Attics are a great place for carpenter ants (Camponotus spp.) to reside. Because they are wood-destroying organisms (WDO), a lot of damage can be done in six months to a year. Prevention is imperative.
What attracts carpenter ants to an attic space?
- The ideal buffet. Damp, rotting wood typically found near roof penetrations (vent pipes, chimneys, skylights, etc.) can provide sustenance for the entire colony.
- The ideal path. Power lines or tree limbs that connect to the home are access superhighways.
- The ideal conditions. Attics need to breathe. When they don’t, moisture builds up — providing a constant supply of water and allowing carpenter ants to flourish.
- The ideal shelter. Recent weather anomalies across the nation have created enough justification for many ant species to seek a more secure shelter from the elements. The attic can be an appealing spot in which to migrate.
Remember to inform clients that there is not a one-size-fits-all program for management of ants, and that many store-bought treatments work only on the ants that are visible. A preventive approach, then, is key. Add a complimentary and thorough attic inspection, inside and out, to your current routine. This practice affords opportunities to identify activity, species, potential entry points, and food/water sources for a comprehensive pest management approach. Encourage your clients to take a proactive approach as well by maintaining a clean attic space and removing or repairing unintended food and water sources.