If you’re looking for information on those pesky ants that are showing up everywhere in and around your house, there’s a good chance that those are carpenter ants.
Typically, you’ll find carpenter ants near the outside, or on the inside of a wooden structure, they like moist wood. It is easy to identify them, carpenter ants are large, from 1/4″ to 3/8″ inches long, dark brown to black, some have red or slightly yellow coloration. All carpenter ants have a bent antennae, and a slim waist.. The female is identified by looking for small wings on the back, usually seen in the spring when the ants swarm. Although carpenter ants can vary in size and color, the most common you will see are the black ones.. If you are noticing mass amounts of them around your house in the spring time, that’s because it is mating season and they are out looking for love.
Even though carpenter ants are found in and around wood, they are not the same as termites as they do not ingest wood. Carpenter ant females are commonly mistaken for termites but carpenter ants have a narrow waist, bent elbow shaped antennae and smaller wings. Carpenter ants can cause structural damage to the wood, much like termites, but not nearly to the same extent. They prefer dark, moist areas like hollow wood where they can use the area and the wood itself to nest and breed.
If you can see excavated wood and carpenter ants are showing up in and around your structure, you can probably count on it being infested. Due of the nature of the nesting, it is extremely difficult to get rid of all the carpenter ants completely because it would be hard to actually find every single nest.
There are a few things you can do to help prevent an inestation of carpenter ants though. Whenever possible, keep your wood structure free of contacting soil and dampness. Also, do not stack wood against your building, and keep it free from holes, cracks, and dampness.