What Are Carpenter Ants ?

The Black Carpenter Ant is a wood destroying insect, unlike Termites Carpenter Ants are not able to consume the cellulose in wood, they simply carve out the wood to make their nest. In the nest they make they will lay eggs, the workers and larvae will also live in this nest along with the queen. The Black Carpenter Ant will nest in dead wood, damp wood, tree stumps and fire wood.  Carpenter Ants prefer a 12-15% humidity range, they’re sensitive to environmental humidity and that’s the range where they feel most comfortable.

Carpenter Ants will have a primary nest usually located outside of the home, once the primary nest has matured, the colony will begin to develop multiple satellite nest else where including in your home. The Black Carpenter Ant tends to forage alone and sometimes will having overlapping foraging areas. They will also forage in groups but that is less common.

The areas of your home that will be most vulnerable and attractive to Carpenter Ants will be the roof eves, decks, porches and around windows. These areas are the first to collect water and become prone to wood damage due to the moisture.

The Black Carpenter Ant has a sweet tooth, although they destroy the wood in your home they cannot consume the cellulose like a termite can. They will forage for sweets, fats, proteins, carbs, dead insects and on occasion will even consume live insects. Workers will forage for food and communicate the information with the rest of the nest. Once they’ve found a food source they will mark the way to the food with pheromones so that the other workers know where it’s located. As the amount of workers following this path for food increases the pheromone scent will become stronger establishing a trail to the meal.  These foraging tracks can be located under or above ground

There are a few things that you can do to prevent The Black Carpenter Ant from finding your home attractive.

  • If you’ve had a leak and repaired it, make sure to replace all the damage wood as well, damaged leaking gutters can also damage the wood on your roof eves.
  • Reducing the humidity in damp areas like your basement and attic will make the area less attractive to the Black Carpenter Ant as well as to other pests.
  • Fire wood should be stored as far away as possible from your home. Having it in your garage or against your home is convenient when needing wood, but it’s just as convenient for Carpenter Ants and Termites to enter your home.
  • Removing the food source is the most important step in preventing them from foraging in your home. Sealing food in tight containers will also prevent them from being accessed by pest.