Ants are among the common household ants that are widespread in many forest parts of the world. They can damage any structure made of wood in buildings and homes, and restaurants. However they can be found both indoors and outdoors. Carpenter ants are household pests belonging to the genus Camponotus that can be found world wide. They infest buildings, no matter wooden or concrete. They may also be found in dead and living trees. Interestingly, they do not consume wood like termites, but they just borrow though to make their nests. They essentially scavenge any human food they can find in the house or facility. They are entirely dependent on humans for food. This is why they are called carpenter ants. They are among the largest ants in size and are widespread in the United States.
Characteristics of the carpenter ant
Carpenter ants are so called because they prefer to excavate galleries in woods to establish their colonies. The size of these ants ranges from 3 to 13 mm in length. They are the largest ants found in the United States. They are black in color but there are several variations depending on the species and the geographical location. Sometimes, the color is yellowish or reddish. As any social insects carpenter ants colonies are hierarchically organized. A typical carpenter ant colony is composed of a queen, workers, and males. The workers have larger mandibles and are responsible for the borrowing of galleries. See the complete list of the common household ants.
Behavior of carpenter ants
Carpenter ants form their nests by borrowing into wooden structures. They also attack decaying woods. It is important to note that carpenter ants do not consume wood but only borrow through them to form a passage way and establish their nests. Carpenter ants can be found both indoor and outdoor. The debris resulting from their activity is usually a clue to their presence.
Reproduction of Carpenter Ants
The reproduction of carpenter ant is somewhat strange. The queen lays 10 to 16 eggs, which take 6 to 12 weeks to develop into full adults. A queen can live for over 20 years if conditions are favorable. The role of the males is to inseminate the queen.
Signs of Carpenter Ants Infestation
When carpenter ant colony becomes establish, the obvious sign of infestation is the presence of active workers ants and swarmers (that are winged). Workers may be see foraging around for food. The presence of swarmers is a clear evidence that at least one nest has been established. These swarmers usually appear, when they are ready to form new nest. So the presence of swarmers, winged individuals indicate that the colony is well establish and this is a critical moment where you ant removal specialist. Another sign of carpenter ants infestation is obviously the debris resulting from the tunneling in woods. If carpenter ants are not detected early, they can inflict serious damage to houses and buildings with wood structures.
How to prevent carpenter ant infestation
Carpenter ant prevention starts with identification and blocking of their route of entry in your building. In general when the colony is well establish, you can see winged individuals that are ready to form another colonies, in which case it may be too late for prevention. Under such circumstances you may need to get the help of a carpenter an removal professional. Typically homeowners only notice the presences of these ants when the colony is establish with the presence of worker ants and swarmers all over the house or facility.
Carpenter ant removal
The first step in carpenter ant removal is to locate their nests. The dust and other debris resulting from their tunneling are often the clue to their presence. There may be several colonies because carpenter ants often build satellite colonies when the main colony become crowded. So careful searching of those satellite colonies is fundamental to ensure successful removal of carpenter ants. Lack of understanding of this behavior is most often responsible for the failure of carpenter ant removal. It is best to seek the service of carpenter ant removal specialist if you want to get rid of carpenter ant for good. Once a carpenter ant nest is found, chemical treatment can be applied to remove carpenter ants