About Carpenter Ants

Carpenter Ant Behavior

Carpenter Ants are a beneficial insect in our ecosystem. They can be seen from Albany – Saratoga Springs NY Lake George – Plattsburgh NY, and are also prevalent in Vermont from Manchester Vermont Rutland all the way to Burlington. For example, they help reduce old fallen trees into organic matter that is easier consumed by microorganisms.  Making a rich soil on the forest floor for other plants and trees to grow.

Carpenter Ant Nesting

Carpenter Ants do this by creating nests inside the damaged or fallen tree.  Carpenter Ants do not eat the wood,  they mine through the soft part of the grain leaving tunnels Wood shavings (frass) are then disgarded on the the ground.  These tunnels are used for storing food, young, eggs, larvae, and for the Queen. (Queens can live up to 25 years, workers 5-7 years). Carpenter Ants live in colonies within the wood. They have a complete metamorphosis (egg, larvae, pupa, adult)

When a Carpenter Ant colony becomes too big it will split (budding ) sending ants and larvae pupa to another dead tree making a satellite nest. This nest will be in contact with the parent nest for some time.  Or it will create reproductive (alates).  These reproductive s have wings that are approximately 80% female and 20% male.  The male mates with the female and dies. They are the only males in the colony. A nest will only create reproductive s if it is a mature nest this usually takes between 2-3 years, depending on conditions. A fertile female then drops its wings and finds a suitable nest site that has conducive conditions.  A Nest will need soft wood mostly damp or rotted, and a food supply.  Carpenter Ants are omnivorous insects.  The worker Ants bring back the food to the nest and feed the larva, the larva in turn secret a substance that feeds the rest of the nest.  Shelter that will keep the colony safe from the weather and predators.

The Need For Carpenter Ant Control

However, when Carpenter Ants come in contact with humans and their structures they quickly become a pest.  A pest that not only is a nuisance but will cause thousands of dollars in damage, and if untreated destroy the structure.  It is estimated that carpenter ant damage to homes is in the millions of dollars per year.

Carpenter Ants do not see a house, they see a suitable place to start a colony. They see a crack in the sill plate, a damaged corner from ice, and a moister-ridden subfloor from a leaking toilet or sink.

The best way to keep Carpenter ants out of your home is to remove the conducive conditions.  Some examples of ways that are nonchemical would be to remove stored items from around the foundation, remove dead branches from healthy trees, and remove dead trees along with the stumps from the property. Cutting back trees that are too close to the home. Installing gutters to keep runoff from the foundation. Removing any wood-to-ground contact replacing the bottom section with pressure treated (such as wooden corner post)  fixing that leaky faucet or toilet.  Removing any rotted subfloor.

It is in the best interest of the homeowner to call a professional to remove the nest from the home. Someone who knows the behavior of the insects.  If they are not treated properly the first time,  you can again split the nest into more satellites or move the nest entirely. It will cost more money and more damage to your home.

Get Professional Carpenter Ant Control

Contact Nature’s Way Pest Control for a free inspection. Give us a call at (518) 741-2219 in New York, or (802) 230-1662 in Vermont.

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