While they won’t be taking orders to build custom wood furniture any time soon, carpenter ants get their name from their unparalleled ability to work with wood. And by work with wood, I mean their ability to chew through it. Their mastery of excavation, coupled with the fine art of producing the smoothest of tunnels inside a piece of wood are skills that are envied by even the most talented woodworkers.
When it comes to the construction of their nests, there is no need for DeWalt or Craftsmen tools since they are armed with the only tool they will need to build their homes. And lucky for them, it sits right smack in the middle of their face. With a preference for the dead and damp variety, carpenter ants build their nests inside dead and damp wood using their mandibles. With iron-like jaws, they chew out areas called galleries. Once they smooth out the walls of the galleries so they feel like they have been finely sandpapered, they Marie Kondo the heck out of that joint and clear out all of the clutter and debris.
Since carpenter ants don’t eat the wood that they are tunneling through and instead deposit the debris in small piles outside their nests, finding sawdust-like shavings or body parts from insects outside small openings in the wood are good indicators that a carpenter ant infestation is in the works. Besides getting a visual of the workers or swarmers of the group, these small holes and debris piles are the only external sign of an infestation.
While it would be much easier for them if they did eat the wood they were chewing through, they actually prefer eating insects or a wide variety of foods that people eat. They love a good piece of meat and they have a sweet tooth that won’t quit. Syrup, honey, sugar, and jelly are among some of their favorites.
Living in wood throughout the United States, carpenter ants can be found in a rainbow of colors, including black, brown, red, yellow, orange, and a lovely red/black combo. Depending on the species of carpenter ant that might be gnawing away at the wood of your house this very minute, they range in size from 1/2 inches to 5/8 inches. They have the normal ant-like appearance with a segmented body, six legs, antennae, and the bluest of blue eyes that look like the crystal clear ocean that surrounds the islands of the Bahamas, the kind of eyes that you could easily get lost in… Oh wait, where was I? Oh yeah, carpenter ants. Scratch that about their eyes. I have no idea what color their eyes are.
Carpenter ant colonies can range in size from 10,000 to 50,000 workers. They usually contain only one queen who just so happens to be a breeding machine. Given that queen carpenter ants can live up to 25 years, that means she can grow that colony into a big fat infestation that can do serious damage for many years to come. Multiple colonies in a home can mean significant structural damage.
If you’ve got damp or moist wood in or around your house, you may as well send out invitations, hire a bouncer, and charge of cover because you’ve got the recipe for a carpenter ant party.
If the ant party has already started and you need to break it up, there’s no need to call the cops or to look any farther. HowToPest.com is the only party crasher you’ll need. The carpenter ant products available at HowtoPest.com will solve any and all of your carpenter ant issues.