Carpenter ants are large ants that may be five times the size of a black garden ant. They may be up to one inch in length. They are typically black, but they can come in red to yellow shades as well. This ant has a single small segment between the thorax and the abdomen. The top of their thorax is smooth and round.
It can be difficult to identify a carpenter ant from other varieties. The node that connects the thorax and the abdomen is single. Other types of ants that can be mistaken for them may have a double node. Also, their thorax is rounded while other species have a bumpy one. Carpenter ants may have wings, and amongst those that have wings, the female is larger than the male.
Carpenter ants live in wood structures. They can chew through the wood in your home. They slowly do their damage, but they can do significant harm to your home. If you see large ones in any location of your home, it is a sign that they have set up a colony nearby.
Although they have powerful jaws, carpenter ants do not have a stinger. It is rare that these ants will bite humans, but if their nest is threatened, they will defend it.
Carpenter ants prefer moist wood. Therefore, you may find them in parts of your home that are exposed to the weather. They like to nest in a place that will provide protection and a good source of food. They don't actually eat the wood that they get from your house. They use it to build their nests.
Ants are social beings. They live in colonies and nests. In each nest there are a variety of different kinds of carpenter ants. There is a queen and the workers and reproductive ants.
Their food comes from many different sources. Carpenter ants eat other insects, plant juices, and other sweet or fatty foods. They don't need to eat during the winter, but if they are forced to do so, they will eat their own eggs and larvae.
Most nests are located on the outside of the home. They can do severe damage to your home which may be costly to repair. The reason that they pursue moist wood is because it is easier for the ants to tunnel through.
The ants may have a whole network of nests that they travel between. When they tunnel, they can leave "frass." This is a substance that looks like small wood shavings or sawdust. It many times contains dead insects. This substance can serve as a sign as to where a nesting location is.
With respect to pest protection and control, you need to find where the nests are and remove them. If you can't find the nests themselves, then you should use baits or traps to lure them in. You can find them at your local hardware store. If your problem is severe or persists, then you will need the services of a pest control professional like UltraPro Pest Protection. Many times, it is good to contact someone to help you because you may not be able to locate all of the nests by yourself. There is always the danger that the ants can do major structural damage to your home.
With respect to preventing infestations, you need to eliminate sources of moisture. Fixing or sealing any leaks that allow moisture into your house is key to preventing carpenter ants from destroying it. This will make it more difficult for the ants to build their nest.