When you think of annoying insects, ants probably come to mind, and for good reason. Ants are social insects that tend to travel in large numbers. You hardly ever see just one or two ants; if you do, you can be sure that there are dozens or even hundreds more nearby. 

There are several types of ants that you may find in your home, so you need to know the right treatment methods to get rid of them for good. Carpenter ants are very common and can cause a lot of damage. Contact American Pest Control to help get rid of your ant infestation. We’ll help you learn how to find ant nests so you can get rid of these annoying pests early on, before they cause damage to your home. 

How to Find Ant Nests

To find ant nests, first you should look for the signs of infestation. You’ll see signs of carpenter ants inside and outside the house. Signs inside the house include:

  • Wood shavings. Carpenter ant activity often leads to wood shavings. They are commonly found in the attic or cellar, underneath beams. 
  • Dead ants. If you see a lot of dead ants near a window, you probably have an infestation.
  • Swarmers. Swarmers are large, winged ants that start their own colonies. If you see them, that’s a good sign that a colony is nearby.
  • Moisture. Besides food, carpenter ants also need water. If you have a leak or water source in your home, ants may be hanging out around it to get a drink.

There are also signs outside that may signal a carpenter ant infestation:

  • Dirt mounds. Carpenter ants will excavate dirt from their nests, so if you see small piles of dirt outside, you might have an infestation. 
  • Aphids. Carpenter ants like the taste of aphids, particularly the honeydew they secrete. If you have aphids on a plant, you can bet that ants will be nearby. 
  • Rotten wood. Where do carpenter ants nest? They love rotten wood for building their colonies, so if you have any non-treated wood lying around outside, you might have an infestation. 

Target the Colony

You can find the nest by targeting the colony. However, this is easier said than done. Trailing ants is difficult—many homeowners need professional pest control help for this reason. These annoying creatures are very small and can easily hide in a crack or behind a baseboard. 

However, targeting the colony is not impossible. Here are some places to look:

  • Kitchen
  • Bathroom
  • Walls
  • Bedroom
  • Living room
  • AC and heating units
  • Under concrete
  • Trash can
  • Insulation
  • Holes and cracks

Where Do Carpenter Ants Nest?

Carpenter ants may have nests indoors or outdoors. However, they require consistent temperature and humidity, which means they prefer to nest in moist or decaying wood, such as hardwood trees with holes. Indoors, carpenter ants nest in windows, sinks, door frames, and chimneys. 

What Do Carpenter Ant Nests Look Like?

Carpenter ant nests vary in structure, location, and size. Most nests are smooth, without any soil. They also have parallel tunnels. You’ll notice sawdust, or frass, nearby. 

However, ants can be opportunistic nesters. Carpenter ants will go wherever there is wood, which means they could be found anywhere in the home. 

Damage Caused by Carpenter Ants

Once you discover where your carpenter ants are nesting, look for damage. In extreme cases, carpenter ants can cause structural damage, weakening support beams and causing a home or other structure to warp.

The damage is not usually that severe, though. You may see wood that is frayed around the edges. The damage may look like dots and dashes. In some cases, it can look splintered or even mimic wood rot.

Contact Us Today

Carpenter ants are not only annoying, but can also cause structural issues with your home. Now that you know how to find an ant nest, call the pros for help. Contact American Pest Control for help with carpenter ants and other pests in Central Illinois. 

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