What You Need to Know About Carpenter Ants

Even though there are more than 12,000 species of ants, only a handful of them are a problem in homes. Carpenter ants are one of them. These are the largest type of ant that you’ll typically find inside a residence or business.

Eighteen species of carpenter ants have been identified in Texas. The one that you’ll usually see indoors is between ¼-inch and 3/8-inch long. It has a reddish head and thorax and a black tail. Other species of carpenter ants may be yellow, brown or black.

You can usually identify them from their bent antennae and indented waist. They also have only one bump between the thorax and tail. The ones that usually invade Texas homes are big and black.

Carpenter ants generally live in trees, but they can invade your home any time of year. You’re most likely to notice them as winter turns to spring. They’ll emerge from their hiding spots to mate and form new colonies. When they’re ready to reproduce, carpenter ants have two pairs of wings, making them easily confused with termites. If you see winged ants indoors, they probably have built a nest in your building.

Contrary to what you may think, carpenter ants don’t feed on wood. In the wild, they eat on insects and a liquid that aphids produce. If they enter your home, they’ll usually come out at night, looking for scraps and crumbs of human and pet food to keep them satiated. They’ll also seek out sweets, such as sugar and honey.

While seeing ants in your kitchen can be a nuisance, you probably won’t see many carpenter ants there. Moreover, you’ll have more serious issues to deal with if you have a carpenter ant infestation. These creatures hollow out wood as they excavate tunnels for their nests. This can cause serious damage to the structure of your building.

Sometimes, they look for wood that already has cavities in it. Therefore, it’s important to patch up holes or cracks in the interior and exterior of your home. Because carpenter ants live in wood outdoors, you should make sure that no stumps, logs or live trees or shrubs come in contact with your building.

If you have a carpenter ant problem, you may notice piles or trails of sawdust near your walls. This is the material that comes out of their tunnels, and if you follow it, you may be able to find a nest. However, carpenter ants usually create their tunnels in unseen areas, where you won’t notice the sawdust.

Therefore, it’s important to call on an experienced professional to take care of a carpenter ant problem. Eradication methods are most effective when you can locate and treat the nest directly. At Worldwide Pest Control, we use methods to eliminate these pests completely.