Questions About Carpenter Ants
Everything you need to know about Carpenter Ants can be answered below.
If you require any additional information not listed below, please feel free to
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What Are Some Characteristics Of Carpenter Ants?
The carpenter ant ranges from 1/4 to 3/4 inches (3/5-2 cm), has a constricted waist, bent antennae and is black, reddish-black or brownish black in colour.
Carpenter ants are one of the most common structural pests found in and around the home. They are attracted to wood which has been exposed to moisture. Carpenter ants tunnel and make nests in soft wood, however, they do not eat the wood.
What Do Carpenter Ants Eat?
Carpenter ants must leave their wooden tunnels to search for food. Popular food sources consist of aphid honeydew, other insects (living or dead), plant juices, and food (fats, sugar and other sweets) found in the home.
Why Do Carpenter Ants Invade Your Property?
Any wooden areas (porch, tree, veranda, step, door, etc.) which become moist are vulnerable to carpenter ant attack. This is particularly true of rotting sections of wood. The worker ant finds an entry route by gnawing a clean tunnel parallel to the wood grain wherever a crack or crevice exists. The wood is chewed and discarded outside the tunnel. The discarded shavings, which resemble sawdust, provide an indication of nesting areas. Often, the nest is extended into sound wood.
What Is The Life Cycle Of The Carpenter Ant?
Carpenter ants are commonly wingless, non-reproducing adults of the worker caste. All ants live in large groups or colonies consisting of hundreds of workers, a few reproductive males and females as well as at least one queen. Mating takes place in flight by winged ants during late spring and early summer. Shortly after, the male dies and the single fertilized queen ant finds a suitable nesting place to lay eggs and begin a new colony.
The small, white, oval eggs hatch into larvae. The queen continues nourishment until the larvae pupate and adult ants emerge. If warm temperatures exist, the egg to adult cycle can be completed in three months. At first, the colony is small, however, in later years the population can increase to 2000-3000 ants.
What Is The First Step For Control To Begin?
In order to control carpenter ants, it is very important to locate the nest. Monitoring may be most effective at night as this is when the ants are most active, leaving the nest to search for food. Some helpful facts to remember when monitoring for carpenter ants are that they tend to follow a definite trail and they make rustling sounds while in their nests which can be heard if the surrounding area is quiet.
What Are Some Things I Can Do Now?
Carpenter ant control may be achieved by completing the following:
- reduce or prevent excess moisture in wood
- remove possible food sources
- avoid storing wood inside or close to the house for long periods of time
- remove any decaying wood found around the home
- practice good sanitation measures
- remove attractive food sources
- store food and garbage in sealed containers to decrease attractions for carpenter ants
- caulk openings or install barriers on areas which could act as entrances for ants and provide good ventilation inside the home.
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