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It is important to not mistake the ant for the carpenter ant. The two species are part of the same order “Hymenoptera” and the family “Formicidae.” They also share many of the same features. The most visible difference is size. The ant is a tiny species that measures around 8 millimeters (0.31 inches) while the carpenter ant “Camponotus spp” grows as large as 25 millimeters (0.98 inches). The queen is the largest member of the colony, followed by the workers and soldiers.
Carpenter ants vary in color ranging from solid black to reddish/brown. The six legs are shaped like an elbow while the body is segmented into three parts – head, thorax, and abdomen.
The large head is shaped to allow the insect to forage for food, build nests and tunnels, and fight off enemies with ease. The mandible is the insect’s most powerful and dangerous feature. The carpenter ant utilizes its mandible to gnaw through wood, dig through dirt, fight off enemies, eat, and sting humans, animals, or other insect species considered a threat.
What Signs Point To A Carpenter Ant Problem?
One of the first signs of a potential carpenter ant problem is piles or trails of “frass,” better known as sawdust. As mentioned above, the carpenter ant utilizes its mandible to gnaw through decaying wood and other organic materials. The insect’s mandible works in virtually the same manner as a hacksaw or hand saw. The mandible gnaws through wood as the hacksaw cuts through wood. As long as the insect continues to gnaw through a piece of wood, the mandible generates leftover sawdust. The same goes for the hacksaw. As long as the hacksaw is moving back and forth, it is generating leftover sawdust.
Since gnawing through wood is what carpenter ants do, sawdust is almost a sure sign of a problem. However, this is one exception to this theory. Carpenter ants are not the only insect species with mandibles utilized to gnaw through organic materials, including wood. So, the sawdust trail could be relevant to other insect species, such as termite.
Another sign, of course, is live carpenter ants. Did you know that some members of the carpenter ant colony fly? The drone (male carpenter ant) and female carpenter ant fly when mating. Reproductive carpenter ants fly away from the colony to start new colonies.
Am I Dealing With A Carpenter Ant Problem?
There is only one true way for people to identify a carpenter ant problem. A carpenter ant sighting is almost a sure sign of a problem. The queen is continuously reproducing. One nest can house several thousand eggs, which will hatch around a week.
Why Do Ants Target Some Properties And Not Others?
Carpenter ants are drawn to rotting wood and other organic materials. They are also drawn to anything that is edible. It takes a lot of food to supply a carpenter ant colony. The larger the colony, the more mouths to feed. This is why carpenter ant workers are continuously working on replenishing the colony’s food supply.
Which house do you think the carpenter ant will be drawn to? The spotless house or the messy house? Now, this is not to say that carpenter ants are discriminatory toward messy houses. It just means, messy houses generally offer carpenter ants an ample supply of food. Unless you want your home to become a target, strict cleaning and waste removal agendas are necessary for the prevention of carpenter ants.
Do Carpenter Ants Cause Structural Damage?
Yes, carpenter ants gnaw through wooden structures, such as gables, fascia, flashing, soffit, wall studs, wood siding, eaves, plywood sheathing, rafters, finish flooring, foundation walls, decks, and porches. The key to avoiding carpenter ant structural damage is routine maintenance. Keep your home in good condition by conducting bi-annual inspections and making timely repairs.
Do Carpenter Ants Spread Disease?
Carpenter ants can spread disease. However, the insect is rarely dangerous to humans and animals. The species will eat just about anything put in front of them. They will eat contaminated garbage. On a positive note, carpenter ants are not drawn to human or animal fecal materials.
Carpenter ants are known to trek through unsanitary conditions. The insect’s body picks up contaminants that are eventually carried back to the food supply. The same process can be utilized to spread foodborne illnesses in homes.
How To Combat Carpenter Ants In A Home?
Combating a carpenter ant problem is not as simple as it may seem. In fact, the process can be quite difficult, depending on the severity of the problem. Carpenter ants live in colonies with literally thousands of members. When the insects are sighted indoors, it is guaranteed, that the colony is not far away. It is rare for carpenter ants to build their colonies indoors. They are commonly found in underground tunnels that are only visible from the main entrance.
To fully exterminate a carpenter ant colony, both the insects inside and outside the home must be eradicated. Sometimes, property owners may need to bring in a professional pest control company to tackle the problem.
Professional pest management companies utilized special equipment, complex extermination techniques, manpower, and pesticides to combat carpenter ants.
How Long Will It Take To Get A Carpenter Ant Inspection?
The process can take between 24 and 48 hours. Submit your request for service as soon as possible to avoid any potential delays.
Do Carpenter Ant Pesticides Contain Dangerous Chemicals?
Over-the-counter and commercial-grade pest control products do contain chemicals. Heeding the recommendations of the US Environment Protection Agency “EPA,” pesticide manufacturers and pest management companies can effectively and safely combat carpenter ants.
Our pest management experts follow the EPA guidelines to ensure the safety of our clients and the environment.
Is It Possible To Avoid Carpenter Ants In The Future?
Once a home has been infested with carpenter ants, it is a lengthy process to fully eradicate the problem. The goal is to prevent future problems by strategizing a doable, realistic, and effective prevention plan.
We suggest an updated food storage plan, household waste regimen, and cleaning strategy to prevent carpenter ants.
If you have any other pest control issues please check out other services.
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