How to Tell If That Ant Is a Carpenter Ant
Carpenter ants are often compared to other ants and also to termites. In the spring, winged males can take to the air in a mating swarm. Carpenter ants have two sets of wings like termites, but the front wings are longer than the hind set. Termites are typically lighter brown than the black and dark brown carpenter ants.
What Do Carpenter Ants Look Like?
Eight different species of carpenter ant can be found in the northeastern U.S. The most significant and common is the black carpenter ant, primarily black coloring. Other species can be red, black, dark brown, or a mix of the three. All carpenter ants have an identifiable arch-shaped thorax. Workers can range from ¼ to ⅝ inch long while the queen is slightly larger.
What Other Ants Look Like Carpenter Ants?
Acrobat ants are often confused with carpenter ants as they look similar, and both tend to make their homes in deadwood. Acrobats are typically smaller and have a heart-shaped abdomen. They’re named for their ability to raise their abdomens over their heads when agitated.
How Do You Find A Carpenter Ant Nest?
In the wild, carpenter ants can typically be found in decaying and dead trees. Though sometimes our homes can also be a place where they can find wood that has been weakened by moisture. A mature carpenter ant colony can have anywhere between 3,000 to 100,000 workers. As it grows, homeowners may likely start to hear the colony build its home inside theirs. As carpenter ants don’t eat wood like termites, you can often find piles of powdery refuse of wood called “frass” near baseboards and window sills.
How Can You Tell if You Have Carpenter Ants?
Carpenter ants and termites are both destructive, but they damage differently. Ant tunnels go across the wood’s grain, whereas termites always follow the grain. Termite tunnels are tracked with mud where the ant tunnels will be clean.
Then in the spring, finding one or two flying ants in your home can be a sign of a nest somewhere in the local area, but if you find your house full of flying swarms, then you’ve certainly got a problem.
Are Big Ants Always Carpenter Ants?
Nearly half an inch long, carpenter ants are one of the most significant ant species in North America. So while not always, it is at least likely. Some ant species are monomorphic, where all the workers are the same size. Carpenter ants are a polymorphic species meaning the size of their workers varies. Identifying the ant species correctly is essential as the removal process is unique to the individual colony.
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