Carpenter Ants

What are Carpenter Ants?

Carpenter ants are appropriately named as they tunnel inside wood and build nests. Carpenter ants are one of the most destructive ants in the United States. They can grow between 1/4 and 1/2 inches in length. Carpenter ants are oval-shaped and have a segmented body. Workers have powerful mandibles that they use to cut through wood. Carpenter ants come in a variety of colors, including black, red or a mixture of both.

There are many species of adult ants, but they all come in different sizes and shapes. Each will have one of three roles within their colony: queens, males, or workers. Queens are the fertile females who lay all of the eggs in a colony. Workers are wingless females who gather food, feed the larvae and defend the colony. The only task of male ants is to mate during the swarming process.

carpenter ants on a white background

Behavior and Habitat

Habitat

Carpenter ants can be found both indoors and outdoors in moist, and in decaying or hollow wood.

Diet

Carpenter ants don't eat wood like termites, but rather remove wood from their nests and place it outside in small piles. Carpenter ants will eat a wide variety of foods, including sweets and meats. They also eat other insects.

Attraction to Moisture

Carpenter ants can live in dead or living trees, stumps, and rotting logs in natural settings. They may build their nests in homes or buildings that contain wood, particularly if it has been exposed to extreme moisture.

Reproduction

Queens lay 9-16 eggs in their first year. They can live up to 25-years. In 6-12 weeks, eggs complete their lifecycle.

What is the life cycle of ants?

There are four stages in the ant life cycle: egg, larvae (pupae), adult, and pupae. This is called complete metamorphosis. It can take several weeks or even months for the entire life cycle to be completed, depending on the species of ant and other environmental factors.

Eggs

If a female ant successfully mats with a male, it will be a queen ant and lay eggs. The nesting place of a fertile queen is a safe area where they can build a nest (colony), and start laying eggs. Ant eggs are only one-half of a millimeter wide. They are transparent, oval and white.

Larvae

A grub-like, legless larvae emerges after about 1-2 weeks of egg stage. The larvae have a voracious appetite and adult ants spend a lot of time feeding them.

Pupae

The pupal stage is formed after the larvae shed their skin and molt. The pupae look a lot like adults, except that their antennae and legs are folded against the pupal body. Although ant pupae appear initially white, they gradually become darker as they age. The ant species may allow pupae to be kept in protective cocoons.

Adult

The adult ant emerges once the pupal stage has ended. The adult ant is fully grown at the time of its emergence. However, as it ages, it becomes darker in color. There are three types of colony castes for adult ants: queens, workers and males. Queens are the fertile females who lay all of the eggs in a colony. The workers are females who do not reproduce but gather food, feed the larvae and clean up the nest. Workers have no wings and are seen searching for food or protecting the colony against intruders. The queens are the only task of the male ants, who are winged.

Galleries & Nests

The genus Camponotus ant species are also known as carpenter bugs. They prefer to build their colonies in galleries made from damp or damaged wood. To form their nests, they cut holes in the wood grain and create passageways that allow them to move from one section to the next. This activity results in wood shavings mixed together with parts of dead insects, which can be used to identify nesting areas.

Carpenter ants remove termites from their nesting areas. Their galleries aren't clogged with mud and moist soil, as termite galleries are. Their galleries are kept as smooth as sandpapered wooden by the workers.

Parent vs. Satellite Colonies

There are two types of nests for Carpenter Ants: satellite colonies and parent colonies. The queen, her brood and workers make up the parent colonies. Satellite colonies are made up of older larvae and workers. Satellite colonies are created by workers when the parent colony is short of space or if there is enough food and water. One parent colony may have several satellite colonies.

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Inspection

One of our expert technicians will inspect every inch of your home and business for pest activity. Then they will create a custom plan based on their findings.

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Initial Service

Once your custom plan is created, we will treat your home and yard to give you immediate relief from pests. Then, we will create a boundary around your property to prevent more pests from entering.

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Follow Ups

After the initial service, we will conduct regular maintenance to ensure that your pest problems remain solved. We will also conduct free inspections for problem pests, such as termites.

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Ardent Guarantee

When it comes to pest control, we put our money where our mouth is. If we treat your home, and you're still seeing pests, we'll come back and retreat for free. We'll always have your back.

Carpenter Ants Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are Carpenter Ants dangerous?

Carpenter ants can be dangerous and pose a serious threat to property. These ants are often mistaken for termites, but they are completely different wood-destroying insects. One of the most striking differences between the two is that termites eat wood they have infested while carpenter bugs don't. Carpenter ants tunnel only through wood to make a nesting spot for their colony. Their nesting habits can cause significant and expensive damage to a home if they are allowed to live and nest inside it.

Do I have a Carpenter Ants problem?

Carpenter ants are water-seeking pests that are attracted to wood with holes. Carpenter ants eat a variety of foods, including sugars and proteins. They will also invade properties where they have easy access to their favorite food sources, such as open trash containers, compost piles and gardens. Carpenter ants can also use any openings in your home to find food or build a satellite nest.

Where will I find Carpenter Ants?

Carpenter ants nest outdoors and can often be found around gardens, decks, walkways, and lawns. Their nests are made from dead trees, stumps, firewood piles, and rotting fence posts. Carpenter ants look for moisture and water damage when they find their way inside. They nest in wall voids, behind water pipes in structural wood, behind door frames and wooden windows.

How do I get rid of Carpenter Ants?

Ardent Pest Control, a local family-owned company, is the best option to remove carpenter ants in your house or office. You can rest assured that your pest problems won't return and we will respond quickly. Our pest experts provide high-quality services to remove carpenter bugs from your property. Find out why Ardent Pest Control is the preferred pest control company for your neighbors. Give us a shout today!

How can I prevent Carpenter Ants in the future?

Partner with Ardent Pest Control to prevent problems with carpenter ants. Also, follow these prevention tips:

  • Take down fallen trees, stumps, old wood piles and other wood debris from your yard.
  • Between your foundation and any grass or mulch, place a stone or crushed-rock barrier.
  • Weatherstripping can be installed around windows and doors to prevent water seepage.
  • Check the exterior of your home and seal any cracks or openings in the foundation, walls, roof, or roofline.
  • If your home has one, you can dry your crawl space and basement with a dehumidifier.
  • Keep compost bins and garbage cans off the ground, away from your home's exterior. You should seal them with a locking lid or other tight fitting cover.
  • Take out any fallen vegetables and fruits from your garden.
  • Between feedings, you can pick up uncooked pet food.
  • Food can be kept in the fridge or in containers with tight lids.

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