Carpenter Ants Habits – Pretty Amazing: Useful & Destructive

Carpenter ants habits and nature are pretty amazing. Understanding their habits can help ensure that they remain in nature where they perform a useful role, yet stay out of your home where they can be very destructive.

Carpenter Ants HabitsCarpenter Ants Habits Are Vital to Nature’s Balance

Carpenter ants habits are vital to the balance of nature because they nest in dead wood and aid in the process of decaying. Although the carpenter ants play this important role in the natural cycle, they can become pests to home and business owners when they make their home in the wood structures of buildings. Credits: A Guide to Carpenter Ants | Batzner Pest Management

Carpenter Ants HabitsCarpenter Ants Habits

Carpenter ants habits result in the creation of elaborate passageways in the wood for nesting and movement throughout the colony, connecting them to different food sources.

These ants are most active at night, starting just after sundown. They emerge about 15 minutes after sunset and leave the nest to forage for food. They feed mainly in the tree tops, consuming “honeydew” produced by aphids and scale insects. Honeydew is rich in sugar and can sustain the entire ant colony. Credits: Carpenter ants can do big damage if left unchecked | Columbia

Carpenter ants forage for food around their nest, carry it back to the nest, and share the meal with the rest of the colony members. Credits: A Guide to Carpenter Ants | Batzner Pest Management

Carpenter Ants HabitsCarpenter Ants Habits Fun Facts

Super Ant!

Carpenter ants are the largest ants in North America with super-sized strength to match their super size. Dwarfing other ants, these wood-destroying ants can reach a length of 3/4 inch and lift up to seven times their own weight with their powerful jaws. In human terms that would be like lifting a large dairy cow with your teeth!

Mr. Clean

Carpenter ants habits include excellent hygiene, removing dead colony members and decaying food from the nest promptly. They also collect plant resins to chemically disinfect their nests. Cleanliness improves the insects’ chance for survival by removing pathogens and bacteria that could endanger the colony’s health.

Ant Farmers

Carpenter ants habits include loving their sweets and being particularly fond of a sweet dewy juice called honeydew that is produced by tiny plant aphids. To keep the colony well stocked with its favorite treat, carpenter ants tend, feed and protect “flocks” of aphids, regularly harvesting the sweet honeydew for the colony’s snacking enjoyment. Credits: Three Fun Facts about Carpenter Ants – Allison Pest Control

Carpenter Ants Habits Inside the Home

Inside the home, nests are often found in areas containing moisture-damaged wood. The damp wood and warm temperatures inside a home is also conducive to carpenter ant colony survival. Carpenter ants found in the home can often be traced back to nests outdoors in nearby trees. Scout for ant movement 15 to 20 minutes after sunset. Use a flashlight to search for the carpenter ants moving along their pathways. These pathways will lead you to their food source and the nest. Credits: Carpenter ants can do big damage if left unchecked | Columbia

Identifying Carpenter Ants Habits in Creating an Infestation

The most common method to identify an infestation is the sighting of carpenter worker or winged ants in the home. Although worker ants (ants without wings) can be seen in a home without an infestation, the identification of winged ants often indicates a mature colony that is ready to reproduce and form new colonies. Additional signs of an infestation can include the location of sawdust-like wood debris (frass) from tunnels created by ants.  A rustling sound can also be heard as the ants build tunnels throughout the wood in a home. Credits: A Guide to Carpenter Ants | Batzner Pest Management

When Carpenter Ants Habits Result in Infestation: What to Do? 

Carpenter ants habits can cause structural damage to your home. They bore passageways in your home’s wood foundation, framing and siding. Moisture can enter into the wood and weaken it, eventually causing it to decay. It’s best to have carpenter ants professionally and safely exterminated.

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