Wood destroying insects such as termites, carpenter ants, powder post beetles and carpenter bees can cause serious damage to the home's structure and components.
Termite Carpenter Ant ↓ ↓
A carpenter ant species that invades a home.
Description: Insects are divided into three distinct body sections, head, thorax and abdomen. Adult workers and reproductives are black. The black carpenter ant is one of the largest ants in New England. Workers vary from 1\4 to 1\2 inch in length and winged reproductives, called swarmers, range from 1\2 to 3\4 of an inch. Ant swarmers, unlike termite swarmers, have the constricted "wasp waist". Their wings are brown, with the front pair longer than the hind pair. Termite wings are all the same size.
Biology: A carpenter ant colony consists of a queen and workers. The queen's role is to lay eggs. The workers’ duties include caring for eggs, larvae, and pupae, foraging for food, as well as excavating and protecting the nest. Established colonies are considered mature when the number of ants reaches about 2,000 individuals, usually in three to six or more years.
Nesting Outdoors: In nature, carpenter ants are found nesting in decayed cavities of standing trees both living and dead, fence posts and tree stumps. Workers have been reported foraging for food at distances ranging from 65 feet to 100 yards from their nest site.
Nesting Indoors: Houses located near outdoor nests are more likely to become infested with carpenter ants. Carpenter ant nests have been found in voids in un-split firewood, hollow-core doors, ceilings, attics, and areas behind window frames and sills. Such areas include points at which a porch, garage or deck attach to an existing building.Nesting often occurs in bathrooms in tile covered walls surrounding bathtubs, and flooring surrounding tubs and toilet bowls.
Activity: Carpenter ants forage both inside and outside the house for food. Foraging routes can be over foundation walls, along clothes lines, telephone or electrical wires, by way of railings or via branches that touch the house. Foraging activity indoors is often in the kitchen area, under sinks, dishwashers, and refrigerators.
Control: The location of the ant colony will determine in part, the steps taken to control the ants, even if the nest is not found. However, control can be achieved more effectively by locating the primary nest site. Conduct your inspections when carpenter ants are most active, generally late evening during spring and early summer.
Look for the sawdust that worker ants deposit outside their galleries during nest expansion, especially in moist areas.
Watch ant traffic and follow them back to the nesting area.