Carpenter Ants – Everything You Need to Know

Carpenter ants look like like most ants; some have wings similar to termite wings and they can typically be found chewing through wood. They don’t actually eat wood—they nest in it. If your home has become a nesting spot for these aggressive creatures then you will have a lot of work on your hands to try to get rid of them. 

With a great sense of smell, they are able to avoid pesticides by going away from it, whether that means making a new trail or waiting for the scent to leave the area to search for more food. Ultimately, it is the queen of the nest who lays the eggs and worker ants continue to bring food back for. She must eat in order to continue to lay eggs for additional working ants.

What Do Carpenter Ants Eat?

Carpenter ants feed on honeydew produced by aphids, plants, living, and dead insects, and sugary matter. They don’t eat wood and instead will find a good spot where there may be some rotting wood to start nesting and create colonies for the queen ant.

Are There Different Types of Carpenter Ants?

There are three different species of carpenter ants including Florida carpenter ants, the Modoc carpenter ants and Pennsylvanicus carpenter ants. Florida ants are red and black in color and are sometimes called that. Modoc ants are located in the Western area of the country and the Pennsylvanicus ants are located in the Eastern region and also considered big black ants even though they are moderate in size and still smaller than the average crawling ant.

Every colony has at least 3,000 workers and large colonies can have more than 100,000 working ants. This leads to a major infestation as there is plenty for the ants to eat and lots of wood to nest in. There are three levels of working ants that can lead to such large numbers and they include Minor to Intermediate to Major workers. The queen for each nesting area will lay eggs and they will take up to 60 days before they become adults and start working towards creating a larger colony or additional colonies.

How to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants?

It is very difficult to kill off all of the carpenter ants. The key is reaching the queen and it is impossible to do so with a spray or fumigation. Therefore, the best way to get rid of all of the ants is to use a bait or dusting technique.

Apply Timbor or Nibor D that are dusting products. Place the dust in areas around your home that have cracks, crevices and any entryway into your home that include near windows, doors, attics, and anywhere else you feel the infestation is taking place.

Use such baiting products as Advance Carpenter Ant Bait or KM Ant Professional Ant Bait Station that tend to be the most effective whether it is indoors or outside. Place a little at first near where you have seen the ants. If the baits disappear quickly then add twice as much as you had before. If you don’t see them disappear at all then find another spot you may notice the ants are infesting.

The bait should disappear gradually or rapidly depending on how bad the problem is. Continue to check every few days to make sure the bait is disappearing. After one week remove the left bait and place new bait. As you notice fewer bait being taken that means the colony is decreasing. Bait can be taken back to the queen which is what you want in order for the infestation to stop. As all of the ants eat the bait, they will die off.

If you use sprays to get rid of carpenter ants, they will avoid where you sprayed and it will only kill off the exposed ants. From there some of the ants will fly over to another location to start up another colony. Your infestation can get worse rather than better. Instead of using the typical trail, the carpenter ants to create a new pathway and avoid the smell of the repellent.

Non repellent dusts can be more effective with working ants but they will have a harder time reaching the queen than bait will. If the queen notices that many of the workers are no longer there then she will lay more eggs and they will multiply and outnumber the amount of workers that were there before.

Basically, without the right tools to remove the carpenter ants your infestation can get a lot worse. You may consider calling upon a professional if you question having the right materials to remove and kill off the carpenter ants from infesting your home.

Finding Carpenter Ants Outside Your Home Can Mean There's Trouble Inside Your Home

Carpenter ants can be a threat to nearly every home, including homes in Florida

Photo credit to Geoff Gallice from[email protected]/7323528526

Most of the time you will notice carpenter ants nesting outside your home before they find a nesting area within your home. About 35 percent of the ants find a spot in exterior walls, flower pots, cracks, and any expansion from the window to the walls. About 21 percent of the carpenter ants can be found infesting the attic and 19 percent are usually located in crawl space, ceilings, and interior walls and roofing.


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