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Carpenter Ants: Frequently Asked Questions And Answers

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Carpenter ants burrow into homes and over time can do extensive damage. Homeowners who see carpenter ants in their house may not realize that they have a problem with this particular type of ant. The more you know about carpenter ants, the better able you will be to identify your problem and seek proper treatment.

What are carpenter ants?

Carpenter ants are ants that live in wood. They burrow into wood to make their colony. Usually carpenter ants will burrow into rotten wood first, then once they've established themselves in a location, they'll start burrowing into fresh, non-rotten wood. This is slow work, but over many years carpenter ants can do a lot of damage.

What do carpenter ants look like?

Carpenter ants look like standard ants, albeit on the big side. Worker ants can be a quarter to half an inch long, and can vary in colors from black to red. Some carpenter ants have wings, many do not.

What do carpenter ants eat?

Carpenter ants eat sweet things and fatty foods. They also eat dead insects.

What's the difference between carpenter ants and termites?

Carpenter ants and termites don't look the same at all. Termites can be whitish or light brown, ants are brownish, reddish or black. Termites have straight antennae, ants have antennae with a bend in the middle. In addition, carpenter ants don't eat wood, they only live in wood. Termites actually eat wood—and they live there too. Termites generally do more damage than carpenter ants over a quicker period of time, but carpenter ants can do extensive damage if allowed to burrow for many years.

What are the signs of infestation?

You'll probably see ants in your kitchen if you have an infestation, but even if you don't, there will be other signs. When busy, carpenter ants make a rustling noise in the walls. You may see lines of ants going to or from your house, particularly to a part of your house where the wood is decayed. Carpenter ants usually live in the walls, and will expel parts of the walls in a convenient location near the entrance of their burrow. You may see piles of saw dust near decayed parts of your house.

For more information, pest diagnosis and treatment, contact a reputable pest control company like Chem-Wise Ecological Pest Management Services in your area. Carpenter ants require treatment at the nest, and getting to them can be complicated. Work with a company that has a history of success exterminating carpenter ants.