How can something smaller than a peanut do so much damage to a garage? That is the question many homeowners ask themselves after they realize that carpenter ants have hollowed out major pieces of wooding and insulation in their garage.
Structures like garages made from wood are ideal places for carpenter ant infestations because they can easily find wall voids and locate areas not sealed properly making it easy for them to get inside. Another attraction for carpenter ants in garages is the moisture levels. Garages typically have less air circulation and serve as storage areas for wet clothing like fishing and skiing gear. Leaky hoses also contribute to garage moisture levels and send welcoming messages to carpenter ants to make themselves at home.
Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not eat wood. However, they do significant damage by turning solid wood planks into sawdust called frass. When a homeowner finds piles of frass, it becomes apparent that carpenter ants have settled into the building. Bugs that are nesting in wood are just as bad as bugs that eat wood. If a carpenterâ€™s nest is left untreated, the colonies grow larger and the need for additional space increases. Therefore the ants will continue to remove more and more wood.
Not only do carpenter ants create giant holes in wood for their nests, but they also destroy wood to build tunnels that allow them to leave the nest in order to hunt for food.
Homeowners are smart to address a carpenter ant infestation head-on instead of ignoring the issue. Ants may not seem harmful and as long as they are not inside the house, however, the damage that carpenter ants can do to a wooden structure of a garage will eventually become an expensive problem.
Exterminators can easily come in and rid the garage of the infestation although there are cheaper alternatives. Boric acid can be purchased at the hardware store and is typically successful for destroying nests. Certain types of absorption powders can also be used to dry out a carpenter ant problem.
Homeowners who detect a termite problem in their garage typically have a more severe situation on their hands. Like carpenter ants, termite damage may take a few years to become noticeable. Unlike carpenter ants, the damage termites cause can be much worse. Termites eat wood and chew ferociously on wood grain.
The National Pest Management Association estimates that termites cause at least $5 billion in property damage every year. The damage that the pests can cause to a garage includes the destruction of every component of the structure like support beams, posts, joists and studs. In most cases, the damage caused by termites can be repaired but subterranean termites (the most vicious type) have been known to cause thousands and thousands of dollars to individual homeowners.
Prevention is the best way to avoid dealing with a carpenter ant or termite infestation. While insects as small as these can find their way into your garage though various passages, having a garage door that does not properly seal is almost like a welcome mat for critters.