How are Carpenter Ants Different from Other Ants?

Not all ants are a threat to your home, but some — such as the carpenter ant — can be a nuisance and even cause damage to the structural members of your home if given the opportunity.

carpenter ant on tree

There are more than 12,000 species of ants in the world. Carpenter ants are one of the more common types. What distinguishes carpenter ants from other species of ant you may encounter? And, more importantly, how can you help keep carpenter ants away from your home? Here’s what you need to know.

What Distinguishes the Carpenter Ant?

Multiple variations of the carpenter ant exist across the United States. Although they naturally nest in trees, carpenter ants can also invade homes.

Carpenter ants can come in all sizes and color. These worker ants also have a pinched waist, elbowed antennae and a single bump or node between the abdomen and the thorax.

Reproductive carpenter ants, however, are winged and range in size from one-quarter to half-inch long. Over a period of several days, hundreds of reproductive males and females may appear in a home as reproductives emerge to mate.

Do Carpenter Ants Cause Damage?

As their name suggests, carpenter ants don’t actually eat wood, but they do excavate wood to build their nests. The primary nests of carpenter ants are usually outdoors, in trees or lumber. However, they do create nests indoors, on roofs and woodwork near moisture. Because of this, carpenter ants can cause damage – usually minor, but severe in some cases – to wood on the exterior and interior of your home.

How Can I Help Get Rid of Carpenter Ants?

If you see a swarm of winged carpenter ants inside your home in the spring, then there’s probably a carpenter ant nest in your home. And most of the time, the ant nest that's in your home is not the primary ant colony. The primary ant colony can be the length of a football field away from the home. For that reason, and others, DIY treatments you find online and in stores likely won’t be effective. However, a qualified ant controlprofessional can help correctly identify your ants and then lay out a plan to help control them. If ants are a pest in your home, contact Terminix today.



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