Whether it’s an unsettling amount of ants near the front door or just a few stragglers here and there, there’s always a chance that you could be facing an infestation without even knowing it!
Carpenter ants and moisture ants love wood, and like termites, they can destroy wooden parts of your house if left unchecked. Check out what kind of ants you’re dealing with, and learn how you can ultimately get rid of them here.
Even your own front door isn’t safe from ants. They can live inside it too.
Why are there Ants Near the Front Door?
Ants infest doors frames and other wooden elements in your house to build shelter. For many reasons such as adverse weather conditions or a destroyed nest, ants can venture into a house to make new homes for themselves. And by sheer luck, they can end up inside your door frame or somewhere near it.
In contrast, some ants do intend to enter houses because they prefer a certain specific kind of nest. Carpenter ants and Moisture ants specifically look for moist or damp wood, chew and burrow into it to make a home for themselves.
Note: If you see signs of carpenter ants you should really act fast because they can cause incredibly expensive structural damage to your home. Check out our guide to the best carpenter ant killers for effective solutions.
Carpenter Ants Love Door and Window Frames
While moisture ants can only be seen in damp rotting wood, carpenter ants can invade less moist ones, even the ones that make up the frames of your doors and windows.
These ants mostly come in black or red. They chew through wood like termites, but they don’t eat them. They use those powerful pincher-like mouths to build galleries and chambers. This then damages the wood extensively.
You’ll soon notice that the wood has become hollowed out in certain sections. Their nest can even grow bigger if these ants go undetected for way too long.
How to Tell if Ants Live Inside Wood
So if there are ants near the front door, how do you tell if they live inside it? Or in any wooden part of your house for that matter.
Pestkilled gives us a few helpful signs that you can look out for:
- Ants don’t live inside dry wood, so you can leave out furniture and other wooden fixtures inside rooms that rarely get moisture.
- When there are red or black ants that scurry in your house, there’s a possbility that those can be carpenter or moisture ants.
- Wood with small piles of sawdust-like shavings around it is a dead giveaway for an ant nest. Those shavings are their frass or droppings. So where there’s poop, there’s a nest.
- When you tap walls, faint rustling sounds inside can mean ants. Sometimes, ants live inside walls because they have plumbing fixtures in them that provide a lot of moisture.
- Ants foraging and moving at night could mean that they’re carpenter ants, an ant species known to be active at night and nocturnal.
How to Deal With Ants that Live in Wood
If the ants near the front door are reaching worrying proportions, there are plenty of ways to get rid of them. Here are some ways to get rid of wood-loving ants.
- Since carpenter ants are nocturnal, set up baits at night. (But if you’re not sure about the kind of ant that lives in your house, regularly set-up baits for during day and night is fine)
- Use a variety of store bought and natural repellents. If you’re tight on your budget, start with the natural ones. The ingredients are already in your house.
- Apply varnish or other protective coatings to wooden structures in your house.
- Keep your front porch dry.
- Keep firewood and mulch away from the house.
- Replace your welcome mat every once in a while. The mat absorbs water that can attract ants that will eventually move to your front door.
- Keep bushes, branches and plants away from windows and doors.
- Seal wooden cracks and holes with caulk.
And now we know that ants will live practically anywhere. They can even mimic termites and settle inside wood, doubling your anxiety about pest control and house repairs.
So if you’ve ever wondered why there are ants near the front door, you could be looking at something major going on inside your house. The best course of action would be to deal with it right away.