Pest Facts: Carpenter Ants

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter Ants (Camponotus species)

Color:Varies depending on species, from red to black or a combination. The two most common species are black.
Legs:Six
Shape:Segmented; oval
Size:5/8"
Antennae:Yes
Flight:No

Carpenter ants are found in all 50 states.

Carpenter ant queens can live up to 27 years. The workers of these colonies live for several years.

Habits
Carpenter ants are one of the largest ants that live in residential areas with workers measuring as large as ½ inch. Carpenter ants are excavators and don’t actually eat wood.

Habitat
In nature, carpenter ants make their homes in dead and decaying wood. They have easily adapted to urban areas and will infest moist, rotting wood in homes or business.

Threats
Carpenter ants cut across the wood grain in structures to enlarge their homes. This can quickly compromise the structural integrity of buildings. Look for the sawdust kicked out by workers and listen for the sounds of carpenter ants gnawing on wood. Carpenter ants will bite, but usually do not break the skin.

Prevention
Keep wood piles well away from your home. Seal up cracks or crevices where carpenter ants might gain entry with caulk. Check for areas where moisture consistently contacts wood and make efforts to correct any problems. Carpenter ants can cause a lot of damage. If you think you have an infestation call a professional immediately.

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