Size: Up to 5/8-inch long.
Color: Varies from black, brown and black, red and black, to light brown
depending on the species.The two most common pest species are black in
Behavior – Carpenter ants feed on a wide variety of foods,
especially other insects. The favored food of adults is the sweet honeydew
produced by plant-feeding insects, such as aphids, scales, and mealybugs.
In the spring, mature colonies produce winged reproductive ants, called
swarmers, that fly out to start new colonies. These swarms often occur
from satellite colonies within homes, so homeowners may see large flying
ants in their homes at night.
Habitat – Carpenter ants are the most common pest ant seen in
homes throughout the northern United States. The main colony must have a
constant source of moisture to survive, so it is usually located in dead
wood outside. This includes dead limbs, tree holes, stumps, landscape
timbers, and so forth. Indoors, a main colony will have to be associated
with a water leak or an overly wet, poorly ventilated crawl space or
attic.The main colony may establish satellite colonies that are the
primary source of ant activity inside homes.These satellite colonies may
be located in any suitable void (e.g., hollow doors, curtain rods, shower
rods), under attic insultation, etc.These ants set up trunk trails between
the main colony to satellite colonies and between satellite colonies.
Foraging ants can most easily be seen along these trunk trails at night
when the ants are most active. Sometimes, the trunk trails occur beneath
the ground following tree roots.
Tips for Control – Carpenter ant control involves tracking down
and treating as many satellite colonies as possible inside and outside of
the home as well as attempting to find and treat the parent colony.
Accessing the parent colony may be difficult because it might be located
high in a tree or on a neighboring property. In such cases, carpenter ant
baits are suggested. Control methods include:
- Store any firewood away from your home and remove any dead wood or
wood scraps from around the foundation.
- Trim dead limbs from trees and remove stumps. Rid your yard of these
potential nesting sites.
- Make sure that all plumbing or roof leaks are sealed, and check
crawl spaces for excess moisture.
- Water from rain gutters should be directed away from your home and
not be allowed to accumulate close to the foundation
Suggested Control Products
Advance Carpenter Ant