Carpenter Ant FAQs

carpenter-antsAren’t carpenter ants just like termites?

Many people think carpenter ants are as dangerous as termites. While they do like wood (and the more moist and “rotted,” the better because it’s more pliable), carpenter ants don’t eat it as termites do: they make nests in it.

So if they’re not eating it and just using it to grow their family, they’re not going to do much damage?

Unfortunately, carpenter ants can do a pretty nasty job on your home’s wood construction.

How can I tell that they’re around?

Look for sawdust-like material (known as frass) for clues to the location of their nest(s). Their galleries will be smooth. Compare that to termites, which pack mud into the hollowed out areas that they’ve destroyed.

What is a “gallery”?

Carpenter ants cut “galleries” into the wood’s grain to use as passageways between sections of the nest. You’ll most likely see galleries around and under outdoor window sills, roof eaves, porches and decks due to the fact that they can get wet, stay moist and rot.

So if I don’t have a lot of wood in my home, I’m safe?

We wish. While carpenter ants love wood, they’re also know to nest in Styrofoam insulation; in regular, run-of-the-mill insulation; even under an old tarp you have covering your fiberglass fishing boat. Carpenter ants will nest in just about anything they can make their way into: firewood, dying trees, tree stumps, etc.

Ok, so I found a nest of carpenter ants and killed them. I’m home free now, yes?

No. Carpenter ants will create satellite colonies/nests throughout an area. If you find one, there’s a very good chance there are several nests/colonies nearby.

How many ants make up a colony?

At least 3,000 workers and one queen. Carpenter ants are exceedingly long lived: workers have been known to live up to seven (7) years while their queen can live for up to 25 years.

Ok, enough with the what, how can I get read of them?

1.    Get an inspection to find all of their colonies.
2.    A one-time treatment probably won’t work. You’ll more than likely need a process of at least two treatments to rid your home and area of the pests.
3.    Here at Nature’s Way, we use botanical insecticides to rid your property of the ants, always keeping the safety of your home, family members and pets at the top of our minds.

And lastly, three “fun” carpenter ant facts:

Carpenter ants love sugar; they have quite the sweet tooth (er, mandible)! In addition, if humans eat it, carpenter ants also will probably eat it – they like “people food.” Finally, if there’s no other food source available, carpenter ants will eat each other.

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