A Licensed Professional can assess the structural impact of any carpenter ant damage. If repairs are needed, the expenses are included in the expense analysis provided in the engineering report.
Carpenter ants do not eat wood. They excavate wood galleries to create nests. Since they do not use wood as a food source, their damage to a building’s structure is limited. Nonetheless, carpenter ants can damage a building’s structure.
A qualified pest control specialist should be called in to recommend treatment options to control an existing carpenter ant infestation and recommend control options to help prevent future carpenter ant infestations. Check the National Pest management Association web site for more information on carpenter ant inspection and treatment options.
A qualified pest control specialist cannot assess the structural impact of carpenter ant damage. You need a Licensed Professional Engineer to assess the structural impact of any carpenter ant damage.
Carpenter ants are among the largest ants found in buildings. They live in colonies containing three castes, winged and wingless queens, winged males, and workers. Workers have some brown coloring while queens are black. Workers have large heads and a small thorax. Carpenter ants have constricted waists and elbowed antennas.
Winged male and female carpenter ants (known as swarmers) emerge from mature colonies, usually from early Spring through mid-Summer. After mating, the males die and newly fertilized females establish a new colony in a small cavity in wood. A mature colony can take six years to develop, and may contain 4,000 ants. The larger workers guard the nest, battle intruders, and explore for food. Workers travel as far as 100 yards from their nest for food. Smaller workers expand the nest and care for the young.
Nests are usually established in soft, moist wood. Occasionally, nests may be established in an existing dry wood cavity. Workers cut galleries in the wood to expand the nest. These galleries are irregular, with smooth walls. Shredded wood fragments, which look like sawdust, are carried from the nest and deposited outside. An active colony produces a distinct rustling sound similar to the crinkling of cellophane.