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Carpenter Ant Identification;
Carpenter Ants range in size from 1/4-1/2" and the queen can be as large as 3/4". Carpenter Ants have an even, smooth arching profile and are black in color. Other ants often have bumps or spines along the profile of their mid-section. Carpenter Ants also have gray or yellowish hairs covering their abdomens, but the basic black remains obvious.
Carpenter Ant colonies begin in isolation, but not always in wood. Secrecy is the key to the new colony's survival, so it may even start under a stone or in a roll of tar paper. Soon after the colony moves into wood such as; a fallen log, a stump, a tree hole or a structure wall.
Carpenter Ants do NOT eat wood, instead they discard it outside of their nest area. This sawdust is very fine and feels soft. Often you will see ant parts mixed in with the sawdust.
 
The nest or colony may consist of several thousand ants. Large colonies of Carpenter Ants in critical areas can cause structural damage, but the colony USUALLY resides in the voids between the wood; such as between roof boards, between studs under windows or between the subflooring and the shower bases.
 

Common outdoor harborages for Carpenter Ants are, stumps, firewood, living trees that are hollow inside and piles of debris or brush. Many colonies of Carpenter Ants are originally brought inside during construction on building materials that have been laying outside on the ground. Vines, over hanging branches and wiring all provide access into buildings as well.

Moisture problems and Carpenter Ants are nearly inseperable.

 

This is because Carpenter Ants prefer a humid atmosphere. In the majority of cases Carpenter Ants make their nest in or near wood that has been wet and infested with Brown Rot Fungus. Dark fungus stains on wood indicate the presence of such moisture.

 

 

Habitat Alteration;

  1. Remove damaged wood, repair roofs and gutters.
  2. Stop the moisture problem, ventilate moist areas.
  3. Redirect water away from buildings.
  4. Trim tree branches and remove damaged trees.
  5. Caulk holes and cracks, replace or repair damaged screens.