Carpenter Ants are usually most active in spring and summer. Most carpenter ant species forage for food at night. They can forage individually or in small or large groups, though they often opt to do so individually. They vary in color but are generally black or dark bodied. Carpenter ant species reside both outdoors and indoors in moist, decaying, or hollow wood. Certain parts of a home are more vulnerable to moisture like windows, decks, porches and the eaves, providing a conducive condition to attracting carpenter ants.
Carpenter Ants are often confused with termites, but carpenter ants do not eat wood. Termites eat wood to derive the cellulose and nutrients they need to live. Carpenter Ants will tunnel through wood cutting galleries to build nests, they are unable to eat wood as their body can’t digest cellulose. Carpenter Ants outside will feed off live and dead insects, they are very attracted and will feed on honeydew that is a sweet liquid produced by scale insects and aphids. Carpenter Ants that are indoors feed on sweets such as honey and jelly as well as meats and pet food.
Carpenter ants are one of the largest of all ant species. Although they are larger than other ants, size should not always be the only identifying feature, because Carpenter Ants have polymorphic workers, meaning that ants within a single colony may vary in size. Adult Carpenter Ants can measure from 6 to 12 mm in length. Males, or winged swarmer’s (sometimes confused with termites), can measure up to 18 mm, while queens grow to 20 mm in length.
What sets Carpenter Ants apart from other ant species is that carpenter ants can be difficult to locate and therefore require professional treatment. Confirming that you have an infestation of Carpenter ants is crucial to successfully ridding your home of these wood destroying pests. Carpenter Ants require specialized treatment solutions that differ from other species of ants. If you suspect or are concerned you have carpenter ants, please give Truckee Meadows Pest Control a call today (775) 535-5788.