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Landscaping Tips To Avoid Carpenter Ants

Are you thinking that it might be time to do something fun with your yard? Have you had the same three shrubs since you bought your home? Are you tired of your yard looking plain Jane? Well, whether you’re thinking about sprucing things up or not, you should always keep carpenter ants in mind when doing landscaping. Your choices may just keep these wood-chewing pests from making your home their home. Here are some general rules to keep in mind, whether you are adding to your landscaping or maintaining your landscaping.


You’ll probably notice a theme as you go down through this list. Carpenter ants love wood, and how much wood you have on your property can encourage or discourage these insects. Mulch is a great example of this. While it is preferable to have crushed stone instead of a wood product around the perimeter of your home, it is possible to put down mulch in a way that will be less-encouraging to these wood-chewing pests. The secret is to make sure your mulch isn’t more than 3 inches deep. In fact, it is best to get your mulch as shallow as possible. Carpenter ants don’t eat wood, they build their nests in wood. If you have a shallow bed of mulch, these ants may look for something better.

Untreated Wood Decor

There are many landscaping ideas that use wood as a decorative. A common use is for garden or flowerbed borders. But, before you go get yourself a few old railroad ties to make your rustic garden or flowerbed really stand out, you should be aware that these will catch the eye of carpenter ants. The use of stone can avoid the problem altogether but, at the very least, make sure these wood items are away from your exterior walls.

Adding or Removing Trees

If you’ll be adding a tree to your yard, be aware that you’ll also be adding shade. While a little shade is great, too much shade can cause areas next to your home to stay wet after it rains. This buildup of moisture can lead to wood decay. And wood decay is a magnet for carpenter ants.

Bushes and Shrubs

Whether you’re looking to trim things up or add some new bushes, keep in mind that carpenter ants climb up the branches of bushes and shrubs. This can give them additional, and unwanted, access to the walls of your home. It is also wise to plant your shrubs at least two feet from your foundation wall.

Store Your Firewood Away From Your Home

Believe it or not, firewood can actually be part of your landscape. Some folks like to put it next to their outdoor kitchen or next to the deck where they cook on the grill. Be aware that firewood is a prime location for carpenter ants to establish themselves.

Carpenter ants aren’t as drawn to a treated deck as they are to untreated and porous firewood. But, once inside the firewood, those ants will have no trouble advancing to the deck, especially if they find any areas that have been moistened by water.

It is best to keep firewood at least 20 feet from your home and up on a raised platform. It may be inconvenient, and not as rustically attractive as a neat pile next to your home, but you’ll be glad you did it.

Keep Wood Off The Ground

If you build a wooden structure in your yard, do what you can to put it on a foundation that is not made of wood. It is never good for wood to touch the soil. It promotes wood rot. And carpenter ants love rotting wood. It is their favorite.

Carpenter Ant Control

If the ideas you have for your backyard landscaping cause you to have wood on the ground, moist areas that get too much shade, lots of vegetation for carpenter ants to eat, or some other attractant for these wood-eating pets, don’t worry. You can make your yard into anything you want it to be if you have ongoing pest control from a certified professional. A professional pest control technician will do routine inspections of your yard and apply appropriate EPA-approved treatments to ensure that these home wreckers don’t establish themselves inside the wood of your home.

For more information, or to set up service for your South Carolina home, contact Spencer Pest Services. We’ll make sure you have the protection you need to keep all the wood-destroying pests at bay.