Q: How can I tell if I have carpenter ants?

A: Carpenter ants are easily identified as large black ants. They are typically ¼-1 inch long, which is about the width of the eraser on a #2 pencil. If you have carpenter ants, they can be walking around in plain sight. These large ants are most active at night, but can also be seen sporadically during the day. Another way to spot carpenter ant activity is by identifying their damage.

Carpenter ant damage is a direct result of their burrowing and creating nests. Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not eat wood. Instead, they chew through wood and spit it out, creating what looks like small piles of wood shavings called “frass.” Finding frass is one of the biggest and most obvious signs of carpenter ant damage. Carpenter ants prefer to attack wood which has been moistened and is damp or weakened by decay, so their presence usually indicates a plumbing problem or the presence of significant water damage. Their nests can be located in attics, underneath floor coverings, in ceilings, and cracks in walls. They create smooth, round tunnels in straight lines, traveling in the same direction and one on top of the other. You won’t always see carpenter ant damage on the surface as they burrow within wood.

Q: Why do I have carpenter ants?

A: Carpenter ants are native to our area in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. When outdoors, carpenter ants create nests in places such as decaying trees and other rotting or damp wood. They travel out of the nest in search of food sources as well as ideal locations to create satellite nests. These satellite nests are what you usually see with infestations of manmade structures. Carpenter ants burrow through wood, creating cavities within walls, wooden door or window frames, and decks around your home, in search of food.

Q: Can carpenter ants destroy my home?

A: Carpenter ants cause damage as they burrow through wood at your home. Their pathways look like smooth, round tunnels and can exist anywhere they nest. Carpenter ants are typically drawn to wet wood as opposed to dry wood. This means that they can be found in places such as damp wood in decks, door frames, window frames, and occasionally insulation. Although they do not cause extensive damage like termites would, their presence can lead to greater issues if left untreated for a long period of time.

Q: What can Cooper do to help?

A: Our Cooper Carpenter Ant System is designed to eliminate carpenter ant infestations and prevent carpenter ants from entering your home. When one of our state-certified Cooper technicians visits your home, they will conduct a thorough inspection both indoors and outdoors to determine the breeding sources that are causing the carpenter ants to enter your home. After our technician identifies the root of the problem, they will treat around the foundation on the exterior of your home to create a protective barrier, preventing additional carpenter ants from entering your home. Gel bait will also be applied in small cracks and crevices where carpenter ant activity is highest. The carpenter ants find the gel bait and take pieces of it back to their nest for the colony to share. As they rub against each other, the gel is distributed and effectively kills the ants. Additional targeted treatments may be applied indoors if our technician determines that further treatments will best resolve the issue.

If our Cooper technician indicates that trees on your property could be a significant source of carpenter ant breeding, the tree will be treated as well.

Q: How quickly can I expect them to be gone?

A: Within the first 10 days: There will be a dramatic reduction within the first 10 days after service begins. You may see dead ants indoors. This is because we don’t use repellents like you can buy from home improvement stores and big box retailers. Instead, we find it much more effective to target the breeding source of the existing colony. The carpenter ants must first find the bait before sharing it with each other, which does not happen instantaneously.

There is a possibility that you will see large numbers of ants clustered together indoors or outdoors. If all of the ants are dying outside, you may not see any ant activity at all. Regardless of the activity you may see during this period, you should see at least 90% reduction in carpenter ant activity within the first 10 days.

Within the first 30 days: You may see sporadic activity as the carpenter ants that were not yet hatched when the treatment was applied, emerge from their cocoon before becoming exposed to the bait. Because these new carpenter ants haven’t been exposed to the gel bait, they will not die immediately. They need to explore, find the bait, and then will perish.

Q: What happens if they come back?

A: If you continue to see persistent carpenter ant activity after 10 days, please call our customer service department for fast technician dispatch at no extra cost to you.

The Cooper Carpenter Ant System provides full coverage with a 100% guarantee for the duration of the program. Unlimited service calls can be placed at no additional charge to you throughout the year if you see additional carpenter ants inside your home or in close proximity to your home around manmade structures such as a garage or deck.

Q: Can the service be renewed?

A: Yes. After the first year, you can renew your service to continue coverage against future carpenter ant activity.

Q: Can I get rid of carpenter ants myself?

A: Carpenter ants have a very complex set of biology and behavior. Consumer products that you can find at big box retailers look like an inexpensive alternative, but they cannot solve the infestation like a professional can because they do not get to the root of the problem. Without the knowledge of carpenter ant biology and the skills to implement the proper techniques with professional materials, store-bought ant control products are essentially a waste of money and your time. Carpenter ants come back year after year if their nests are not targeted properly and destroyed.

Q: Can I purchase the Cooper Carpenter Ant System if I live in a condo, townhouse, or duplex?

A: Yes. Please call our customer service department for more information.

Q: Is the treatment environmentally friendly?

A: All products used by Cooper Pest Solutions are EPA registered for pest control use. Our highly trained pest control professionals will follow all appropriate label requirements to keep pets and humans safe.

Q: How soon can you get here?

A: At Cooper Pest Solutions, our goal is to provide fast, convenient service, with the peace of mind that you are in good hands. We understand that pest problems can be stressful and overwhelming, so we strive to provide service the next day and as soon as the same day if possible.