Good morning. This is Ben Sell with Ben’s pest control. And today I want to discuss with you carpenter ants. carpenter ants are a very interesting creature here in the state of Florida. And I’ll explain that. First. We know that up north, the carpenter ants are different they, they can actually eat dry wood up north. And we’ve had a lot of people over the years come down to Florida from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, even, I believe like North Carolina, the mountains, it seems to be most prevalent along the east coast. But they’ll come down here and they’ll talk about nightmare stories they’ve had of things at their house, wood walls, wood steps, just eaten up by carpenter ants. And in Florida, we actually have our own species of carpenter. And it seems strange, but we actually have the carpenter and it’s actually called the Florida carpenter, and the Florida carpenter and is actually two colors, it’s red and black, where my understanding of the ones up in the northeast are, I believe, black. I’m not certain on that, because I’ve never lived there. But here they are red and black. One of the things that is important to know is that the Florida carpenter and cannot damage dry wood. They they’re not even listed on the Florida State wood destroying organism report for new homeowners that are buying houses. Because they in and of themselves cannot go into a piece of wood and just start to eat it. So the Florida carpenter ant though infests wood that has a moisture problem. So what we find is that they will always be found in a situation where the wood is wet. And the state does consider the moisture to be the problem. So the water is damaging the wood, the carpenter ants will infest that wood, and they will actually smooth it out, but they can’t actually tear the world apart. So the damage in those situations is always caused by the moisture. So when people ask us about carpenter ants in Florida, what we tell them is we’re always looking for wet wood sources. And how is this important for homeowners? Well, one of the main things is palm trees. Palm Trees should never be allowed to touch your roof. and in this situation, if you think of the palm branches, or the frogs, the live ones are fine. But how many palm trees do you see that have been trimmed and trimmed and trimmed, and all the old frogs are branches are up there as they slowly start to decay. They’re just hung up and tight to the tree. So whichever is a situation where the branch has been cut off, that branch is now dead, and the frog is sitting there. So when it rains, moisture, and water gets into those frogs creating a perfect environment for the carpenter ants to nest in. And what happens is now you let that palm branch touch your roof, and you’ve got a bridge from the nest, to your house. And it is just an absolute perfect scenario for a storm of ants, especially carpenter ants in this situation. So we always tell people, palm trees
, no, no, don’t let them touch. If possible, always try to keep them trimmed up as much as you can remove all the really old wrongs to keep those away. Along those lines when you’re thinking about what would logically speaking, things like firewood, you can’t leave piles of firewood sitting up against your house. I know a lot of people in Florida have fire pits, but you just don’t want to have that wood sitting there, getting soaked, absorbing all that moisture and creating a perfect nesting harborage for ants for the carpenter ants, so anything that has wood that’s wet is what we’re looking for when it comes to carpenter ants. Another thing a lot of people don’t realize is carpenter ants are nocturnal in Florida. They the Florida carpenter ant species loves to be active at night. That’s when it does most of its work. There are situations where we see carpenter ants out traveling during the day. But they are definitely more active at night.
And the next thing I would tell you is carpenter ants in a house can sometimes be a sign that there may be a leak somewhere or moisture or something getting through where it’s not supposed to be. I’ll give you an example of one of the worst situations we ever saw. I was working on the west coast of Florida. We had a house that had had carpenter ants, and the lady was literally at her wit’s end. And we did everything we could we sprayed the house, we were searching the house. And one day I said to her, I said, you know, we got to find water. There’s got to be water associated with these ants. So when we’re going through her house, we noticed that she had cracked tiles in her shower. And she said, Oh, yeah, I’ve been meaning to get that fixed. So I said, Well, if there’s water getting in there, you could definitely have carpenter ants in that in that area. So a few months went by, and she called us up one day, and she said, I’ve got the contract out here, he put a hole in the wall, and the ants are just pouring out of this wall. By the 1000s. She said that they were so bad. The contractor told her he was leaving until she got it taken care of. And he wasn’t going to come back until all the ants were gone. So she called us up and said, Please, please come out right now. So we went over and we got out there and we started spraying and the ants just started pouring and pouring out of the wall. So I found it interesting. But she I said, you know, can we tear the wall open? And she said, Oh, yeah, I’m having the shower replace. So we actually took the sledgehammer and started banging holes in the wall, where the shower was going to be replaced. And the nest inside the wall was massive. And nobody could believe the amount of moisture that was hidden in this wall, that nobody really had any clue that it was there that it was going on. Other than a small crack in the tile of the shower. It was quite shocking to see how much water had gotten back there, and the size of the ant nest and we had to get it killed, get it cleaned up. And then her contractor was more than happy to come back and finish the job. So that’s just one example of how the moisture will will cause the ants to find that environment and they will thrive in there. They will live in there. And at Ben’s that’s what we’re looking for. We’re looking for those situations. So we hope that this information helps you if if you don’t feel comfortable tackling this yourself, we would ask please give us a call for a free estimate and a free evaluation at 772-878-1972. And thank you for listening. This is Ben with Ben’s Pest Control