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When most people think about ants, they tend to think of those little black creepy crawlers with narrow waists and segmented antennas. The ones that can commonly be spotted trudging scraps through the home. While this is a general description for most ants, the masses don’t understand they could be looking at any number of species of the ant. In total, there are over 12,000 species of ants in the world, with 700 plus being in the United States. The most common found in homes by far is the red imported fire ants. However, it could be the carpenter ant that poses the biggest threat.
Although you do not want any ant species mucking about in your home, you do need to learn to identify each specific species, so you know what you are dealing with. They might look similar, but the damage each species can do and the elimination methods that go along with them are on entirely different levels.
What Is The Carpenter Ant?
The carpenter ant gets its name from its unique nest-building attributes. The species has large powerful jaw-like mandibles that give them the power to make quick work of wood. They hollow out the wood create tunnels that can later be utilized for a variety of activities. They can live there, put eggs in them, and store food in the tunnels. Interestingly enough though, they do not eat the wood shavings they hollow out.
A western black carpenter ant colony when fully mature can consist of as little as 10 members to as many as 20,000 workers. This is just worker ants alone. When you add in the other members of the colony, you could be looking at nearly 50,000 total. Not something you want in your home and why you need to learn as much as you possibly can.
Carpenter Ant Identification
With their propensity for wood, these creepy crawlers can do immense amounts of damage to the home. You’d honestly be surprised as to how much damage they can do. That being said, the best time to seek out an infestation is at night. This is when the crawlers will be active. The best places to look will be around wooden structures with high moisture content. The crawlspaces, bathrooms, and attics are just a few ideal locations to start.
Look at window and door frames as well. Be sure to check around the kitchen and bathroom plumbing under the sink. It is the wood shavings that you’ll want to look for. While these powerful wood munchers hollow out wood, they do not eat the shavings. These shavings are oftentimes referred to as frass and will likely be left behind in piles. Some might move them to the corners of their nesting locations. Either way, utilize a flashlight and scour these areas.
Tapping on wooden structures can help as well. Just because you don’t spot any shavings, it doesn’t mean the home isn’t potentially invaded. If you tap the wood and get hollow responses, you’ll likely know something is up. You are dealing with carpenter ants or termites.
Whether it is the carpenter ant or the termite you are dealing with, feel free to give our local office a call. We have specialists standing by that can answer questions and assist with any type of infestation.