Portland’s carpenter ant season is just starting, and already calls are coming in fast and furious.

The ants go marching one by one…  Unfortunately, they often go marching straight into your home.

Carpenter ants mean business.   In just one year, a colony of carpenter ants could cause several thousand dollars of hidden, structural damage to your home.   That is really hard for most Portland homeowners to imagine since you usually never see more that a half dozen at a time.

The reason for that is because carpenter ants (camponotus) are nocturnal.   Go to the same location on your siding or foundation or wherever in the middle of the night and you will see quite a few more.   That being said, you still won’t see the full story because the ones you see will likely just be in transit.   They have a job and they are going about doing it.    If you could find and walk the entire trail (not likely since it is probably going through your wall) and end up at the nest, you would be appalled by the number of ants.

Carpenter ant

A Beautiful Carpenter Ant (well, as far as ants go!)

Always be on the lookout for signs of carpenter ants beyond just the ant.   They will leave pilings of a sawdust material after they have chewed through wood and this is a solid  clue to a nesting location.

And if you see a winged one, call All Pest Control ASAP.   Those foraging swarmers could just be scouting for a food source or a new sub-colony location, but they could also belong to an existing, well established colony in your home.   Colonies do not produce these until they are at least 3-6 years old, meaning if they did come from your house, they have been there for a long time and the damage could be significant.

Even your ears can help you detect carpenter ants.   A mature colony can create a gnawing or rustling sound coming from the walls.   Rest assured, one or two ants cannot make such noise by themselves.

No matter what the sign, the solution is the same.   Contact All Pest Control today for a free evaluation!

Photo credit to: Muhammad Mahdi Karim