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Carpenter Ants

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What do carpenter ants look like?

  • Size: 1/4 -3/4 in.
  • Color: A variety of colors including black, reddish, orange, or a combination of black and red
  • Body Structure: Head, thorax, and abdomen with a small node on the pedicel. Queens and reproductive have two pairs of wings – a front pair that is longer than the back pair.  
carpenter ants infesting home

Characteristics of carpenter ants

Generally, there is a single queen in the colony but often supplementary queens as well. Colonies typically are around 15,000 workers when mature, but potentially could be over 100,000 workers.

When are carpenter ants most active?

Very Active
Not Active

How are carpenter ant colonies formed?

New carpenter ant colonies are established when new queens disperse from existing colonies to find mates. While carpenter ants nest outdoors, they may establish satellite colonies inside homes and structures as well.  

Where do carpenter ants nest?

The usual habitat of a colony of carpenter ants is often in wood buried or partially buried in the soil. As mentioned above, they also commonly establish “satellite” colonies in structures, maintaining contact between the two colonies by traveling to and from over well-defined trails.

What do carpenter ants eat?

Carpenter ants feed on both carbohydrates and protein, with insects being a major part of their diet. Other staples of their diet in the wild include insect honeydew, plant juices, and fruit juices. Inside, carpenter ants consume sweets, meats, eggs, and grease.

Are carpenter ants dangerous?

Carpenter ants are capable of biting, but rarely do so. Also, they do not pose a threat to human health.

Like termites, carpenter ants are a serious structural pest. When they excavate or tunnel in order to create galleries, they can weaken the structural integrity of the wood they’re infesting.

Why do I have a carpenter ant infestation?

If your home has water damage or rotting wood present, there’s a good chance carpenter ants will infest. Moisture issues in structures are commonly associated with carpenter ant activity.

Carpenter ants are also attracted to water-damaged wood on your property. Rotting tree stumps and dead trees are prime nesting spots for carpenter ants and you might also see them crawling up and down trees in order to nest in tree cavities.

How do I get rid of carpenter ants?

For effective pest control services that exterminate carpenter ants, contact a licensed pest control company. At Miller Pest & Termite, we’ve been taking care of carpenter ants and other pest problems since 2001 and are ready to help you eliminate these wood-destroying insects! 

How can I prevent a carpenter ant problem?

If you want to make your home and property less appealing to carpenter ants, we recommend implementing the following pest prevention tips:

  • Keep firewood, building materials, and other wood several feet away from your home and up off the ground
  • Cut tree branches and trim back shrubs and bushes so that they do not touch the exterior of the house
  • Clean gutters regularly so that leaves, twigs, and other organic debris do not stop water from running freely
  • Make sure downspouts divert water away from the foundation
  • Repair leaking appliances and other leaks
  • Replace water-damaged wood inside the house
  • Caulk or seal off all potential entry points

Since carpenter ants do not eat wood but common pantry items, homeowners should also keep the kitchen, dining room, and other areas where food is prepped or consumed, clean.

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