Carpenter ants (Camponotus spp.) are large ants known for their ability to tunnel and nest in wood. Unlike termites, they do not consume wood for sustenance, but their nesting habits can still cause significant structural damage over time.
What are carpenter ants?
They are large black ants that are known for their ability to excavate and nest in wood. They are common in many parts of the world, particularly in forests and wooded areas, but they can also be found in urban environments, making their way into homes and buildings.
Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not eat wood as their primary food source. Instead, they carve out galleries and tunnels within wood to create their nests. These galleries serve as their living quarters, nurseries for their brood, and pathways for foraging.
Carpenter ants prefer to nest in moist or decaying wood, although they can also be found in dry wood. Common nesting sites include dead trees, tree stumps, firewood piles, wooden structures, and even wooden furniture inside homes.
Some signs of carpenter ants infestation
1. Wood Shavings
Carpenter ants excavate galleries inside wood to create their nests. As they tunnel through the wood, they push out the wood shavings and debris from the galleries, which may be found near the nest sites.
2. Hollow or Rustling Ground
If you tap on wood near a suspected infestation, you may hear a hollow or rustling sound caused by the movement of ants within the galleries.
3. Sightings of ants
You might see large, black ants foraging inside your home or around the perimeter. Worker carpenter ants are usually larger than other common ant species and can measure from 1/4 to 1/2 inch (6 to 12 mm) in length.
Carpenter ants do not eat wood, but they do remove it to create galleries. They discard the wood fragments outside the nest. This mixture of wood and ant excrement is called “frass” and might be visible near nesting areas.
5. Ant Trails
Carpenter ants follow well-defined trails as they move between their nest and food sources. You might notice these trails inside or outside your home.
If you suspect you have a carpenter ant infestation, it’s essential to address the problem promptly. Carpenter ants can cause structural damage and should be treated by carpenter ant control services to ensure effective eradication and prevention measures.