Carpenter Ants

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter Ant – Classification
The various species of carpenter ant belongs to the genus Camponotus in the tribe Camponotini and subfamily Formicinae. Examples of commonly known carpenter ant species are the Red Carpenter Ant (Camponotus ferrugineus), the Black Carpenter Ant (Camponotus pennsylvanicus), the Small Carpenter Ant (Camponotus nearcticus), the Sugar Ant (Camponotus consobrinus ) and the Malaysian ant (Camponotus saundersi). In Europe, one of the more notable species is the Camponotus ligniperda.

Carpenter Ant – Life cycle
A new Carpenter ant colony is always founded by a single fertilized queen. She will choose a cavity in wood and set up a nesting site. When the first brood is hatched, she will rear it herself by feeding the offspring salivary secretions. This first brood will always consist of worker ants. While the queen is rearing the first brood, she will not eat anything since the does not leave the nesting site. The first reared workers will immediately begin searching for food and bringing it back to the nesting site to feed the less developed larvae. Now, when there are workers around who can bring food to the new offspring, the colony can grow much faster. The Carpenter ant colony will not produce any new queens or males until it consists of at least 2,000 worker ants. Producing such a high amount of workers can take anything from three years to over six years. Once the Carpenter ant colony has begun to produce queens and males, it will produce queens and males each year. The queens and males are equipped with wings and will leave the colony to engage in mating flights during the summer, typically from May and throughout July. 
Carpenter Ant – wood destruction
Carpenter Ants can turn into a problem for house owners, since they like to make their nests in floors, walls, beams and other wooden parts of a building. A human dwelling will also provide them with a great source of food since they can scavenge the kitchen and other dining areas for food crumbs. 

Carpenter Ant – detection
Carpenter ants damage wooden parts of buildings by hollowing them out. The ants will gradually form galleries in the wood. You can recognize damaged caused by carpenter ants on the smooth, almost sandpapered appearance, and on the lack of muddy material. Wood damaged caused by termites will contain a type of muddy material that you can not find in carpenter ant nests.

The first sign of carpenter ant infestation is often shredded fragments of wood around the nest area. The wood fragments look similar to coarse sawdust and are forced out of the nest by the ants. The wood fragments are often mixed with ant carcasses and body parts from insects that have been eaten by the ants. Unfortunately, it is quite common for this symptom to remain undetected for many years, since the wood fragments are often forced out in locations hidden behind walls, inner ceilings or similar.  

Probing wood with a screwdriver is a good way of detecting carpenter ant infestations, especially as symptoms like sawdust and dead ants can remain hidden. Tapping along baseboards and other wooden surfaces in your home using the blunt end of the screwdriver is recommended. Carefully listen for changes in sound – hollow wood sounds different then solid wood. When you approach the nest site, you might also be able to hear a rustling sound that is produced by the carpenter ants. It sounds almost as if they were crinkling cellophane inside their home.

Ant Articles:

Carpenter Ant Control
Kill Carpenter Ants
Fire Ants
Fire Ant Bite
Kill Fire Ants
Flying Ants
Red Flying Ants
Kill Flying Ants
Types of ant insect


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