What do carpenter ants look like?
Carpenter ants can be black, red, yellow, or a combination of those colors depending on the specific species. Adult workers can grow to between 1/8 and 1/2 of an inch in length. Queens often grow to between 3/4 and 1 inch in length. They have an oval shaped, segmented body, six legs, and antennae. The workers have large, strong mandibles which are strong enough to cause a painful pinch to a person. Carpenter ants can be distinguished from other ant species by their one node waist and their thorax that has an evenly rounded upper surface. The most common species of carpenter ant found in our area is the black carpenter ant. Adults grow to between 1/4 and 3/4 of an inch and are completely black except for the yellow hairs coming off their abdomens.
Where are carpenter ants found?
Carpenter ants are attracted to wood that has been previously damaged by water. Outside, these ants are found creating their nests in tree stumps, in fallen trees, in piles of firewood, and in landscaping timbers. They often invade homes while foraging for food sources; entering inside through cracks found in the foundation and exterior walls, gaps found around windows and doors, and through the spaces found around utility lines and wires. Once inside, the carpenter ants start to invade a Quad City home’s structural wood, especially if it has been previously weakened by water damage. They tunnel through the wood and create nesting galleries. Once the colony is established, they won’t hold back and will begin attacking sound wood in addition to the water-damaged wood.
What do carpenter ants eat?
Carpenter ants prefer proteins and sugars. It is important to note that they do not feed on the wood they are invading, but simply excavate through it. Outside, carpenter ants feed on insects and honeydew that is left behind by aphids and mealybugs. When foraging for food inside homes, they feed on a variety of things but favor sweets and meats. Workers generally only travel about 100 yards from their nest while foraging for food. Because of this, finding carpenter ants in or around your home is a very good indicator that there is a nesting site located inside or close to your house.
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Unveiling the Secrets to a Pest-Free Living in Central Illinois & The Quad Cities.