Most ant species that are common pests in the northeast often establish multiple nesting sites within inaccessible indoor spaces like wall voids where homeowners would never suspect to find ants hiding. The most commonly encountered ant pest species in homes and buildings in Maine include little black ants, Pharaoh ants, odorous house ants, and pavement ants, all of which are known to nest within structures.

Pest control professionals must conduct thorough property inspections in order to detect all indoor and outdoor nests associated with ant infestations. To effectively destroy indoor nests, pest control professionals use special tools and devices that are specifically designed to deliver exterminating agents to nests located in inaccessible voids. According to a 2019 survey of pest control firms in Maine, carpenter ants are the predominant ant pests of structures in the state.

According to one urban entomologist based in Maine, homeowners in the state readily recognize carpenter ant pest species, and when they are encountered foraging within homes, most homeowners contact a pest control professional immediately before the pests have a chance to excavate nests within moist structural wood components. The black carpenter ant (Camponotus pennsylvanicus) is the most commonly managed, the most destructive, and the most recognizable carpenter ant pest species in Maine. However, the black carpenter ant is not the only pest of its kind that inflicts costly damage to structural wood components within homes and buildings in the state.

nearcticus is sometimes referred to as the “smaller carpenter ant,” and it establishes damaging infestations in structures throughout Maine. While most carpenter ant workers are well known among homeowners for being large at around ½ of an inch in length or more, workers of the smaller carpenter ant species are only ⅕ to ⅓ of an inch in length. Due to their smaller size and black exterior, homeowners often mistake smaller carpenter ants for the similar looking pavement ant pest species (Tetramorium caespitum), which is a more common indoor pest in Maine. In addition to the similar coloring and length of workers from each species, pavement ants and smaller carpenter ants also nest within wall voids including structural wood members. However, unlike smaller red carpenter ants that excavate nesting cavities in structural wood, pavement ants merely establish nests within wood cavities that had previously been excavated by other wood-boring pests.

Have you ever struggled to control pests that were not carpenter ants?