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What are carpenter ants?

close up of a carpenter ant on a leaf

Carpenter ants, scientifically known as Camponotus, are among the largest ants globally. They have a distinct black or dark brown body with an oval-shaped abdomen. The adult ants are approximately 0.3 to 1 inch long, with six legs and a pair of bent or “elbowed antennae.” A significant feature of carpenter ants is their large, strong mandibles.

The reproduction process of carpenter ants begins with the mating flight, typically in late spring or early summer. Female ants, also known as queens, mate with male ants during this flight. Post mating, the males die, and the fertilized queens establish new colonies.

Carpenter ants are omnivorous. Their diet primarily consists of plant juices, other insects, sweets, and proteins. They are most active during the day and are often found in gardens, parks, and other outdoor areas. 

Despite their outdoor habitats, these ants may set up their nests indoors, especially in areas where wood has been severely exposed to moisture. They are called ‘carpenter’ ants because they hollow out wood to build their nests, which can cause substantial damage to homes and other structures over time.

    Are carpenter ants dangerous?

    Carpenter ants, while not directly harmful to humans as they do not carry diseases nor are they prone to bite, can pose a significant threat to structures. They can inflict serious structural damage to homes and other wooden structures by excavating wood to build their nests. 

    Over time, if an infestation is left untreated, the damage can become quite severe and result in costly repairs. Therefore, an infestation of carpenter ants should not be taken lightly and should be addressed as soon as it is discovered.

    Why do I have a carpenter ant problem?

    Carpenter ants typically invade homes or buildings in search of food and shelter. 

    They are particularly attracted to damp, decaying wood, which they use to build their nests. Therefore, homes with moisture problems, leaks, or wood that has been exposed to water damage are more likely to attract these pests. 

    Moreover, if your home has plenty of accessible food sources, such as sweets or proteins, it may also attract carpenter ants.

    Where will I find carpenter ants?

    Carpenter ants are primarily outdoor creatures, often seen in gardens, parks, and forests. However, they also establish colonies within human structures, particularly in areas where wood has been exposed to excessive moisture. 

    Indoors can be found in hollow doors, windowsills, roofs, attics, and behind bathroom tiles. They are also known to infest wooden furniture. Outside, they prefer to nest in dead, damp wood, including stumps, old logs, and trees.

    How do I get rid of carpenter ants?

    Eliminating carpenter ants can be quite challenging due to their complex colony structure. The best way to manage a Carpenter ant infestation is by hiring a professional pest control service. 

    Professionals have the training and equipment necessary to effectively locate and treat carpenter ant colonies, reducing the risk of re-infestation. In the meantime, homeowners can help prevent carpenter ants by sealing possible entry points, managing moisture issues, and keeping food sources inaccessible. 

    It’s important to remember that a proper treatment plan will depend on a thorough inspection of your property to identify the extent of the infestation and the specific locations of the nests.

    How can I prevent carpenter ants in the future?

    There are various things you can do to prevent future infestations of carpenter ants.

    • Ensure your home is well-ventilated and promptly repair any water leaks. It’s also prudent to check that the gutters and downspouts are free-flowing.
    • Remove any damp, decaying wood in and around your property. You can also move any wood piles away from structures and trim the surrounding trees and shrubbery, if any.
    • Store food, particularly sweets and proteins, in airtight containers, and clean up spills immediately to avoid attracting ants.

    If your Carpenter ant issue grows beyond a point you cannot handle, don’t hesitate to contact Phenom Pest Protection for professional ant control for your home or business.

    Got my first service done today and was happy to see that not only did I get a great deal, but they did everything they told me they were going to do, and they were right on time!! Heather did my service and she did a great job! Highly recommend this company if you like working with organized and reliable people who have a vision for growing a company through customer service! “PHENOMenal!!”

    a happy customer in his home in fort worth texas

    Matt B.

    Phenom Pest Protection received an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars from 354 reviews.


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