Carpenter Ant Identification Guide

What are carpenter ants?

As one of the largest species of ants living all throughout North America, carpenter ants regularly invade businesses, homes, yards, and other structures in our area of Connecticut. These ants have segmented, oval-shaped bodies that are typically black, red, or a combination of those colors; workers grow to between 1/4 and 1/2 an inch in length and have large, powerful mandibles that they use to create nesting sites by chewing through wood.

many carpenter ants crawling inside of a home in danbury connecticut

Are carpenter ants dangerous?

Carpenter ants are not only annoying to have wandering around your property – they are also dangerous. In addition to causing structural damage, they contaminate food sources and the surfaces of your home or business with the bacteria found on their legs and bodies. After finding their way inside while foraging for food, they may decide to stay and build satellite nests near their new food source. Attracted to water-damaged wood, carpenter ants tunnel through it to create nesting galleries where the damage they cause to a building's structural wood can be costly over time. Carpenter ants don't sting; if they feel threatened, they will deliver painful bites that are made even more painful by the formic acid they spray into the wound.

Why do I have a carpenter ant problem?

Carpenter ants are moisture-seeking pests, and having a problem with these ants could indicate a moisture problem in or around your home or business. Carpenter ants are also attracted to properties that offer them access to food. They feed on a wide variety of things including proteins, sugars, and honeydew produced by aphids and other plant-feeding insects. Compost bins, trash cans, and gardens are all potential food sources for carpenter ants and will attract them to your property. Once on your property, they will eventually find their way indoors through openings in your the exterior, usually while foraging for additional food sources.

Where will I find carpenter ants?

Carpenter ants live in parks, yards, and in or near wooded areas – creating nests in dead trees, stumps, rotting fence posts, under mulch, and in old piles of wood. If carpenter ants find their way inside, they nest behind walls, in hollow doors, inside insulation, and in structural wood found around pipes. Unlike termites, which you'll rarely see outside of the wood they are feeding on, carpenter ants can be seen wandering around basements, pantries, kitchens, walkways, gardens, and driveways while searching for food.

How do I get rid of carpenter ants?

Here at Connecticut Pest Elimination, our dedicated and licensed pest technicians provide the comprehensive pest control services needed to eliminate carpenter ants and other common pests and keep them from returning! Guard your home or business against pests with the help of a local, full-service pest control company with over 27 years of experience. For more information about our commercial and residential pest control services, reach out to Connecticut Pest Elimination today!

How can I prevent carpenter ants in the future?

In addition to our professional services, the following prevention tips will help you to avoid problems with carpenter ants here in Connecticut:

  • Keep garbage cans and compost bins away from the exterior of your property and fitted with tight-fitting lids.

  • Maintain gutters and repair any leaky pipes or fixtures in and around your property.

  • Eliminate soil-to-wood contact on structures on your property.

  • Install weatherstripping around windows and doors.

  • Use dehumidifiers to dry out basements.

  • Keep food inside the refrigerator or air-tight containers.

  • Remove fallen trees, tree stumps, and wooden debris from your yard.

  • Inspect your exterior walls, sealing up any openings leading into your home or business.

  • Only use a layer of mulch that is no more than 2-3 inches deep to prevent carpenter ants from nesting in and under it.

 

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