for this. You’ll often see carpenter ants migrate into attics in homes with the changes of the seasons.
Carpenter Ant Damage
While it may be hard to believe by looking at their relatively small size, carpenter ants can do some seriously big damage to your home.
They accomplish this with their large numbers – a single colony can have upwards of 50,000 ants. And once established, they soon branch out and form new satellite colonies.
They breed quickly, spread quickly, and can number in the hundreds of thousands easily – especially if they stay confined to areas you rarely go, like your attic.
As they tunnel through wood and excavate it to build their nests, the wood is naturally structurally compromised. The more serious the damage becomes, the greater the risk of structural collapse.
In the case of your attic, this could mean the attic, roof, or both end up collapsing into your home. Therefore, it’s vital to get them taken care of as soon as you spot them, to avoid serious damage that can cost thousands, or tens of thousands of dollars to repair.
Electricity is Also Appealing
Electrical wires and the RF energy they put out can naturally be appealing to many insects, and carpenter ants are no exception. Most attics house several electrical wires, some appliances such as vent fans, and – depending on the home – may have significant wiring that runs to various rooms and systems. Carpenter ants will chew through the wiring’s insulation, exposing the copper inside. This can cause a short-circuit and risks causing a fire.
And, as if that wasn’t enough, the damage they do to the wood can lead to holes in your roof, that allow more and more moisture in. Soon, you’ll have water damage visible on your ceilings and mold and other harmful toxins growing in your attic. That’s no way to live, and can cost a ton of money to remediate after-the-fact.
Seek Immediate Treatment
The best way to avoid these serious consequences is to seek immediate professional treatment. The moment you spot any carpenter ants in your attic, or elsewhere in the home, contact a qualified pest control service immediately.
One of our expert team members will come out and inspect the situation in your attic and in your home. They can determine the scope of damage, the scope of infestation, recommend repairs, treat the infestation, and advise you of methods and improvements that can help prevent the ants from returning.
The bottom line is that you shouldn’t take a carpenter ant infestation in your attic as a minor thing. It’s serious, and can do serious damage to your home. Ants may be small, but they can do big damage, especially if left alone to their own devices.
Don’t let that happen – contact a qualified exterminator today!