Carpenter ants are one the largest species of ants known in the country. Carpenter ants are normally larger and black, but on occasion, their colors can range anywhere from yellow to dark brown. They are mainly nocturnal insects and you will most likely see them more often at night than during the day. If you do find a nest, it will normally mean that there are more. This makes controlling them that much more difficult, if you do destroy one of these “satellite nests” there will normally be enough ants left to rebuild more nests to survive. These ants can cause extreme damage to your home, if you think you have an infestation, or just want to prevent one from happening to your home, do not hesitate to get something done about it. Once you have the infestation, it may become difficult to eradicate the issue.
How to identify carpenter ants:
- They are usually black in color, or a variation of the two.
- Segmented body with an oval abdomen and a boxy/thin thorax
- The tops of their bodies or typically smooth and curve, as opposed to an uneven, bumpy one.
- Their size will normally range between 3/8”-1/2:
- They have “elbowed” antennae.
- Not all of them will have wings, but some most certainly do (swarmers).
Signs that you have an infestation:
- Swarmers: Swarmers are carpenter ants with wings, their sole purpose is to leave the existing nest and land somewhere else and start a new one.
- Damaged Wood: Contrary to popular belief, they do not eat the wood, they use it for nesting. They also love damp wood, so if you have had any leaks or water damage recently, keep an eye on those areas for them. If you think you have them but can’t see them, listen closely, you may be able to hear a “scratching” or “crunching” noise.
- Frass: Or wood shavings left behind by carpenter ants. If you find this inside your home, chances are the nest is either really close by, or already inside the house.