Lake Tahoe’s Unwelcomed Spring Visitor: The Carpenter Ants

If you live in Lake Tahoe you’ll soon start to see the annoying insects that make their presence known every Spring: the Carpenter Ant.

As you can imagine, being in the mountains we have plenty of pests that homeowners need to keep an eye on. From squirrels to bears… nature keeps Tahoe homeowners on their toes. But some of the most destructive pests are the tiny ones that are usually out of sight. These include ants and termites. While termites aren’t super common, usually only found at about 20% of homes, the carpenter ant is VERY common and is almost always found around homes.

But what can be done about these pests? If you own a home or vacation home in Lake Tahoe then it would be a good idea to read the follwing advice from our new feature blog category “home maintenance.”

Carpenter Ants

What are they? Carpenter ants are large ants indigenous to many parts of the world. Unlike termites they do not consume the wood. Instead they use it to build their nests. They prefer dead, damp wood. Sometimes carpenter ants will hollow out sections of trees. In Lake Tahoe the ants can be damaging since they live in wood so you’ll want to try and eliminate them before they start moving into your foundation and home.

How to Keep Them Out

The big question is always how to keep the carpenter ants away from your home. There are several brands available of granular ant bait specifically made for carpenter ants that you can spread yourself. Or, when in doubt, hire a professional to treat and kill the ants.

For do-it-yourselfers… you spread the granular bait around the exterior of your foundation and then the ants will take it back to their nests. Since thousands of ants can live out of sight in your yard, you want to get rid of as many as possible. They’ll carry the bait back to the other ants in the nest will eat it and die off.

If you want a more hands-off approach, simply call a local pest control company and have them come out to treat for the ants. They will recommend a schedule for future treatments to make sure the ants are controlled. Two good pest control companies located in South Lake Tahoe are:

Other Ways to Keep the Ant Population Down at Your Lake Tahoe Home

Besides killing the ants, it’s always good to keep away their natural homes, leaving them fewer locations to be attracted to. You can clear away the bushes and branches that touch your home as these can be pathways in for ants. Seal cracks along plumbing lines where ants can enter your house with caulking or expanding foam. Seal wood with paint, especially if it is along the bottom edge of the home and susceptible to moisture. Ants love old tree stumps. So removing old stumps can be a big help. Also be aware of water running towards the house as this is a welcome path to your home.

If you are interested in more good sources for services to use at your Lake Tahoe home or cabin then check out our Useful Business Directory. You can also receive future informative blog posts directly in your email as soon as we write them, about twice a month. To do this, sign up here.