How To Identify Carpenter Ants | Arrow Exterminating

How To Identify Carpenter Ants

Ed Robinson | Posted on August 9, 2018

A few ants crawling on or near some wood and a small rock.

In many ways, carpenter ants have a deceptive name. According to Merriam-Webster, a carpenter  is “a worker who builds or repairs wooden structures or their structural parts.” A carpenter ant does almost the exact opposite. They are insects that can destroy the wood in your home, sometimes causing thousands of dollars’ worth of damage. If you have carpenter ants, you have a problem that needs to be addressed quickly, and Arrow Exterminating can help. But you may not know how to identify carpenter ants.

Arrow Exterminating Can Get Rid of Your Pest Problems

Arrow Exterminating helps Long Island and New York City homeowners and business owners get rid of pests. We’ve been around for more than 70 years and we will take care of your infestation in an environmentally friendly manner. If we do use chemicals on your property, they’ll be chemicals that are deemed low impact by the Environmental Protection Agency. We’ll work with you to identify if you have a problem and we want to show you how to identify carpenter ants.

Signs You May Have Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are not termites. The chief difference is that termites eat wood, while carpenter ants do not eat wood and do not cause the same amount of damage. “But they certainly are a nuisance, and they can damage wood by hollowing it out for nesting.” Mike Potter, extension entomologist for the University of Kentucky, told the New York Times. Carpenter ants build their nests in moist wood. When they hollow it out they create smooth walled galleries. If that happens the nest needs to be destroyed. “Unfortunately, this is easier said than done,” Potter said.

One telltale sign is if there are  coarse sawdust piles in your home or business, according to the University of Minnesota Extension. You should also be wary if you see 20 or more ants at a time, which leads us to being able to identify carpenter ants. They are about 3/8 to half an inch long, according to WikiHow.

Carpenter ants also have dark bodies, narrow waists and bent antennae. These can be an important factor in making a proper identification of carpenter ants compared to termites, which have a straight antenna and broader waists. Unlike other ants, carpenter ants have one upper node, and an evenly rounded upper surface, known as the thorax. Reproductive carpenter ants do have wings and the hind wings are shorter than the front wings. They swarm during late spring and early summer and sometimes those swarms will occur inside a home. If that happens, you should call Arrow immediately. Carpenter ants don’t lose wings easily, unlike termites, which shed wings often.

Arrow Exterminating Can Flush Out Carpenter Ants

Because carpenter ant nests can be difficult to find, it requires a thorough search to uncover them. If you suspect you have carpenter ants, Arrow can flush them out. We’ll do a full inspection of your home or office and the surrounding property. If we find carpenter ants, we’ll take you through all of your options.  Arrow Exterminating can protect your property. Contact us today.

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