Are there any differences between carpenter ants and normal ants?
What sets carpenter ants apart from other ant species is the way in which they build their nests. Instead of building their colonies inside the ground, they will target wood. This makes them very similar to drywood termites, which also build their colonies inside wood. However, carpenter ants will not eat the wood. Instead they have a very regular ant diet consisting of protein and sugars. In fact, besides their nesting habits, carpenter ants are very similar to other ant species – they forage around for food, have a queen responsible for all reproduction, and spend most of their time building and maintaining their colonies.
How are carpenter ant infestations detected?
Carpenter ant damage can be hard to detect visually, since it usually happens in the middle of the wood and spreads out as the colony grows. However infestations can be detected when workers are out and about, foraging for food. This is because carpenter ants are noticeably larger than other ant species reaching lengths of up to half an inch. So if you see suspiciously large ants roaming around your home, you might have a carpenter ant infestation.
Do carpenter ants cause a lot of damage?
While carpenter ants are not as damaging as subterranean termites, they can cause extensive damage in the home, especially if they are left unchecked. The main colony will continue to expand and grow, and then build new satellites throughout the building. It takes a long time to reach this stage however, so if you manage to detect an infestation and remove it early on, the colony will only do small to moderate damage.
How are carpenter ant infestations controlled?
Carpenter ants are best controlled by pros who will use either insecticides or baits. DIY control efforts generally fall short of removing the entire colony, and this means that the ants will continue doing damage unabated after they recover from the control initiative. A pro will be able to tell when an infestation has been completely removed, ensuring that the colony will not be able to bounce back and resume doing damage to the home.
If you have any more questions about this pest species and how you can get it under control, or if you have a carpenter ant infestation in the home that needs to be removed, contact us today and we will help you out.