Carpenter Ant

Category:

Actual Size: ⅝”

Characteristics: Large; red, black or a combination of both.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: Carpenter ant swarmers have two sets of wings.

Habitat: Prefer damp, moist wood, constructing their nests in hollow trees, logs, posts, landscaping timbers, and wood used in homes and other structures.

Habits:

  • Carpenter ants prefer to nest and excavate water-damaged wood.
  • Heavy carpenter ant activity in the home can indicate a moisture issue within the structure.
  • Carpenter ants don’t actually eat wood but prefer sugary solutions, especially honeydew produced by aphids.

Carpenter Ants in Central Florida

Carpenter ants are wood-destroying pests and can be confused with termites. In Florida, carpenter ants tunnel through wood beams and can make their way throughout entire homes and buildings. Carpenter ants prefer to nest and hollow out water-damaged wood. Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not eat and digest wood. Instead, the ants burrow through and nest in wood, creating cavities to raise their young. Carpenter ants can seriously damage wood, reducing solid structures to hollow shells. If you spot small sawdust piles at ground level or on window sills, you may have a carpenter ant infestation.

Carpenter Ant Habitat

Outdoors, carpenter ants prefer to live in damp, decaying wood. Rotting tree stumps, wood fencing, and firewood piles are all popular habitats. Indoors, carpenter ants infest building materials such as wood or foam insulation. In homes, carpenter ants will inhabit any natural hollow, like those found in hollow doors or window frames. Although they would rather be outdoors, carpenter ants will make their way inside homes through gaps in foundations. Workers will also climb through crevices and cracks near plumbing or electrical openings to gain access to a home.

Carpenter Ant Behaviors, Threats or Dangers

Carpenter ants rarely bite and are not generally thought of as dangerous. The real threat carpenter ants present is their capacity to damage and weaken the structural integrity of homes and structures. Colonies can reach tremendous numbers and over time, nests will splinter off and form new colonies. Carpenter ants swarm in order to mate and establish new colonies. Seeing flying ants in your home is a sure sign of an infestation. While carpenter ants are not as alarming as termites, they can cause serious damage to your home. If a carpenter ant infestation is suspected, it is best to contact a professional ant exterminator.