Carpenter ants and Acrobat ants are a very common problem here in Texas. Although they do not consume wood (as termites do), they burrow into it to create nests, often resulting in multiple nests in the roof line, window or door frames, etc. These wood destroying ants are typically found crawling on the outside of the house or around windows.

Evidence of these ants includes debris such as sawdust, insulation and insect parts. A pile of sawdust on a window sill is a sure sign. Carpenter ants are the largest household ant (1/4 – 1/2 inch). Acrobat ants (1/8 – 1/4 inch) have a heart shaped posterior that rises up when prodded, hence the name. Although they don’t do damage to your home quickly, they should be exterminated if they are on a structure.

Often their presence won’t be noticed until they swarm, meaning they send out a lot of winged ants to create new colonies elsewhere. Swarming typically happens in the spring, although it can occur anytime. The swarming ants are often confused with termites; however there are very obvious differences between the two, easily seen in pictures online.

We primarily do this type of pest control around the exterior, searching for possible harborages and entry points for current problems. This always includes an exterior treatment, keeping other insects out as well. We use a natural pyrethrum (made from chrysanthemums) foam as a contact insecticide to soak and eliminate the nests. We sometimes also use a synthetic pyrethrum product around the exterior that can be tracked back to other nests located in trees close by.

We have not found prevention to be effective for these ants, although we have been extremely successful in exterminating them within 1 or 2 visits after they appear. As certain wood seems to be susceptible to invasion by wood infesting ants, they can reoccur in the dwelling in the future. Wood that hasn’t been cured properly, water-damaged wood or soft woods are most likely to attract these ants.