Carpenter ants live in colonies. They have a class system wherein the queen will produce workers to create her tunnels of galleries while they search for food and provide her protection. They are considered pests because of how they create their nests in wood.
Behavior and Habitat
For carpenter ants to create colonies, they will need mature male and female winged reproductives to mate. They mate and swarm during early spring to summer. After the mating season or nuptial flight, the male will die, and the female will search for a suitable nest. Once the nest is found, the female ant will deposit 15 to 20 eggs that will soon become her first workers. These workers will be responsible in nourishing developing larvae and the queen. It may take 3 to 6 years for a colony to grow to around 3,000 to 5,000 ants.
Carpenter ants usually create their nests in hollow trees, posts, logs, and timbers. However, they can sometimes gain entry inside a home and build their nest in moist wood. These ants can take advantage of your chimneys, drain gutters, under bathroom fixtures, window and door frames, wooden shingles, sprinklers, skylights, hollow porch posts and columns, and the likes. These ants may transfer indoors from an existing colony outdoors when they find a home that provides them with all of their basic needs.
Carpenter Ants Vs. Termites
Carpenter ants are sometimes mistaken with termites because of how they create galleries. However, these two pests are entirely two different species and are physically different.
Here are some ways to know if you have carpenter ants or termites:
- A termite has no waist while an ant has a narrow and defined, constricted waist.
- A termite has straight antenna, an ant has a bent antenna.
- A termite has four equal size and shape wings while an ant has four wings with the back hind wings shorter than the front.
- A termite worker is transparent, creamy white and does not like light. An ant worker is reddish or dark colored and commonly seen any time of the day.
- Their nests are also different since a carpenter ant creates galleries that are smooth and finished while a termite nest is mostly rough and ragged and is filled with soil and mud.
Signs of Infestation
You will know if your home is infested with carpenter ants when:
- You see a high concentration of ants going in a particular moist area
- You hear an active colony, creating a dry rustling sound that is similar to the crinkling of cellophane.
- You see swarms of winged ants trying to get out of the house
- You see sawdust-like boring outside their galleries and little openings in woodwork
Having a carpenter ant infestation can be a cause for an alarm because they can easily destroy the structure of a home. Although some home remedies can also be done to get rid of them, such as with the use of insecticides and baits, but there are most cases when these are not effective. If you find a carpenter ant infestation in your home, it is most effective to just call for a professional to assist you with your carpenter ant problems.
Horizon Pest Control provides Carpenter Ant Control to for both businesses and residential homes. Don’t let your home be a victim of these ants. Early detection and elimination should be done to stop these ants from harming your home. To know more about Carpenter Ant Control, schedule an appointment with us now.