Carpenter Ant Identification

October 22, 2014

Did you know that ants can carry three times their body weight?  Carpenter Ants are among the largest of the 10,000 species of ants.  One colony of carpenter ants can contain 50,000 ants.  Once they have infiltrated homes and other buildings, they nest in moist, rotting wood and can cause significant structural damage. Well, they certainly are amazing creatures unless they are making their nest inside or around your precious home.  How can you identify these critters and rectify the situation?

How to Identify a carpenter ant:

  • The most common color of a carpenter ant is black but they can also be reddish or yellowish in color.
  • Their size is around the average size of a small paper clip.  Adult carpenter ants have six legs, a constricted waist, and three distinct body regions.
  • Look for wood shavings (frass) around the house.  It looks like sawdust or small wood shavings. Carpenter ants don’t eat wood, as often thought. They hollow out tunnels and push the wood remnants out to make room for them to grow their colony.
  • Listen with a stethoscope (or by putting your ear) to the wall of your house and be aware of rustling sounds that are associated with carpenter ants.
  • Look near decaying or rotting wood as that is the preference of carpenter ants.
  • Follow ants especially in the evening to find where a nest may possibly be located.

Getting rid of carpenter ants may not be an easy task since you must first find the nest and associated colonies to completely resolve the infestation.  An expert will be able to help you determine the best course of treatment whether it is chemical treatment or another method.

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