What Are Carpenter Ants?

Carpenter ants are commonly found this time of year throughout Missouri and the United States. Because a carpenter ant infestation is responsible for structural damage, they are often mistaken for termite colonies. However, termites eat wood, carpenter ant colonies only create galleries in wood. While wood is the main food source for termites, carpenter ant damage results from them seeking shelter. 

Carpenter ants prefer decayed wood to nest in. Galleries are constructed to provide this type of ant a desired and consistent humidity and temperature level. Even though carpenter ants do not eat wood, the damage can become severe when let go for years. Over time, both carpenter ant and termite colonies will form satellite nests away from their main parent colony. These types of nests ensure survival as the colony matures in population. Worker ants continue excavating wood while extending galleries in an effort to make added space. This causes extensive damage to wooden structures over time.

Carpenter ant swarmers are typically mistaken for termite swarmers by many homeowners. Swarming occurs when winged males and females fly out of the colony to mate. Rustling sounds may be heard during this period as workers and swarmers move through the galleries rapidly. These sounds may also be heard when construction on galleries begin.

Identifying carpenter ant swarmers may be difficult but, look for ants with elbowed antennae, a pinched waist with a front pair of wings that is longer than the back pair. The difference between winged ants and termite swarmers is that the termites will have straight antennae with a broad waist and a pair of wings similar in length.

Getting rid of carpenter ants is difficult and should be left up to professionals like Around The Clock Pest. But, before your professional arrives you may want to begin locating a nest. A carpenter ant nest is commonly found in rotting wood within or near a structure. They can also be located in wall voids.