May 7, 2013 in City

Carpenter ants invade the Inland Northwest

By The Spokesman-Review
University of Nebraska photo

Carpenter ants are swarming the region right now.
(Full-size photo)

Those creepy flying ants you’re seeing everywhere?

They’re carpenter ants, according to Tim Kohlhauff, horticulture coordinator at WSU-Spokane County Extension.

“Every other phone call we’ve had this morning has been about carpenter ants,” he said Monday.

The ants are swarming because of the rapid change in weather, he said: “They all matured at once.”

This is their reproductive period, Kohlhauff said. Soon, the queens will establish colonies and the swarms will not be as evident. That’s good, unless the colony is in your home, he said.

While carpenter ants aren’t as destructive as termites, homeowners still should take steps to get rid of them. Cut back shrubs and trees that touch the roof or siding, he suggested. In general, carpenter ants are drawn to areas with moisture and rotting wood, he said.

The swarm should subside as soon as mating season is over, Kohlhauff said.

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