Ants are one of the most common pests that people contend with from time to time. As a rather obnoxious nuisance, ants in general are known for invading homes, pilfering food, and assaulting people with painful pinches when they feel threat is impeding on their nest. As they march to forage for food, their numbers seem endless as the 1st wave is destroyed only to have another in its place hours later. Where there countless species of ants, there are some more common to the Northern Colorado area. Carpenter ants are among them, and probably one of the most worst types of ants to infest your homes because of their habits. Carpenter ants are sometimes confused with termites because they are frequently discovered infesting wooden materials. Unlike termites, however, carpenter ants do not eat the wood, they merely excavate through the wood making galleries, or tunnels, as they construct their nests in the wood. As a result, they are nearly as destructive as termites, causing the wood to be weak and damaged. Today, we at Effective Pest Services would like to elaborate on the fundamentals of carpenter ants.
How Do I Know if it’s a Carpenter Ant?
As one of the largest species of ants in the United States, carpenter ants range between 1/8 and 33/64 inches long. Though they are generally black, some carpenter ant species can differ in color from the jet black to dark brown and vary in red, yellow, orange, light brown, and yellowish tan as well. Large mandibles are distinct characteristics of the worker carpenter ants.
What are Carpenter Ants Most Attracted To?
Both indoors and outdoors, carpenter ants are attracted to the moist, decaying, or hollow wood variations. The damp or damaged wood, however, is where the carpenter ants prefer to excavate the galleries to settle in their colonies. The galleries are tunnels they cut into the grain of wood to form the nests to provide passageways for movement from section to section of the nest. Unlike subterranean termites that line their galleries with moist soil, carpenter ants are clean, and their nesting site is kept tidy where galleries are smooth, almost as though they were sanded. Outside, carpenter ants are found nesting in rotting logs, stumps, and in both dead and living trees. They prefer living in natural environments but will frequently invade homes or buildings if their nests have been exposed to extreme moisture. As previously mentioned, carpenter ants do not eat the wood like termites do but will remove the wood remnants into small piles outside their nests. Favoring sweets and meats, carpenter ants will eat human scraps whenever possible and will also devour other insects.
How Do You Know if You have a Carpenter Ant Infestation?
If you are more aware of the signs of carpenter ants, you can frequently spot the red flags before the damage it gets extensive. Below, we have compiled a few of the more common and obvious warning signs of carpenter ants.
1) Finding what looks like saw dust, parts of dead ants, and other debris is in an indication of carpenter ants.
2) Another suggestion of their presence is rustling sounds in the wood from their daily activities.
3) Seeing the swarmers that have wings and workers inside the home is one of the most obvious signs. The ones foraging for food are the workers and the swarmers are the reproducers that leave a colony after it matures to begin a new one. Seeing the winged ants indicate a well established colony and their wings will shed after they secure a new location to start a new colony.