What is an Carpenter Ant?
Carpenter ants get their name from their nest building, where they will excavate the wood and form smooth tunnels inside of the wood. Unlike many people think, carpenter ants do not eat wood, they only tunnel and chew through wood to create nests.
The western black carpenter ant colony, when mature, contains about 10-20,000 workers, with large colonies of more than 50,000 individuals. There is usually only one functional, wingless queen per colony. Swarmers are not produced until the colony is more than two years old. They are produced in the previous year and held over the winter in the nest for release the following year.
- Color: Usually red, black or a combination
- Legs: 6
- Shape: Segmented; oval
- Size: 5/8″
- Antennae: Yes
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What Do Carpenter Ants Look Like?
Signs of an Infestation
The only external sign of a carpenter ant infestation other than the presence of workers and/or swarmers is the appearance of small openings on the surface of wood. Through these, the ants expel debris, which consists of sawdust-like shavings and/or fragments of insulation and insect body parts. The accumulation of this debris below the holes is a good indication of an active infestation.
Carpenter ants prefer to attack wood softened by fungus and are often associated with moisture problems, so it’s always a good idea to ask PMi about inspections and our moisture services.
Carpenter Ants Education
Carpenter ants build their nests outdoors in various wood sources, including tree stumps, firewood or landscaping. They need a constant water source to survive. Carpenter ants will enter the house through wet, damaged wood.
Threats to Structures
Carpenter ants do not eat wood but damage wood through their nest building. If they gain entry to a structure, they can pose a significant property threat. If you notice carpenter ants, it’s a good idea to give us a call so we can minimize the damage to your home.
Carpenter Ants Education
If you suspect a carpenter ant infestation in your home, contact PMi to conduct an interior and
exterior inspection and work with you to develop a carpenter ant treatment plan. We may inquire
about past water leaks, plumbing problems, etc., which could indicate an carpenter ant infestation. In
the yard, we will likely check logs, stumps, firewood, tree cavities and loose bark for ant nests. Once
the ant species is properly identified, the appropriate control measures can be taken.