What Do Carpenter Ants Look Like?
Carpenter ants are black, red, or a mixture of these colors. Their 1/4” to 3/4” segmented oval body is similar to most other ants in their overall shape. The major difference between these ants and other ant species is not so much in their appearance, but actually has more to do with their ability to cause major damage to wooden structures.
Where Do Carpenter Ants Nest?
Outdoors, carpenter ants can often be found nesting in common wood sources such as:
- Piles of firewood
- Moist tree stumps
- Landscaping wood pieces
- Wooden fence post
- Wooden playground equipment
- Wooden lawn furniture
In their natural setting outside they play an important role in the cycle of decomposition of organic wood, but, unfortunately when they make their way indoors or onto your property they can be extremely destructive, dangerous, and costly.
Commonly gaining entry through cracks, crevices, and utility entrances on the exterior of buildings, carpenter ants build their nests in these exterior wall cavities. Many times they will extend their initial nest to have nests in other locations through the building. These satellite nests can crop up anywhere within the building the provides them with protection and easy access to food.
What Do Carpenter Ants Eat?
Contrary to a popular misconception, carpenter ants do not eat wood. They actually are a lot like other ants in that they eat proteins and sugars. Their food sources can range anywhere from dead insects to a discarded burger or spilled lemonade at a backyard barbecue.
How Are Carpenter Ants Different From Termites?
It’s understandable that people get termites and carpenter ants confused. They certainly share some similarities in characteristics and environment, but in actuality, they are quite different. Take wood, for instance; termites eat wood and carpenter ants build their nests in it. Both activities cause significant damage to the wood and both invaders need to be prevented. When looking at an insect and wondering if it’s a termite or a winged carpenter ant here are some ways to determine which it is.
- Does it have a pinched waist? If so, it’s not a termite and most likely it’s a carpenter ant.
- Are the wings all the same size? If so, then chances are it’s a termite. The wings of termites are all the same size, and carpenter ants have a pair of large wings and a pair of smaller wings.
- Are the antennae on its head straight or bent? Carpenter ants have bent antennae while termites sport straight antennae.
Are Carpenter Ants Dangerous?
Even though carpenter ants don’t pose a direct threat to humans or pets by biting, stinging, or carrying diseases, they are certainly a danger to the structural integrity of wooden structures. When these ants create their nests in wood, they weaken it and thus can cause significant damage quite quickly.
Does Innovative Pest Control Eliminate Carpenter Ants?
Here at Innovative Pest Control we eliminate and control carpenter ants with our Advantage Treatment Plans. The benefits of choosing a year-round pest control plan go far beyond eliminating and controlling carpenter ants. Choose to be pest-free year-round of over 16 common household pests, including carpenter ants, when you choose an Advantage Treatment Plan from the experts here Innovative Pest Control.
How to Prevent Carpenter Ants
Here are a few common and easy carpenter ant prevention tips that will help keep your Eastern Texas home or business carpenter ant free:
- Seal or repair all cracks, holes, and crevices in the exterior of buildings.
- Repair or replace all damaged or missing window and door screens.
- Keep yard and property free from wood debris that can attract carpenter ants.
- Be sure that all gutters and water-shedding systems are working properly to move all water away from buildings.
- Utilize dehumidifiers indoors in any location that may have a tendency to have a high moisture level.